NCK Associated Protein 1 Modulated by miRNA-214 Determines Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Migration, Proliferation, and Neointima Hyperplasia.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:MicroRNA miR-214 has been implicated in many biological cellular functions, but the impact of miR-214 and its target genes on vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation, migration, and neointima smooth muscle cell hyperplasia is unknown. METHODS AND RESULTS:Expression of miR-214 was closely regulated by different pathogenic stimuli in VSMCs through a transcriptional mechanism and decreased in response to vascular injury. Overexpression of miR-214 in serum-starved VSMCs significantly decreased VSMC proliferation and migration, whereas knockdown of miR-214 dramatically increased VSMC proliferation and migration. Gene and protein biochemical assays, including proteomic analyses, showed that NCK associated protein 1 (NCKAP1)-a major component of the WAVE complex that regulates lamellipodia formation and cell motility-was negatively regulated by miR-214 in VSMCs. Luciferase assays showed that miR-214 substantially repressed wild-type but not the miR-214 binding site mutated version of NCKAP1 3' untranslated region luciferase activity in VSMCs. This result confirmed that NCKAP1 is the functional target of miR-214 in VSMCs. NCKAP1 knockdown in VSMCs recapitulates the inhibitory effects of miR-214 overexpression on actin polymerization, cell migration, and proliferation. Data from cotransfection experiments also revealed that inhibition of NCKAP1 is required for miR-214-mediated lamellipodia formation, cell motility, and growth. Importantly, locally enforced expression of miR-214 in the injured vessels significantly reduced NCKAP1 expression levels, inhibited VSMC proliferation, and prevented neointima smooth muscle cell hyperplasia after injury. CONCLUSIONS:We uncovered an important role of miR-214 and its target gene NCKAP1 in modulating VSMC functions and neointima hyperplasia. Our findings suggest that miR-214 represents a potential therapeutic target for vascular diseases.
Project description:Neointima formation is the major reason for vein graft failure. However, the underlying mechanism is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the role of miR-26a in the development of neointimal hyperplasia of autogenous vein grafts. Using autologous jugular vein grafts in the rat carotid artery as a model, we found that miR-26a was significantly downregulated in grafted veins as well as proliferating vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) stimulated with platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB). Overexpression of miR-26a reduced the proliferation and migration of VSMCs. Further analysis revealed that the effects of miR-26a in VSMCs were mediated by targeting MAPK6 at the mRNA and protein levels. Luciferase assays showed that miR-26a repressed wild type (WT) MAPK6-3'-UTR-luciferase activity but not mutant MAPK6-3'-UTR-luciferease reporter. MAPK6 deficiency reduced proliferation and migration; in contrast, overexpression of MAPK6 enhanced the proliferation and migration of VSMCs. This study confirmed that neointimal hyperplasia in vein grafts was reduced in vivo by up-regulated miR-26a expression. In conclusion, our results showed that miR-26a is an important regulator of VSMC functions and neointimal hyperplasia, suggesting that miR-26a may be a potential therapeutic target for autologous vein graft diseases.
Project description:Pathologic proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) exacerbate cardiovascular disease. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), as endogenous inhibitors of protein synthesis, are expected to modulate pathologic proliferation of VSMCs. Here we report that both platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) targeting miR-9 and a small molecule that increases miR-9 can inhibit the serum-induced proliferation of VSMCs. First, based on miRNA-target prediction databases and empirical data, we have selected miR-9 as a potent anti-proliferative miRNA in VSMCs. Further examination indicated that miR-9 directly targets PDGFR disrupting downstream signaling cascades, and this resulted in inhibition of VSMC proliferation and migration. Exogenous delivery of miR-9 inhibited VSMC proliferation in vitro, and a small molecule that increased miR-9 expression also inhibited neointima formation following balloon injury in vivo. We provide evidence of miRNA-mediated modulation of VSMC proliferation and further demonstrate that small molecule-mediated regulation of miRNA targeting a key regulator of VSMC proliferation is a viable therapeutic strategy for treating vascular disease involving pathologic VSMC proliferation such as restenosis.
Project description:Neurofibromin 2 (NF2), a potent tumor suppressor, is reported to inhibit proliferation in several cell types. The role of NF2 in neointima hyperplasia after vascular injury is unknown. We explored the role of NF2 in proliferation, migration of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) and neointima hyperplasia after vascular injury. NF2 phosphorylation was elevated in VSMC subjected to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB and in artery subjected to vascular injury. Mice deficient for Nf2 in VSMC showed enhanced neointima hyperplasia after injury, increased proliferation and migration of VSMC after PDGF-BB treatment. Mechanistically, we observed increased nuclear p-NF2, declined p-Yes-Associated Protein (YAP), nuclear translocation of YAP after PDGF-BB treatment or injury. NF2 knockdown or YAP overexpression showed similar phenotype in VSMC proliferation, migration and neointima hyperplasia. YAP inhibition abolished the above effects mediated by NF2 knockdown. Finally, NF2 knockdown further promoted YAP-TEA Domain Transcription Factor 1 (TEAD1) interaction after PDGF-BB treatment. Inhibition of TEAD1 blocked PDGF-BB-induced VSMC proliferation and migration, which were not reversed by either NF2 knockdown or YAP overexpression. In conclusion, NF2 knockdown promotes VSMC proliferation, migration and neointima hyperplasia after vascular injury via inducing YAP-TEAD1 interaction.
Project description:To investigate the functional role of the microRNA (miR)-15b/16 in vascular smooth muscle (SM) phenotypic modulation.We found that miR-15b/16 is one of the most abundant mRs expressed in contractile vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). However, when contractile VSMCs get converted to a synthetic phenotype, miR-15b/16 expression is significantly reduced. Knocking down endogenous miR-15b/16 in VSMCs attenuates SM-specific gene expression but promotes VSMC proliferation and migration. Conversely, overexpression of miR-15b/16 promotes SM contractile gene expression while attenuating VSMC migration and proliferation. Consistent with this, overexpression of miR-15b/16 in a rat carotid balloon injury model markedly attenuates injury-induced SM dedifferentiation and neointima formation. Mechanistically, we identified the potent oncoprotein yes-associated protein (YAP) as a downstream target of miR-15b/16 in VSMCs. Reporter assays validated that miR-15b/16 targets YAP's 3' untranslated region. Moreover, overexpression of miR-15b/16 significantly represses YAP expression, whereas conversely, depletion of endogenous miR-15b/16 results in upregulation of YAP expression.These results indicate that miR-15b/16 plays a critical role in SM phenotypic modulation at least partly through targeting YAP. Restoring expression of miR-15b/16 would be a potential therapeutic approach for treatment of proliferative vascular diseases.
Project description:Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration and proliferation are the hallmarks of restenosis pathogenesis after angioplasty. Cyclooxygenase (COX)-derived prostaglandin (PG) E? is implicated in the vascular remodeling response to injury. However, its precise molecular role remains unknown.This study investigates the impact of COX-2-derived PGE? on neointima formation after injury.Vascular remodeling was induced by wire injury in femoral arteries of mice. Both neointima formation and the restenosis ratio were diminished in COX-2 knockout mice as compared with controls, whereas these parameters were enhanced in COX-1>COX-2 mice, in which COX-1 is governed by COX-2 regulatory elements. PG profile analysis revealed that the reduced PGE? by COX-2 deficiency, but not PGI2, could be rescued by COX-1 replacement, indicating COX-2-derived PGE? enhanced neointima formation. Through multiple approaches, the EP3 receptor was identified to mediate the VSMC migration response to various stimuli. Disruption of EP3 impaired VSMC polarity for directional migration by decreasing small GTPase activity and restricted vascular neointimal hyperplasia, whereas overexpression of EP3? and EP3? aggravated neointima formation. Inhibition or deletion of EP3?/?, a G?i protein-coupled receptor, activated the cAMP/protein kinase A pathway and decreased activation of RhoA in VSMCs. PGE? could stimulate phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt/glycogen synthase kinase3? signaling in VSMCs through G?? subunits on EP3?/? activation. Ablation of EP3 suppressed phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling and reduced GTPase activity in VSMCs and altered cell polarity and directional migration.COX-2-derived PGE? facilitated the neointimal hyperplasia response to injury through EP3?/?-mediated cAMP/protein kinase A and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathways, indicating EP3 inhibition may be a promising therapeutic strategy for percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.
Project description:Phenotypic switch of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is characterized by increased expressions of VSMC synthetic markers and decreased levels of VSMC contractile markers, which is an important step for VSMC proliferation and migration during the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis. Chicoric acid (CA) is identified to exert powerful cardiovascular protective effects. However, little is known about the effects of CA on VSMC biology. Herein, in cultured VSMCs, we showed that pretreatment with CA dose-dependently suppressed platelet-derived growth factor type BB (PDGF-BB)-induced VSMC phenotypic alteration, proliferation and migration. Mechanistically, PDGF-BB-treated VSMCs exhibited higher mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and P70S6K phosphorylation, which was attenuated by CA pretreatment, diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI), reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) and nuclear factor-?B (NF?B) inhibitor Bay117082. PDGF-BB-triggered ROS production and p65-NF?B activation were inhibited by CA. In addition, both NAC and DPI abolished PDGF-BB-evoked p65-NF?B nuclear translocation, phosphorylation and degradation of Inhibitor ?B? (I?B?). Of note, blockade of ROS/NF?B/mTOR/P70S6K signaling cascade prevented PDGF-BB-evoked VSMC phenotypic transformation, proliferation and migration. CA treatment prevented intimal hyperplasia and vascular remodeling in rat models of carotid artery ligation in vivo. These results suggest that CA impedes PDGF-BB-induced VSMC phenotypic switching, proliferation, migration and neointima formation via inhibition of ROS/NF?B/mTOR/P70S6K signaling cascade.
Project description:Abnormal phenotypic switch of vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) is a hallmark of vascular disorders such as atherosclerosis and restenosis after angioplasty. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as important regulators for VSMC function, and we recently identified miR-663 as critical for controlling human aortic smooth muscle cell proliferation.To investigate whether miR-663 plays a role in human VSMC phenotypic switch and the development of neointima formation.By using quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, we found that miR-663 was significantly downregulated in human aortic VSMCs on platelet-derived growth factor treatment, whereas expression was markedly increased during VSMC differentiation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that overexpression of miR-663 increased expression of VSMC differentiation marker genes, such as smooth muscle 22?, smooth muscle ?-actin, calponin, and smooth muscle myosin heavy chain, and potently inhibited platelet-derived growth factor-induced VSMC proliferation and migration. We identified the transcription factor JunB and myosin light chain 9 as downstream targets of miR-663 in human VSMCs, because overexpression of miR-663 markedly inhibited expression of JunB and its downstream molecules, such as myosin light chain 9 and matrix metalloproteinase 9. Finally, we showed that adeno-miR-663 markedly suppressed the neointimal lesion formation by ?50% in mice after vascular injury induced by carotid artery ligation, specifically via decreased JunB expression.These results indicate that miR-663 is a novel modulator of human VSMC phenotypic switch by targeting JunB/myosin light chain 9 expression. These findings suggest that targeting miR-663 or its specific downstream targets in human VSMCs may represent an attractive approach for the treatment of proliferative vascular diseases.
Project description:The proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) contributes importantly to the development of in-stent restenosis. Lithium has recently been shown to have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, but its actions in VSMCs and the direct molecular target responsible for its action remains unknown. On the other hand, PGC-1? is a transcriptional coactivator which negatively regulates the pathological activation of VSMCs. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to determine if lithium chloride (LiCl) retards VSMC proliferation and migration and if PGC-1? mediates the effects of lithium on VSMCs. We found that pretreatment of LiCl increased PGC-1? protein expression and nuclear translocation in a dose-dependent manner. MTT and EdU incorporation assays indicated that LiCl inhibited serum-induced VSMC proliferation. Similarly, deceleration of VSMC migration was confirmed by wound healing and transwell assays. LiCl also suppressed ROS generation and cell cycle progression. At the molecular level, LiCl reduced the protein expression levels or phosphorylation of key regulators involved in the cell cycle re-entry, adhesion, inflammation and motility. In addition, in vivo administration of LiCl alleviated the pathophysiological changes in balloon injury-induced neointima hyperplasia. More importantly, knockdown of PGC-1? by siRNA significantly attenuated the beneficial effects of LiCl on VSMCs both in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, our results suggest that LiCl has great potentials in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases related to VSMC abnormal proliferation and migration. In addition, PGC-1? may serve as a promising drug target to regulate cardiovascular physiological homeostasis.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:hnRNPA1 (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1) plays a variety of roles in gene expression. However, little is known about the functional involvement of hnRNPA1 in vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) function and neointima hyperplasia. In this study, we have attempted to investigate the functional roles of hnRNPA1 in the contexts of VSMC function, injury-induced vessel remodeling, and human atherosclerotic lesions, as well as discern the molecular mechanisms involved. APPROACH AND RESULTS: hnRNPA1 expression levels were consistently modulated during VSMC phenotype switching and neointimal lesion formation induced by wire injury. Functional studies showed that VSMC-specific gene expression, proliferation, and migration were regulated by hnRNPA1. Our data show that hnRNPA1 exerts its effects on VSMC functions through modulation of IQGAP1 (IQ motif containing GTPase activating protein 1). Mechanistically, hnRNPA1 regulates IQGAP1 mRNA degradation through 2 mechanisms: upregulating microRNA-124 (miR-124) and binding to AU-rich element of IQGAP1 gene. Further evidence suggests that hnRNPA1 upregulates miR-124 by modulating miR-124 biogenesis and that IQGAP1 is the authentic target gene of miR-124. Importantly, ectopic overexpression of hnRNPA1 greatly reduced VSMC proliferation and inhibited neointima formation in wire-injured carotid arteries. Finally, lower expression levels of hnRNPA1 and miR-124, while higher expression levels of IQGAP1, were observed in human atherosclerotic lesions. CONCLUSIONS:Our data show that hnRNPA1 is a critical regulator of VSMC function and behavior in the context of neointima hyperplasia, and the hnRNPA1/miR-124/IQGAP1 regulatory axis represents a novel therapeutic target for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Project description:RATIONALE:Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) accumulation is a hallmark of atherosclerosis and vascular injury. However, fundamental aspects of proliferation and the phenotypic changes within individual VSMCs, which underlie vascular disease, remain unresolved. In particular, it is not known whether all VSMCs proliferate and display plasticity or whether individual cells can switch to multiple phenotypes. OBJECTIVE:To assess whether proliferation and plasticity in disease is a general characteristic of VSMCs or a feature of a subset of cells. METHODS AND RESULTS:Using multicolor lineage labeling, we demonstrate that VSMCs in injury-induced neointimal lesions and in atherosclerotic plaques are oligoclonal, derived from few expanding cells. Lineage tracing also revealed that the progeny of individual VSMCs contributes to both alpha smooth muscle actin (aSma)-positive fibrous cap and Mac3-expressing macrophage-like plaque core cells. Costaining for phenotypic markers further identified a double-positive aSma+ Mac3+ cell population, which is specific to VSMC-derived plaque cells. In contrast, VSMC-derived cells generating the neointima after vascular injury generally retained the expression of VSMC markers and the upregulation of Mac3 was less pronounced. Monochromatic regions in atherosclerotic plaques and injury-induced neointima did not contain VSMC-derived cells expressing a different fluorescent reporter protein, suggesting that proliferation-independent VSMC migration does not make a major contribution to VSMC accumulation in vascular disease. CONCLUSIONS:We demonstrate that extensive proliferation of a low proportion of highly plastic VSMCs results in the observed VSMC accumulation after injury and in atherosclerotic plaques. Therapeutic targeting of these hyperproliferating VSMCs might effectively reduce vascular disease without affecting vascular integrity.