MicroRNA-16 and MicroRNA-424 Regulate Cell-Autonomous Angiogenic Functions in Endothelial Cells via Targeting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2 and Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor-1
Objective—MicroRNAs play key roles in modulating a variety of cellular processes by posttranscriptional regulation of their target genes. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR2), and fibroblast growth factor receptor-1 (FGFR1) were identified by bioinformatic approaches and subsequently validated as targets of microRNA (miR)-16 and miR-424 in endothelial cells (ECs).
Methods and Results—Mimetics of these microRNAs reduced VEGF, VEGFR2, and FGFR1 expression, whereas specific antagonists enhanced their expression. Expression of mature miR-16 and miR-424 was upregulated on VEGF or basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) treatment. This upregulation was accompanied by a parallel increase in primary transcript (pri-miR)-16-1 and pri-miR-16-2 but not in pri-miR-424 levels, indicating a VEGF/bFGF-dependent transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of miR-16 and miR-424, respectively. Reduced expression of VEGFR2 and FGFR1 by miR-16 or miR-424 overexpression regulated VEGF and bFGF signaling through these receptors, thereby affecting the activity of downstream components of the pathways. Functionally, miR-16 or miR-424 overexpression reduced proliferation, migration, and cord formation of ECs in vitro, and lentiviral overexpression of miR-16 reduced the ability of ECs to form blood vessels in vivo.
Conclusion—We conclude that these miRNAs fine-tune the expression of selected endothelial angiogenic mediators in response to these growth factors. Altogether, these findings suggest that miR-16 and miR-424 play important roles in regulating cell-intrinsic angiogenic activity of ECs.
- Received April 11, 2011.
- Accepted August 22, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.