Deficiency of the MicroRNA-31–MicroRNA-720 Pathway in the Plasma and Endothelial Progenitor Cells From Patients With Coronary Artery Disease
Objective—Defects in angiogenesis/vasculogenesis or vessel repair are major complications of coronary artery disease (CAD). Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a fundamental role in postnatal vascular repair and CAD. The role of microRNAs in CAD pathogenesis and their potential as biomarkers remain to be elucidated.
Approach and Results—MicroRNA-31 (miR-31) level in both the plasma and EPCs of patients with CAD is found lower. miR-31 regulates EPC activities by targeting FAT atypical cadherin 4 and thromboxane A2 receptor, which show increased expression in CAD EPCs. Overexpressing miR-31 in CAD EPCs rescued their angiogenic and vasculogenic abilities both in vitro and in vivo. When exploring approaches to restore endogenous miR-31, we found that far-infrared treatment enhanced the expression of not only miR-31, but also miR-720 in CAD EPCs. miR-720, which was also decreased in EPCs and the plasma of patients with CAD, stimulated EPC activity by targeting vasohibin 1. The miR720–vasohibin 1 pair was shown to be downstream of FAT atypical cadherin 4, but not of thromboxane A2 receptor. FAT atypical cadherin 4 inhibited miR-720 expression via repression of the planar cell polarity signaling gene four-jointed box 1 (FJX1), which was required for miR-720 expression through a hypoxia-inducible factor 1, α subunit–dependent mechanism. Restoring miR-720 level strengthened activity of CAD EPCs. The miR31–miR720 pathway is shown critical to EPC activation and that downregulation of this pathway contributes to CAD pathogenesis. Circulating levels of miR-31, miR-720, and vasohibin 1 have the potential to allow early diagnosis of CAD and to act as prognosis biomarkers for CAD and other EPC-related diseases.
Conclusions—Manipulating the expression of the miR31–miR720 pathway in malfunction EPCs should help develop novel therapeutic modalities.
- Received September 27, 2013.
- Accepted January 31, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.