Antioxidants & redox signaling

Hypoxia-responsive microRNA-101 promotes angiogenesis via heme oxygenase-1/vascular endothelial growth factor axis by targeting cullin 3.

PMID 24844779


Hypoxia induces expression of various genes and microRNAs (miRs) that regulate angiogenesis and vascular function. In this study, we investigated a new functional role of new hypoxia-responsive miR-101 in angiogenesis and its underlying mechanism for regulating heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression. We found that hypoxia induced miR-101, which binds to the 3'untranslated region of cullin 3 (Cul3) and stabilizes nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) via inhibition of the proteasomal degradation pathway. miR-101 overexpression promoted Nrf2 nuclear accumulation, which was accompanied with increases in HO-1 induction, VEGF expression, and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS)-derived nitric oxide (NO) production. The elevated NO-induced S-nitrosylation of Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 and subsequent induction of Nrf2-dependent HO-1 lead to further elevation of VEGF production via a positive feedback loop between the Nrf2/HO-1 and VEGF/eNOS axes. Moreover, miR-101 promoted angiogenic signals and angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo, and these events were attenuated by inhibiting the biological activity of HO-1, VEGF, or eNOS. Moreover, these effects were also observed in aortic rings from HO-1(+/-) and eNOS(-/-) mice. Local overexpression of miR-101 improved therapeutic angiogenesis and perfusion recovery in the ischemic mouse hindlimb, whereas antagomiR-101 diminished regional blood flow. Hypoxia-responsive miR-101 stimulates angiogenesis by activating the HO-1/VEGF/eNOS axis via Cul3 targeting. Thus, miR-101 is a novel angiomir. Our results provide new mechanistic insights into a functional role of miR-101 as a potential therapeutic target in angiogenesis and vascular remodeling.