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Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.)

Analysis of hypoxia-induced noncoding RNAs reveals metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 as an important regulator of vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation.


PMID 28056547

Abstract

Vascular remodeling, a pathogenic hallmark in pulmonary hypertension, is mainly driven by a dysbalance between proliferation and apoptosis of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. It has previously been shown that microRNAs are involved in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension. However, the role of long noncoding RNAs has not been evaluated. long noncoding RNA expression was quantified in human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells using PCR arrays and quantitative PCR. Knockdown of genes was performed by transfection of siRNA or GapmeR. Proliferation and migration were measured using BrdU incorporation and wound healing assays. The mouse model of hypoxia-induced PH was used to determine the physiological meaning of identified long noncoding RNAs. The expression of 84 selected long noncoding RNAs was assessed in hypoxic human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells and the levels of metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) were significantly increased. Depletion of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α abolished the hypoxia-induced upregulation of metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 expression. Silencing of MALAT1 significantly decreased proliferation and migration of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. In vivo, MALAT1 expression was significantly increased in lungs of hypoxic mice. Of note, targeting of MALAT1 by GapmeR ameliorated heart hypertrophy in mice with pulmonary hypertension. This is the first report on functional characterization of MALAT1 in the pulmonary vasculature. Our data provide evidence that MALAT1 expression is significantly increased by hypoxia, probably by hypoxia-inducible factor 1α. Intervention experiments confirmed that MALAT1 regulates the proliferative phenotype of smooth muscle cells and silencing of MALAT1 reduced heart hypertrophy in mice with pulmonary hypertension. These data indicate a potential role of MALAT1 in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension. Impact statement Metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) is a long noncoding RNA that mediates several biological processes. In the context of vascular biology, MALAT1 has been shown to be inducible by hypoxia and to control cell proliferation. These processes are of major importance for the pathophysiology of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH). Until now, the physiological role of MALAT1 in PH remains unclear. By using smooth muscle cells and by employing an established PH mouse model, we provide evidence that hypoxia induces MALAT1 expression. Moreover, depletion of MALAT1 inhibited migration and proliferation of smooth muscle cells, probably by the induction of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. Of note, MALAT1 was significantly increased in mice exposed to hypoxia and silencing of MALAT1 ameliorated heart hypertrophy in mice with hypoxia-induced PH. Since vascular remodeling and right heart failure as a consequence of pulmonary pressure overload is a major problem in PH, these data have implications for our pathogenetic understanding.