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Can microRNAs control vascular smooth muscle phenotypic modulation and the response to injury?

By Sebastian Albinsson and William C. Sessa


Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) migration and proliferation are critical events in vascular proliferative diseases. Recent studies have established microRNAs (miRNAs) as important mediators for the modulation of VSMC phenotype by targeting transcription factors and the cytoskeleton, which act as molecular switches for VSMC differentiation. The importance of miRNAs for VSMC development, differentiation, and function is evident by the fact that loss of the miRNA processing enzyme Dicer in VSMCs results in embryonic lethality due to severe vascular abnormalities. Similar abnormalities are observed in adult miR-143/145 knockout mice, indicating that these miRNAs are important for VSMC differentiation and function. However, since miR-143/145 knockout is not embryonically lethal, additional miRNA must be required during embryonic development of VSMCs. In addition, specific miRNAs such as miR-145, miR-21, and miR-221 have been found to regulate neointimal hyperplasia following vascular injury, which provides interesting possibilities for future therapeutical targets against vascular disease. Herein, we summarize recent advances regarding the role of miRNAs in VSMC phenotype modulation and response to injury

Topics: Call for Papers: MicroRNA and Tissue Injury
Publisher: American Physiological Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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