Inhibition of Aberrant MicroRNA-133a Expression in Endothelial Cells by Statin Prevents Endothelial Dysfunction by Targeting GTP Cyclohydrolase 1 in VivoClinical Perspective
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Background: GTP cyclohydrolase 1 (GCH1) deficiency is critical for endothelial nitric oxide synthase uncoupling in endothelial dysfunction. MicroRNAs (miRs) are a class of regulatory RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression. We investigated whether statins prevent endothelial dysfunction via miR-dependent GCH1 upregulation.
Methods: Endothelial function was assessed by measuring acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation in the organ chamber. MiR-133a expression was assessed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence in situ hybridization.
Results: We first demonstrated that GCH1 mRNA is a target of miR-133a. In endothelial cells, miR-133a was robustly induced by cytokines/oxidants and inhibited by lovastatin. Furthermore, lovastatin upregulated GCH1 and tetrahydrobiopterin, and recoupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase in stressed endothelial cells. These actions of lovastatin were abolished by enforced miR-133a expression and were mirrored by a miR-133a antagomir. In mice, hyperlipidemia- or hyperglycemia-induced ectopic miR-133a expression in the vascular endothelium, reduced GCH1 protein and tetrahydrobiopterin levels, and impaired endothelial function, which were reversed by lovastatin or miR-133a antagomir. These beneficial effects of lovastatin in mice were abrogated by in vivo miR-133a overexpression or GCH1 knockdown. In rats, multiple cardiovascular risk factors including hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and hyperhomocysteinemia resulted in increased miR-133a vascular expression, reduced GCH1 expression, uncoupled endothelial nitric oxide synthase function, and induced endothelial dysfunction, which were prevented by lovastatin.
Conclusions: Statin inhibits aberrant miR-133a expression in the vascular endothelium to prevent endothelial dysfunction by targeting GCH1. Therefore, miR-133a represents an important therapeutic target for preventing cardiovascular diseases.
- endothelial cells
- GTP cyclohydrolase
- hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors
- roRNA, rat
- nitric oxide synthase
- type III
- Received April 12, 2016.
- Accepted September 20, 2016.
- © 2016 The Authors.
Circulation is published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.