AimsOur aim was to identify new microRNAs (miRNAs) implicated in pathological vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) proliferation and characterize their mechanism of action.Methods and resultsMicroRNAs microarray and qRT-PCR results lead us to focus on miR-424 or its rat ortholog miR-322 (miR-424/322). In vitro mir-424/322 level was decreased shortly after the induction of proliferation and increased in a time-dependent manner later on. In vivo its expression increased in the rat carotid artery from Day 4 up to Day 30 after injury. miR-424/322 overexpression in vitro inhibited proliferation and migration without affecting apoptosis and prevented VSMC dedifferentiation. Furthermore, miR-424/322 overexpression resulted in decreased expression of its predicted targets: cyclin D1 and Ca2+-regulating proteins calumenin and stromal-interacting molecule 1 (STIM1). Using reporter luciferase assays, we confirmed that cyclin D1 and calumenin mRNAs were direct targets of miR-322, whereas miR-322 effect on STIM1 was indirect. Nevertheless, consistent with the decreased STIM1 level, the store-operated Ca2+ entry was reduced. We hypothesized that miR-424/322 could be a negative regulator of proliferation overridden in pathological situations. Thus, we overexpressed miR-424/322 in injured rat carotid arteries using an adenovirus, and demonstrated a protective effect against restenosis.ConclusionOur results demonstrate that miR-424/322 is up-regulated after vascular injury. This is likely an adaptive response to counteract proliferation, although this mechanism is overwhelmed in pathological situations such as injury-induced restenosis.
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