1. Shanghai Jiao Tong University - Minhang Campus, School of Life Science and Biotechnology, Shanghai Key Laboratory for Reproductive Medicine, Shanghai, China
2. Shanghai Jiao Tong University - Minhang Campus, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composite Materials and Shanghai Key Lab of Electrical Insulation and Thermal Ageing, Shanghai, China
3. Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China
4. Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai, China
5. Anhui University of Science and Technology, Huainan, Anhui, China
6. Shanghai Jiao Tong University Laboratory Animal Center, Shanghai, China
7. Shanghai Jiao Tong University affiliated sixth people's hospital south campus, Central Laboratory, Shanghai, China
Background and aims: The miRNA-based post-transcription modification has been extensively studied in hypertension. It however remains elusive how miRNA expression is regulated in this pathological process. We hypothesize that hydroxymethylation in the promoter regions tightly controls the levels of key miRNAs, which in turn affects the development of hypertension.
Methods: The levels of hydroxymethylation in the promoter regions from thoracic aortic tissues were compared between spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKYs), using hydroxymethylcytosine DNA immunoprecipitation (hMeDIP) sequencing. The altered hydroxymethylation level of miR-3571 was confirmed by glucosylation-coupled hydroxymethylation-sensitive qPCR. We further identified claudin 1(CLDN1) as a key target of miR-3571 via bioinformatic prediction (targetscan) and dual-luciferase activity assays. Finally, we analyzed the contribution of miR-3571/CLDN1 axis in the proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs).
Results: The hydroxymethylation level of miR-3571 promoter region in thoracic aortic tissue from spontaneously hypertensive rats was lower than that from normotensive Wistar-Kyoto rats. Accordingly, the expression of miR-3571 was lower during hypertension, with up-regulated CLDN1 protein levels. More importantly, we found that miR3571 overexpression led to phenotypic changes of VSMCs, and inhibited the proliferation and migration of muscle cells via suppressing CLDN1 as well. Our findings further suggested that CLDN1 up-regulation increase the activity of ERK1/2 in VSMCs.
Conclusions: Our study suggested that hydroxymethylation in the promoter regions controlled the level of miR-3571 and revealed the important roles of miR-3571 and CLDN1 in VSMCs during the development of hypertension. In addition, our results also indicated that miR-3571/CLDN1 axis regulated the functions of VSMCs via the ERK1/2 pathway. Taken together, our findings support miR-3571 as a novel biomarker for the diagnosis and prevention of hypertension.
Keywords: DNA hydroxymethylation, miR-3571, Claudin-1, Vascular smooth muscle cell, Hypertension