Protective Role of miR-34c in Hypoxia by Activating Autophagy through BCL2 Repression

Soyoung Kim, Jaeseok Han, Young Ho Ahn, Chang Hoon Ha, Jung Jin Hwang, Sang Eun Lee, Jae Joong Kim, Nayoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Hypoxia leads to significant cellular stress that has diverse pathological consequences such as cardiovascular diseases and cancers. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are one of regulators of the adaptive pathway in hypoxia. We identified a hypoxia-induced miRNA, miR-34c, that was significantly upregulated in hypoxic human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and in murine blood vessels on day 3 of hindlimb ischemia (HLI). miR-34c directly inhibited BCL2 expression, acting as a toggle switch between apoptosis and autophagy in vitro and in vivo. BCL2 repression by miR-34c activated autophagy, which was evaluated by the expression of LC3-II. Overexpression of miR-34c inhibited apoptosis in HUVEC as well as in a murine model of HLI, and increased cell viability in HUVEC. Importantly, the number of viable cells in the blood vessels following HLI was increased by miR-34c overexpression. Collectively, our findings show that miR-34c plays a protective role in hypoxia, suggesting a novel therapeutic target for hypoxic and ischemic diseases in the blood vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-412
Number of pages10
JournalMolecules and Cells
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • BCL2
  • autophagy
  • hypoxia
  • ischemia
  • miR-34c

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