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Li Q.,Cardiovascular Disease and Research Institute | Guo J.,Cardiovascular Disease and Research Institute | Guo J.,Hainan Medical College | Lin X.,Texas A&M University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Transcriptional regulation is essential for any gene expression including microRNA expression. MiR-1-1 and miR-133a-2 are essential microRNAs (miRs) involved in cardiac and skeletal muscle development and diseases. Early studies reveal two regulatory enhancers, an upstream and an intragenic, that direct the miR-1-1 and miR-133a-2 transcripts. In this study, we identify a unique serum response factor (SRF) binding motif within the enhancer through bioinformatic approaches. This motif is evolutionarily conserved and is present in a range of organisms from yeast, flies, to humans. We provide evidence to demonstrate that this regulatory motif is SRF-dependent in vitro by electrophoretic mobility shift assay, luciferase activity assay, and endogenous chromatin immunoprecipitation assay followed by DNA sequence confirmation, and in vivo by transgenic lacZ reporter mouse studies. Importantly, our transgenic mice indicate that this motif is indispensable for the expression of miR1-1/133a-2 in the heart, but not necessary in skeletal muscle, while the enhancer is sufficient for miR1-1/133a-2 gene expression in both tissues. The mutation of the motif alone completely abolishes miR-1-1/133a-2 gene expression in the animal heart, but not in the skeletal muscle. Our findings reveal an additional architecture of regulatory complex directing miR-1-1/133a-1 gene expression, and demonstrate how this intragenic enhancer differentially manages the expression of the two miRs in the heart and skeletal muscle, respectively. © 2013 Li et al. Source

Yue X.,Texas A&M University | Yang X.,Texas A&M University | Lin X.,Texas A&M University | Yang T.,Texas A&M University | And 9 more authors.
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2014

Rho family guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) 3 (Rnd3), a member of the small Rho GTPase family, has been suggested to regulate cell actin cytoskeleton dynamics, cell migration, and apoptosis through the Rho kinase-dependent signaling pathway. The biological function of Rnd3 in the heart is unknown. The downregulation of small GTPase Rnd3 transcripts was found in patients with end-stage heart failure. The pathological significance of Rnd3 loss in the transition to heart failure remains unexplored. To investigate the functional consequence of Rnd3 downregulation and the associated molecular mechanism, we generated Rnd3+/- haploinsufficient mice to mimic the downregulation of Rnd3 observed in the failing human heart. Rnd3+/- mice were viable; however, the mice developed heart failure after pressure overload by transverse aortic constriction (TAC). Remarkable apoptosis, increased caspase-3 activity, and elevated Rho kinase activity were detected in the Rnd +/-haploinsufficient animal hearts. Pharmacological inhibition of Rho kinase by fasudil treatment partially improved Rnd3+/- mouse cardiac functions and attenuated myocardial apoptosis. To determine if Rho-associated coiled-coil kinase 1 (ROCK1) was responsible for Rnd3 deficiency-mediated apoptotic cardiomyopathy, we established a double-knockout mouse line, the Rnd3 haploinsufficient mice with ROCK1-null background (Rnd3+/-/ROCK1-/-). Again, genetic deletion of ROCK1 partially but not completely rescued Rnd3 deficiency-mediated heart failure phenotype. These data suggest that downregulation of Rnd3 correlates with cardiac loss of function as in heart failure patients. Animals with Rnd3 haploinsufficiency are predisposed to hemodynamic stress. Hyperactivation of Rho kinase activity is responsible in part for the apoptotic cardiomyopathy development. Further investigation of ROCK1-independent mechanisms in Rnd3-mediated cardiac remodeling should be the focus for future study. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

Yue X.,Southern Medical University | Yue X.,Texas A&M University | Lin X.,Texas A&M University | Yang T.,Texas A&M University | And 15 more authors.
Hypertension | Year: 2016

The insufficiency of compensatory angiogenesis in the heart of patients with hypertension contributes to heart failure transition. The hypoxia-inducible factor 1α-vascular endothelial growth factor (HIF1α-VEGF) signaling cascade controls responsive angiogenesis. One of the challenges in reprograming the insufficient angiogenesis is to achieve a sustainable tissue exposure to the proangiogenic factors, such as HIF1α stabilization. In this study, we identified Rnd3, a small Rho GTPase, as a proangiogenic factor participating in the regulation of the HIF1α-VEGF signaling cascade. Rnd3 physically interacted with and stabilized HIF1α, and consequently promoted VEGFA expression and endothelial cell tube formation. To demonstrate this proangiogenic role of Rnd3 in vivo, we generated Rnd3 knockout mice. Rnd3 haploinsufficient (Rnd3+/-) mice were viable, yet developed dilated cardiomyopathy with heart failure after transverse aortic constriction stress. The poststress Rnd3+/- hearts showed significantly impaired angiogenesis and decreased HIF1α and VEGFA expression. The angiogenesis defect and heart failure phenotype were partially rescued by cobalt chloride treatment, a HIF1α stabilizer, confirming a critical role of Rnd3 in stress-responsive angiogenesis. Furthermore, we generated Rnd3 transgenic mice and demonstrated that Rnd3 overexpression in heart had a cardioprotective effect through reserved cardiac function and preserved responsive angiogenesis after pressure overload. Finally, we assessed the expression levels of Rnd3 in the human heart and detected significant downregulation of Rnd3 in patients with end-stage heart failure. We concluded that Rnd3 acted as a novel proangiogenic factor involved in cardiac responsive angiogenesis through HIF1α-VEGFA signaling promotion. Rnd3 downregulation observed in patients with heart failure may explain the insufficient compensatory angiogenesis involved in the transition to heart failure. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc. Source

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