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Long Noncoding RNA-Maternally Expressed Gene 3 Contributes to Hypoxic Pulmonary Hypertension

By Yan Xing, Xiaodong Zheng, Yao Fu, Jing Qi, Anna-Leigh Brown, Haisheng Peng, Shuang Wang, Shuzhen Li, Daling Zhu

Posted 04 Jan 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/243063 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2019.07.022)

The expression and function of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension, especially in the proliferation of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) are largely unknown. Here, we characterized the expression of lncRNA-maternally expressed gene 3 (lncRNA-MEG3) was significantly increased and primarily located in the cytoplasm of PASMCs by hypoxia. LncRNA-MEG3 knockdown by lung-specific delivery of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) significantly prevented the development of hypoxic pulmonary hypertension in vivo. Silencing of lncRNA-MEG3 by siRNAs and gapmers attenuated PASMC responses to hypoxia in vitro. Mechanically, we found that lncRNA-MEG3 acts as a molecular sponge of microRNA-328 (miR-328); upon hypoxia, lncRNA-MEG3 interacts and sequesters miR-328, leading to the upregulation of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R). Additionally, higher expression of lncRNA-MEG3 and IGF1R, and lower expression of miR-328 were observed in PASMCs of iPAH patients. These data provide insight into the contribution of lncRNA-MEG3 in hypoxia pulmonary hypertension. Upregulation of lncRNA-MEG3 sequesters cytoplasmic miR-328, eventually leading to the expression of IGF1R, revealing a regulatory mechanism by lncRNAs in hypoxia-induced PASMC proliferation.

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