Regulation of vascular leak and recovery from ischemic injury by general and VE-cadherin–restricted miRNA antagonists of miR-27

Jennifer A. Young, Ka Ka Ting, Jia Li, Thorleif Moller, Louise Dunn, Ying Lu, Angelina J. Lay, Joshua Moses, Leonel Prado-Lourenço, Levon M. Khachigian, Martin Ng, Philip A. Gregory, Gregory J. Goodall, Anna Tsykin, Ilana Lichtenstein, Christopher N. Hahn, Nham Tran, Nicholas Shackel, James G. Kench, Geoffrey McCaughan, Mathew A. Vadas and Jennifer R. Gamble
This article has an Erratum 124(19):3034

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Article Figures & Data


  • Figure 1

    MiR-27a Targets VE-cadherin. (A) Expression of VE-cadherin in control or miR-27a-mimic transfected cells after 48 hours. β-actin was used as a loading control. (B) The normalized expression of the mean of 5 independent human umbilical vein entothelial cell (HUVEC) lines ± standard error of the mean (SEM). *P < .05 cf control. (C) The level of surface VE-cadherin as assessed by flow cytometry. The solid line represents the control mimic; the dashed line represents the miR-27a mimic. This is the result of one experiment, similar to three performed. (D) The level of VE-cadherin mRNA expression 24 hours posttransfection with miR-27a mimic. Results normalized to β-actin are the mean of quadruplicate quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) reactions ± SEM from 5 independent HUVEC lines. *P < .05 cf control. (E) VE-cadherin expression from HUVEC 48 hours post transfection with control or LNA-27–transfected cells. (F) The mean of 3 independent HUVEC lines ± SEM is shown. ***P < .001 cf control. (G) The level of surface VE-cadherin as assessed by flow cytometry. The solid line represents the control LNA; the broken dashed line represents LNA-27. This is the result of one experiment similar to two performed. (H) Luciferase constructs containing the 3′UTR of VE-cadherin containing the putative miR-27a binding site (Wt, black bars) or a mutated miR-27a binding site (Mut, white bars), together with control or miR-27a mimic. Results represent the mean of triplicate transfections ± SEM from 4 independent experiments. *P = .01, Wt + miR-27a vs Mut + miR-27a. **P = .00001, Wt + control vs Wt + miR-27a.

  • Figure 2

    MiR-27a alters VE-cadherin localization and EC permeability. (A-B) HUVEC stained for VE-cadherin 48 hours after transfection. (Ai) Control mimic or (Aii) miR-27a mimic; (Bi) control LNA or (Bii) LNA-27. The scale bar indicates 100 µm. Arrows indicate intercellular gaps. (C) Permeability measured in control or miR-27a-mimic–transfected cells after 48 hours. Results shown are the normalized means of 5 independent HUVEC lines ± SEM.*P < .05 cf control. (D) 48 hours after transfection with control LNA (black) or miR-27 LNA–transfected cells (white) permeability was measured without (NIL) or after thrombin stimulation (T). Results are from one experiment representative of three performed mean ± SEM *P < 0.05. (E) The Miles assay was performed with 4 µg of control (black) or anti-miR-27a (white bars) injected intradermally into the backs of the mice. 24 hours later, VEGF or phosphate-buffered saline (NIL) was given into the same site. *P < .05, **P < .005, n = 9 mice per group. (F) The levels of miR-27a compared with U6B as assessed in the skin tissue of mice given either control LNA + VEGF (black bar) or LNA-27 + VEGF (white bar). Results are the mean ± SEM of duplicate determinations from 3 mice per treatment. **P < .005

  • Figure 3

    Regulation of angiogenesis and vascular leak by miR-27. (A) HUVEC transfected with control (i and iii) or miR-27a mimic (ii and iv) and plated onto Matrigel. The retracted tubes are represented by a white arrow. The very thin tubes are represented by a black arrow. (i-ii) The scale bar indicates 200 µm. (iii-iv) The scale bar indicates 400 µm. (v) Number of capillary tubes formed per field of view, expressed as a percent relative to the control. *P < .05 cf control, n = 4 independent HUVEC lines, mean ± SEM. (B) Mice were implanted subcutaneously with Matrigel plugs containing fibroblast growth factor-2 and vehicle only (i,v), control (ii,vi), or miRNA-27a mimic (iii,vii). (i-iii) Representative histologic sections and hematoxylin and eosin–stained cross sections; the scale bar indicates 20 µm. (iv) Number of erythrocyte-containing vessels quantified. (v-vii) Representative CD31 immunochemistry. The scale bar indicates 50 µm. (viii) Number of CD31+ cells quantified. Data are expressed as mean ± SEM. Statistical analysis of differences was compared by 1-way analysis of variance with Bonferroni’s correction for multiple comparisons. Control (C) represents n = 3 mice and miRNA-27a and vehicle (V) represent n = 6 mice. (C) Reversal of the effect of miR-27a-mimics by overexpression of VE-cadherin. Cells were transfected with control mimic (i), miR-27a mimics (ii), VE-cadherin plasmid + control mimics (iii), or VE-cadherin expression plasmid + miR-27a-mimics (iv). 24 hours later, the cells were plated onto Matrigel and viewed over the following 24 hours. (D) Expression of miRNA-27a (open circles) and mRNA for VE cadherin (closed circles) over time after wounding monolayers of EC. Data are normalized to levels in the confluent cells. Expression levels were measured by qRT-PCR, with the results of miR-27a normalized to U48 and VE-cadherin normalized to β-actin. Results are from 2 to 4 independent HUVEC lines.

  • Figure 4

    Regulation of miR-27a in human disease. Human liver tissue from 3 patients with cirrhosis was stained for CD31. (A) Neo-angiogenic vessels (neovessels) in the fibrous septa; (ii) the black circle and venules as indicated with black arrows were captured by LCM. The scale bars indicate (i) 15 µm and (ii) 30 µm. (B) RNA was isolated from ECs in either venules or neovessels (Neo) from three patients (1-3). Expression levels of miR-27a were quantified by qRT-PCR and normalized to miR-520d*. Data represent the mean of quadruplicate qRT-PCR reactions ± SEM. *P < .05 Venules vs Neo.

  • Figure 5

    Blockmirs regulate VE-cadherin–dependent functions. (A) HUVECs were stained for VE-cadherin 48 hours after transfection. (i) Control or (ii) CD5-2. White arrows indicate intercellular gaps. (B) Cells were transfected with control or CD5-2, and permeability was assessed through unstimulated or thrombin-stimulated monolayers. Results are normalized to permeability of control (n = 1). The mean ± SEM of 3 to 5 experiments is shown. **P < .005. (C) The Miles assay was performed in mice with control (black bars) or CD5-2 (white bars) injected intravenously. 24 hours later, VEGF or phosphate-buffered saline was given intradermally (n = 4 mice per group). **P < .005.

  • Figure 6

    Blockmirs regulate edema and angiogenesis after ischemia. (A) Hindlimb blood flow expressed as a percentage of ischemic limb blood flow over nonischemic hindlimb blood flow measured 10 days after surgery. **P < .01 (n = 6-10 mice per group). The LDBF between days 0 and 7, representing the mean of 3 independent experiments. (B) The ischemic LDBF of control and CD5-2 at day 7 is represented as a percentage over non-ischemic hind-limb blood flow. CD5-2 is represented by dashed lines; controls are represented by solid lines. (C) Assessment of edema 24 hours after hindlimb ischemia for mice treated with control Blockmir (black bars, nonischemic) and CD5-2 (white bars, ischemic). The graph is expressed as a percentage of dye leakage in either the nonischemic or ischemic side of control and CD5-2–treated mice over dye leakage in nonischemic controls. The lower part of adductor muscle was taken for quantification *P < .05, **P < .01 (n = 8 per group, results pooled from 2 independent experiments). (D) Assessment of capillary density. Sections were stained for CD31. A representative area is shown for one mouse given (i) control and (ii) CD5-2. (iii) Quantification of the number of capillaries is given as the ratio of capillaries/myocytes in the ischemic limbs (n = 4-5 animals), *P < .02. (E) Sections were co-stained with CD31 (red) and VE-cadherin (green). A representative area of the ischemic region is shown for one mouse given (i) control and (ii) CD5-2. (iii) Mean pixel intensity of VE-cadherin is expressed relative to the number of capillaries, which are CD31+ (n = 4 animals), *P < .05.

  • Figure 7

    Specificity of the Blockmir. (A) Western blot analyses of VE-cadherin, SEMA6A from HUVECs transfected with the LNA27, CD5-2, or control; α-tubulin was used as a loading control. (B) Quantitative analysis as described in (A): control (white bar), LNA27 (hatched bar), and CD5-2 (black bar); mean ± SEM, *P < .05 (n = 3-5). (C) VE-cadherin and (D) PPARγ reporter activity from cells co-transfected with mimic control (Vector[−]) or miR-27a-mimic only (Vector), or miR-27a-mimic plus Blockmirs control or CD5-2. (C) Mean ± SD from 3 independent experiments with 3 replicate samples per experiment; analysis of variance *P ≤ .05. (D) *P < .05 from a representative experiment.