Bone morphogenetic protein-2 decreases microRNA-30b and microRNA-30c to promote vascular smooth muscle cell calcification

Balderman JA, Lee HY, Mahoney CE, Handy DE, White K, Annis S, Lebeche D, Hajjar RJ, Loscalzo J, Leopold JA
Source: J Am Heart Assoc
Publication Date: (2012)
Issue: 1(6): E003905
Research Area:
Cells used in publication:
SMC, coronary artery, human (CASMC)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: artery
BACKGROUND: Vascular calcification resembles bone formation and involves vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) transition to an osteoblast-like phenotype to express Runx2, a master osteoblast transcription factor. One possible mechanism by which Runx2 protein expression is induced is downregulation of inhibitory microRNAs (miR). METHODS AND RESULTS: Human coronary artery SMCs (CASMCs) treated with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2; 100 ng/mL) demonstrated a 1.7-fold (P<0.02) increase in Runx2 protein expression at 24 hours. A miR microarray and target prediction database analysis independently identified miR-30b and miR-30c (miR-30b-c) as miRs that regulate Runx2 expression. Real-time-polymerase chain reaction confirmed that BMP-2 decreased miR-30b and miR-30c expression. A luciferase reporter assay verified that both miR-30b and miR-30c bind to the 3'-untranslated region of Runx2 mRNA to regulate its expression. CASMCs transfected with antagomirs to downregulate miR-30b-c demonstrated significantly increased Runx2, intracellular calcium deposition, and mineralization. Conversely, forced expression of miR-30b-c by transfection with pre-miR-30b-c prevented the increase in Runx2 expression and mineralization of SMCs. Calcified human coronary arteries demonstrated higher levels of BMP-2 and lower levels of miR-30b than did noncalcified donor coronary arteries. CONCLUSIONS: BMP-2 downregulates miR-30b and miR-30c to increase Runx2 expression in CASMCs and promote mineralization. Strategies that modulate expression of miR-30b and miR-30c may influence vascular calcification.