MicroRNA-145 in vascular smooth muscle cell biology: a new therapeutic target for vascular disease

Cell Cycle. 2009 Nov 1;8(21):3469-73. doi: 10.4161/cc.8.21.9837. Epub 2009 Nov 17.


Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) phenotypic modulation and proliferation are critical cellular events in the development of a variety of proliferative vascular diseases. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in these cellular events are still unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a novel class of small, non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression via degradation or translational inhibition of their target mRNAs. In a previous study, we identified that miR-145 is the most abundant miRNA in normal arteries and VSMCs. However, the roles of miR-145 in VSMC biology and vascular disease are unknown. In our recent Circulation Research article, we found that the expression of miR-145 is significantly downregulated in dedifferentiated VSMCs and in balloon-injured arteries. Moreover, both in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that miR-145 is a critical modulator of VSMC phenotype and proliferation. This review article summarizes the current research progress regarding the roles of miR-145 in VSMC biology and discusses the potential therapeutic opportunities surrounding this miRNA in vascular disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / metabolism*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Down-Regulation / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Smooth, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Vascular Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Vascular Diseases / metabolism*
  • Vascular Diseases / pathology


  • MIRN145 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs