The hypoxia-induced microRNA-130a controls pulmonary smooth muscle cell proliferation by directly targeting CDKN1A

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2015 Apr;61:129-37. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2015.02.002. Epub 2015 Feb 11.


Excessive proliferation of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (HPASMC) is one of the major factors that trigger vascular remodeling in hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension. Several studies have implicated that hypoxia inhibits the tumor suppressor p21 (CDKN1A). However, the precise mechanism is unknown. The mouse model of hypoxia-induced PH and in vitro experiments were used to assess the impact of microRNAs (miRNAs) on the expression of CDKN1A. In these experiments, the miRNA family miR-130 was identified to regulate the expression of CDKN1A. Transfection of HPASMC with miR-130 decreased the expression of CDKN1A and, in turn, significantly increased smooth muscle proliferation. Conversely, inhibition of miR-130 by anti-miRs and seed blockers increased the expression of CDKN1A. Reporter gene analysis proved a direct miR-130-CDKN1A target interaction. Exposure of HPASMC to hypoxia was found to induce the expression of miR-130 with concomitant decrease of CDKN1A. These findings were confirmed in the mouse model of hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension showing that the use of seed blockers against miR-130 restored the expression of CDKN1A. These data suggest that miRNA family miR-130 plays an important role in the repression of CDKN1A by hypoxia. miR-130 enhances hypoxia-induced smooth muscle proliferation and might be involved in the development of right ventricular hypertrophy and vascular remodeling in pulmonary hypertension.

Keywords: Hypoxia; MicroRNA; Proliferation; Pulmonary hypertension; Vascular remodeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Hypoxia / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / biosynthesis
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / genetics*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21 / metabolism
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / genetics
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / metabolism
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / cytology*
  • Myocytes, Smooth Muscle / metabolism*
  • Vascular Remodeling / genetics
  • Ventricular Remodeling / genetics


  • CDKN1A protein, human
  • Cdkn1a protein, mouse
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • MIRN130 microRNA, human
  • MIRN130 microRNA, mouse
  • MicroRNAs