TUG1 enhances high glucose-impaired endothelial progenitor cell function via miR-29c-3p/PDGF-BB/Wnt signaling

Stem Cell Res Ther. 2020 Oct 15;11(1):441. doi: 10.1186/s13287-020-01958-3.


Background: Diabetes is associated with the dysfunction of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), characterized as impaired angiogenesis, a phenomenon thought to be involved in the development of diabetic foot. lncRNA plays an essential role in microvascular dysfunction and signaling pathways in patients with diabetes. lncRNA taurine upregulated gene 1 (TUG1) participates in angiogenesis in various cells. However, the mechanisms of TUG1 activity in EPCs have not been elucidated.

Methods: We isolated and then characterized EPCs from the peripheral blood of mice using immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. Western blot detected the wnt/β-catenin pathway in high glucose-treated EPCs. Bioinformatics analysis predicted a putative binding site for TUG1 on miR-29c-3p. The interactions among TUG1, platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB), and miR-29c-3p were analyzed by luciferase assays. In vivo, diabetic mouse ischemic limb was treated with normal saline or TUG1 overexpression lentiviruses.

Results: We found that EPC migration, invasion, and tube formation declined after treatment with high glucose, but improved with TUG1 overexpression. Mechanically, wnt/β-catenin pathway and autophagy were involved in the function of TUG1 overexpression in high glucose-treated EPCs. Moreover, TUG1 regulates the PDGF-BB/wnt pathway and function of high glucose-treated EPCs via miR-29c-3p. In vivo, injection of TUG1 lentivirus in a diabetic mouse ischemic limb model stimulated angiogenesis.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that TUG1 restores high glucose-treated EPC function by regulating miR-29c-3p/PDGF-BB/Wnt signaling.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Diabetes; Endothelial progenitor cells; Platelet-derived growth factor-BB; lncRNA taurine upregulated gene 1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Becaplermin*
  • Endothelial Progenitor Cells*
  • Glucose
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding* / genetics
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway*


  • MIRN29 microRNA, mouse
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • TUG1 noncoding RNA, mouse
  • Becaplermin
  • Glucose