Open Access
Structural evidence of anti-atherogenic microRNAs
Anthony Virtue1,Jietang Mai1,Ying Yin1,Shu Meng1,Tran Tran1,Xiaohua Jiang1,Hong Wang1,Xiao-Feng Yang1
Department of Pharmacology and Cardiovascular Research Center, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA
DOI: 10.2741/3901 Volume 16 Issue 8, pp.3133-3145
Published: 01 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CREG promotes vasculogenesis by activation of VEGFPI3KAkt pathway)

Our research attempted to address two important questions--how microRNAs modulate atherogenic inflammatory genes from a panoramic viewpoint and whether their augmented expression results from reduced microRNAs suppression. To resolve these knowledge gaps, we employed a novel database mining technique in conjunction with statistical analysis criteria established from experimentally verified microRNAs. We found that the expression of 33 inflammatory genes up-regulated in atherosclerotic lesions contain structural features in the 3'UTR of their mRNAs for potential microRNAs regulation. Additionally, the binding features governing the interactions between the microRNAs and the inflammatory gene mRNA were statistically identical to the features of experimentally verified microRNAs. Furthermore, 21 of the 33 inflammatory genes (64%) were targeted by highly expressed microRNAs and 10 of these (48%) were targeted by a single microRNA, suggesting microRNA regulation specificity. Supplementing our findings, 7 out of the 20 unique microRNAs (35%) were previously confirmed to be down-regulated when treated with pro-atherogenic factors. These results indicate a critical role of anti-inflammatory microRNAs in suppressing pro-atherogenic inflammatory gene expression.

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Anthony Virtue, Jietang Mai, Ying Yin, Shu Meng, Tran Tran, Xiaohua Jiang, Hong Wang, Xiao-Feng Yang. Structural evidence of anti-atherogenic microRNAs. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2011. 16(8); 3133-3145.