Induction of microRNA-138 by pro-inflammatory Cytokines causes Endothelial Cell Dysfunction.
Exposure to pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as angiotensin II, endothelin-1 or TNF leads to endothelial dysfunction, characterized by the reduced production of nitric oxide via endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). We recently identified the Ca(2+) binding protein S100A1 as an essential factor required for eNOS activity. Here we report that pro-inflammatory cytokines down-regulate expression of S100A1 in primary human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVECs) via induction of microRNA-138 (miR-138), in a manner that depends on the stabilization of HIF1-α. We show that loss of S100A1 in ECs reduces stimulus-induced NO production, which can be prevented by inhibition of miR-138. Our study suggests that targeting miR-138 might be beneficial for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.