Micro-RNA-1 is decreased by hypoxia and contributes to the development of pulmonary vascular remodeling via regulation of sphingosine kinase 1

Justin R. Sysol, Jiwang Chen, Sunit Singla, Shuangping Zhao, Suzy Comhair, Viswanathan Natarajan, Roberto Machado

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8 Scopus citations


Sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) upregulation is associated with pathologic pulmonary vascular remodeling in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), but the mechanisms controlling its expression are undefined. In this study, we sought to characterize the regulation of SphK1 expression by micro-RNAs (miRs). In silico analysis of the SphK1 3=-untranslated region identified several putative miR binding sites, with miR-1-3p (miR-1) being the most highly predicted target. Therefore we further investigated the role of miR-1 in modulating SphK1 expression and characterized its effects on the phenotype of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs) and the development of experimental pulmonary hypertension in vivo. Our results demonstrate that miR-1 is downregulated by hypoxia in PASMCs and can directly inhibit SphK1 expression. Overexpression of miR-1 in human PASMCs inhibits basal and hypoxia-induced proliferation and migration. Human PASMCs isolated from PAH patients exhibit reduced miR-1 expression. We also demonstrate that miR-1 is downregulated in mouse lung tissues during experimental hypoxia-mediated pulmonary hypertension (HPH), consistent with upregulation of SphK1. Furthermore, administration of miR-1 mimics in vivo prevented the development of HPH in mice and attenuated induction of SphK1 in PASMCs. These data reveal the importance of miR-1 in regulating SphK1 expression during hypoxia in PASMCs. A pivotal role is played by miR-1 in pulmonary vascular remodeling, including PASMC proliferation and migration, and its overexpression protects from the development of HPH in vivo. These studies improve our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L461-L472
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018



  • Hypoxia
  • Micro-RNA-1
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Sphingosine kinase 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology

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