Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 69, Issue 7, pp 1049–1065

MicroRNAs mediate metabolic stresses and angiogenesis

Review

Abstract

MicroRNAs are short endogenous RNA molecules that are able to regulate (mainly inhibiting) gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The MicroRNA expression profile is cell-specific, but it is sensitive to perturbations produced by stresses and diseases. Endothelial cells subjected to metabolic stresses, such as calorie restriction, nutrients excess (glucose, cholesterol, lipids) and hypoxia may alter their functionality. This is predictive for the development of pathologies like atherosclerosis, diabetes, and hypertension. Moreover, cancer cells can activate a resting endothelium by secreting pro-angiogenic factors, in order to promote neoangiogenesis, which is essential for tumor growth. Endothelial altered phenotype is mirrored by altered mRNA, microRNA, and protein expression, with a microRNA being able to control pathways by regulating the expression of multiple mRNAs. In this review we will consider the involvement of microRNAs in modulating the response of endothelial cells to metabolic stresses and their role in promoting or halting angiogenesis.

Keywords

Endothelial cells Angiogenesis MicroRNAs Metabolic stresses Metabolic disorders Cancer 

Abbreviations

ECs

Endothelial cells

VEGF

Vascular endothelial growth factor

bFGF

Basic fibroblast growth factor

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

NO

Nitric oxide

eNOS

Endothelial nitric oxide synthase

TFs

Transcription factors

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Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica, CNRPisaItaly
  3. 3.Istituto Toscano TumoriFlorenceItaly

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