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Noncoding RNAs in smooth muscle cell homeostasis: implications in phenotypic switch and vascular disorders

  • N. Coll-Bonfill
  • B. de la Cruz-Thea
  • M. V. Pisano
  • M. M. MusriEmail author
Invited Review

Abstract

Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) are a highly specialized cell type that exhibit extraordinary plasticity in adult animals in response to a number of environmental cues. Upon vascular injury, SMC undergo phenotypic switch from a contractile-differentiated to a proliferative/migratory-dedifferentiated phenotype. This process plays a major role in vascular lesion formation and during the development of vascular remodeling. Vascular remodeling comprises the accumulation of dedifferentiated SMC in the intima of arteries and is central to a number of vascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, it is critical to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern SMC phenotype. In the last decade, a number of new classes of noncoding RNAs have been described. These molecules have emerged as key factors controlling tissue homeostasis during physiological and pathological conditions. In this review, we will discuss the role of noncoding RNAs, including microRNAs and long noncoding RNAs, in the regulation of SMC plasticity.

Keywords

Smooth muscle cells Phenotypic change Noncoding RNAs miRNAs lncRNAs 

Abbreviations

SMC

smooth muscle cells

EC

endothelial cells

ncRNAs

noncoding RNAs

miRNAs

microRNAs

lncRNAs

long noncoding RNAs

SRF

serum response factor

SRE

serum response element

MYCD

myocardin

MRTF

myocardin-related transcription factor

TGFβ

transforming growth factor β

PDGF

platelet-derived growth factor

SBE

Smad-binding elements

bHLH

basic helix-loop-helix

KLF

Krüppel-like zinc finger

NAT

natural antisense ncRNA

ceRNA

competing endogenous RNAs

SENCR

smooth muscle and endothelial cell enriched migration/differentiation-associated

SNP

single nucleotide polymorphism

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study is supported by grants SEPAR-2009, PRH-2012-0003. BCT is a recipient of a pre-doctoral contract from CONICET. MVP is a recipient of a postdoctoral contract from CONICET.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. Coll-Bonfill
    • 1
  • B. de la Cruz-Thea
    • 2
  • M. V. Pisano
    • 2
  • M. M. Musri
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pulmonary Medicine Hospital Clínic-Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS)Universitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Investigación Médica Mercedes y Martín Ferreyra, INIMEC-CONICETUniversidad Nacional de CórdobaCórdobaArgentina

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