Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 28, pp 22294–22300 | Cite as

MiR-448 promotes vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration in through directly targeting MEF2C

  • Ruihong Zhang
  • Li Sui
  • Xiaojian Hong
  • Mao Yang
  • Weimin LiEmail author
Research Article


Abnormal proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is a critical process in various cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease (CAD), atherosclerosis, stroke, and hypertension. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, short, and noncoding RNAs that inhibit gene expression through binding to the 3′-UTR (3′ untranslated regions) of target gene mRNAs. We showed that the expression of miR-448 was upregulated in VSMCs from coronary atherosclerotic plaques compared with normal coronary artery tissues. We also found that PDGF-bb promoted VSMCs proliferation and could induce miR-448 expression. Ectopic miR-448 expression induced VSMCs proliferation. Overexpression of miR-448 induced ki-67 mRNA and protein expression. Moreover, we identified MEF2C was a direct target of miR-448 in VSMCs. Overexpression of miR-448 promoted VSMCs migration. Furthermore, overexpression of MEF2C decreased miR-448-induced VSMCs proliferation and migration. These evidences suggested that miR-448 played an important role in the proliferation and migration of VSMCs.


Environmental science Cardiovascular disease Vascular smooth muscle cells microRNA miR-448 MEF2C 



This work was supported by grants from the Research project of science and technology of Heilongjiang Province (Grant Number: 11531174) and Research project of Health Department of Heilongjiang Province (Grant number: 2007164).

Authors’ contributions

Ruihong Zhang, Li Sui, Xiaojian Hong, Mao Yang, and Weimin Li carried out the molecular studies, participated in the sequence alignment, and drafted the manuscript. Ruihong Zhang carried out the immunoassays. Li Sui participated in the sequence alignment. Mao Yang and Weimin Li participated in the design of the study and performed the statistical analysis. Xiaojian Hong and Weimin Li conceived of the study, and participated in its design and coordination and helped draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruihong Zhang
    • 1
  • Li Sui
    • 2
  • Xiaojian Hong
    • 1
  • Mao Yang
    • 3
  • Weimin Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Cardiovascularthe First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Emergencythe First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Cardiovascularthe Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China

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