The role of microRNA-145 in human embryonic stem cell differentiation into vascular cells

Shintaro Yamaguchi, Kenichi Yamahara, Koichiro Homma, Sayuri Suzuki, Shizuka Fujii, Ryuji Morizane, Toshiaki Monkawa, Yumi Matsuzaki, Kenji Kangawa, Hiroshi Itoh

研究成果: Article査読

59 被引用数 (Scopus)


Background: Recent studies have reported that microRNA-145 (miR-145) is a critical mediator in the regulation of proliferation, differentiation, and phenotype expression of smooth muscle cells (SMCs). Previously, we established a system for differentiating human ESCs into vascular cells including endothelial cells (ECs) and vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). In the present study, we investigated the role of miR-145 in the differentiation process from human ESCs into ECs and SMCs. Methods and results: Undifferentiated human ESCs were induced to differentiate into vascular lineage according to our established method. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that human ESC-derived precursor of SMCs (ES-pre-SMCs), similar to human aortic SMCs, expressed a significant amount of miR-145 as well as smooth muscle-specific proteins, compared to undifferentiated human ESCs, adult ECs, or ESC-derived ECs (ES-ECs). However, morphological analysis revealed that human ES-pre-SMCs appeared round and flattened in shape, though human aortic SMCs exhibited the typical spindle-like morphology of SMCs. In addition, Krüppel-like factor 4 and 5 (KLF4 and 5), direct targets of miR-145 and suppressors of smooth muscle differentiation, were upregulated in ES-pre-SMCs compared to aortic SMCs, indicating ES-pre-SMCs were not fully differentiated SMCs. Overexpression of miR-145 in ES-pre-SMCs upregulated the expression of smooth muscle markers, repressed KLF4 and 5 expressions, and changed their morphology into a differentiated spindle-like shape. Furthermore, by introduction of miR-145, ES-pre-SMC proliferation was significantly inhibited and carbachol-stimulated contraction of ES-pre-SMCs was significantly increased. In contrast, downregulation of miR-145 in ES-pre-SMCs upregulated KLF4 and 5 expressions, suppressed the expression of smooth muscle markers, and left unchanged their proliferation and contractility. In ES-ECs, miR-145 overexpression did not induce the synthesis of smooth muscle-related proteins nor suppress the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Conclusion: We showed that miR-145 can regulate the fate and phenotype of human ES-pre-SMCs as they become fully differentiated SMCs. Overexpression of miR-145 on human ES-pre-SMCs is a promising method to obtain functional mature SMCs from human ESCs, which are required for reliable experimental research in the fields of atherosclerosis, hypertension and other vascular diseases.

出版ステータスPublished - 2011 12月

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • 循環器および心血管医学


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