Pro-Angiogenic Role of LncRNA HULC in Microvascular Endothelial Cells via Sequestrating miR-124.Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 50(6):2188-2202.CP
HULC is a multifunctional lncRNA that has pro-angiogenic function in various cancers. The present study was designed to see the role of lncRNA HULC in normal endothelial cells angiogenesis.
Cell viability, apoptosis, migration, tube formation and expression levels of angiogenesis-related proteins were respectively assessed in human microvascular endothelial HMEC-1 cells after lncRNA HULC was silenced by shRNA transfection. Cross-regulation between lncRNA HULC and miR-124, and between miR-124 and MCL-1 were detected by qRT-PCR, sequence analysis, and luciferase reporter assay.
Silence of lncRNA HULC significantly reduced viability, migration, tube formation and protein levels of VEGF, VEGFR2, CD144 and eNOS in HMEC-1 cells. Meanwhile, silence of lncRNA HULC induced apoptosis in HMEC-1 cells, as Bcl-2 was down-regulated, Bax was up-regulated, and caspase-3 and -9 were cleaved. miR-124 expression was negatively regulated by lncRNA HULC, and HULC worked as a molecular sponge for miR-124, in having miR-124 exhausted. Besides, MCL-1 was a target gene of miR-124. Rescue assay results showed that the effects of lncRNA HULC silence on HMEC-1 cells growth, migration and angiogenesis were abolished by miR-124 suppression. Similarly, the effects of miR-124 on HMEC-1 cells were abolished by MCL-1 overexpression. Furthermore, MCL-1 activated PI3K/AKT and JAK/STAT signaling pathways.
These findings suggest a pro-angiogenic role of lncRNA HULC in endothelial cells. The pro-angiogenic actions of lncRNA HULC may be through sponging miR-124, preventing MCL-1 from degradation by miR-124.