Angiogenesis is a critical component of many pathological conditions in adult tissues and essential for embryonic development. MicroRNAs are indispensable for normal vascular development, but their exact role in regulating angiogenesis remains unresolved. Previously, we have observed that miR-214 is differentially expressed in compensatory arteriogenesis. Here, we investigated the potential role of miR-214 in the process of angiogenesis.Methods and Results
miR-214 is expressed in all major vascular cell types and modulation of miR-214 levels in endothelial cells significantly affected tubular sprouting. In vivo silencing of miR-214 enhanced the formation of a perfused vascular network in implanted matrigel plugs and enhanced retinal developmental angiogenesis in mice. miR-214 directly targets Quaking, a protein critical for vascular development. Quaking knockdown reduced pro-angiogenic growth factor expression and inhibited endothelial cell sprouting similar to miR-214 overexpression. In accordance, silencing of miR-214 increased the secretion of pro-angiogenic growth factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor, and enhanced the pro-angiogenic action of endothelial cell-derived conditioned medium, whereas miR-214 overexpression had the opposite effect.Conclusions
Here, we report a novel role for miR-214 in regulating angiogenesis and identify Quaking as a direct target of miR-214. The anti-angiogenic effect of miR-214 is mediated through downregulation of Quaking and pro-angiogenic growth factor expression. This study presents miR-214 as a potential important target for pro- or anti-angiogenic therapies.