MicroRNA-199b modulates vascular cell fate during iPS cell differentiation by targeting the notch ligand jagged1 and enhancing VEGF signaling

Ting Chen, Andriana Margariti, Sophia Kelaini, Amy Cochrane, Shaunta T Guha, Yanhua Hu, Alan W Stitt, Li Zhang, Qingbo Xu

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Aims: Recent ability to derive endothelial cells (ECs) from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells holds a great therapeutic potential for personalised medicine and stem cell therapy. We aimed that better understanding of the complex molecular signals that are evoked during iPS cell differentiation towards ECs may allow specific targeting of their activities to enhance cell differentiation and promote tissue regeneration.

Methods and Results: In this study we have generated mouse iPS cells from fibroblasts using established protocol. When iPS cells were cultivated on type IV mouse collagen-coated dishes in differentiation medium, cell differentiation toward vascular lineages were observed. To study the molecular mechanisms of iPS cell differentiation, we found that miR-199b is involved in EC differentiation. A step-wise increase in expression of miR-199 was detected during EC differentiation. Notably, miR-199b targeted the Notch ligand JAG1, resulting in VEGF transcriptional activation and secretion through the transcription factor STAT3. Upon shRNA-mediated knockdown of the Notch ligand JAG1, the regulatory effect of miR-199b was ablated and there was robust induction of STAT3 and VEGF during EC differentiation. Knockdown of JAG1 also inhibited miR-199b-mediated inhibition of iPS cell differentiation towards SMCs. Using the in vitro tube formation assay and implanted Matrigel plugs, in vivo, miR-199b also regulated VEGF expression and angiogenesis.

Conclusions: This study indicates a novel role for miR-199b as a regulator of the phenotypic switch during vascular cell differentiation derived from iPS cells by regulating critical signaling angiogenic responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1405-1418
Number of pages19
JournalStem Cells
Issue number5
Early online date23 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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