Aim MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in inflammatory responses of macrophages. However, the function of miRNAs in macrophage-derived foam cell formation is unclear. Here, we investigated the role of miRNAs in macrophage-derived foam cell formation and atherosclerotic development. Methods and results Using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR), we found that the level of miR-155 expression was increased significantly in both plasma and macrophages from atherosclerosis (ApoE-/-) mice. We identified that oxidized low density lipoprotein (oxLDL) induced the expression and release of miR-155 in macrophages, and that miR-155 was required to mediate oxLDL-induced lipid uptake and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production of macrophages. Furthermore, ectopic overexpression and knockdown experiments identified that HMG box-transcription protein1 (HBP1) is a novel target of miR-155. Knockdown of HBP1 enhanced lipid uptake and ROS production in oxLDL-stimulated macrophages, and overexpression of HBP1 repressed these effects. Furthermore, bioinformatics analysis identified three YY1 binding sites in the promoter region of pri-miR-155 and verified YY1 binding directly to its promoter region. Detailed analysis showed that the YY1/HDAC2/4 complex negatively regulated the expression of miR-155 to suppress oxLDL-induced foam cell formation. Importantly, inhibition of miR-155 by a systemically delivered antagomiR-155 decreased clearly lipid-loading in macrophages and reduced atherosclerotic plaques in ApoE-/- mice. Moreover, we observed that the level of miR-155 expression was up-regulated in CD14+ monocytes from patients with coronary heart disease. Conclusion Our findings reveal a new regulatory pathway of YY1/HDACs/miR-155/HBP1 in macrophage-derived foam cell formation during early atherogenesis and suggest that miR-155 is a potential therapeutic target for atherosclerosis.
- Foam cell formation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)