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Biological Chemistry

Editor-in-Chief: Brüne, Bernhard

Editorial Board: Buchner, Johannes / Lei, Ming / Ludwig, Stephan / Thomas, Douglas D. / Turk, Boris / Wittinghofer, Alfred

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 3.014
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 3.162

CiteScore 2018: 3.09

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Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.820

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Volume 394, Issue 9


Overexpression of miR-126 promotes the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells toward endothelial cells via activation of PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK pathways and release of paracrine factors

Feng Huang
  • Department of Cardiology, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan, China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Zhen-fei Fang
  • Department of Cardiology, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan, China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Xin-qun Hu
  • Department of Cardiology, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan, China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Liang Tang
  • Department of Cardiology, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan, China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Sheng-hua Zhou
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Cardiology, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan, China
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Jian-ping Huang
Published Online: 2013-05-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2013-0107


The endothelial cell (EC)-specific miRNA, miR-126, is known to promote angiogenesis in response to angiogenic factors by repressing negative regulators of signal transduction pathways; however, whether miR-126 might regulate the differentiation of stem cells toward endothelial lineage remains unknown. To answer this question, in this study mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) harvested from C57BL/6 mouse bone marrow were transfected with miR-126 (MSCmiR-126) using recombinant lentiviral vectors. Results showed the para-secretion and the expression levels of phosphorylated PI3K p85, Akt, p38, ERK1 protein in the MSCmiR-126 group were dramatically increased when compared with the control group. With half culture medium refreshed every 3 days, a small number of 6-day-cultured MSCmiR-126 differentiated into endothelial-like cells and most of 9-day-cultured MSCmiR-126 formed a cobblestone-like structure. These differentiated cells evidently expressed EC-specific makers and possessed mature ECs function, while inhibition of paracrine factors suppressed the MSC-EC differentiation. Strikingly, the increased secretion of MSCmiR-126 and their endothelial-differentiated potential were deprived by using a PI3K or MEK chemical inhibitor. Our results suggest that overexpression of miR-126 agumenting the endothelial differentiation of MSCs might in part be attributable to the activation of PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK pathways and an increased release of paracrine factors.

Keywords: differentiation; endothelial cells; mesenchymal stem cells; miR-126; para-secretion; signaling pathway


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About the article

Corresponding authors: Sheng-hua Zhou, Department of Cardiology, Second Xiangya Hospital of Central South University, Changsha 410011, Hunan, China; and Jian-ping Huang, Alibaba Business College, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036, Zhejiang, China

Received: 2013-01-11

Accepted: 2013-05-21

Published Online: 2013-05-29

Published in Print: 2013-09-01

Citation Information: Biological Chemistry, Volume 394, Issue 9, Pages 1223–1233, ISSN (Online) 1437-4315, ISSN (Print) 1431-6730, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hsz-2013-0107.

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