PAI-1 is a novel component of the miR-17~92 signaling that regulates pulmonary artery smooth muscle cell phenotypes

Tianji Chen, Jason B. Huang, Jingbo Dai, Qiyuan Zhou, J. Usha Raj, Guofei Zhou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that miR-17~92 is critically involved in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension (PH). We also identified two novel mR-17/20a direct targets, PDZ and LIM domain protein 5 (PDLIM5) and prolyl hydroxylase 2 (PHD2), and elucidated the signaling pathways by which PDLIM5 and PHD2 regulate functions of pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells (PASMCs). In addition, we have shown that plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is also downregulated in PASMCs that overexpress miR-17~92. However, it is unclear whether PAI-1 is a direct target of miR-17~92 and whether it plays a role in regulating the PASMC phenotype. In this study, we have identified PAI-1 as a novel target of miR-19a/b, two members of the miR-17~92 cluster. We found that the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of PAI-1 contains a miR-19a/b binding site and that miR-19a/b can target this site to suppress PAI-1 protein expression. MiR-17/20a, two other members of miR-17~92, may also indirectly suppress PAI-1 expression through PDLIM5. PAI-1 is a negative regulator of miR-17~92-mediated PASMC proliferation. Silencing of PAI-1 induces Smad2/calponin signaling in PASMCs, suggesting that PAI-1 is a negative regulator of the PASMC contractile phenotype. We also found that PAI-1 is essential for the metabolic gene expression in PASMCs. Furthermore, although there is no significant change in PAI-1 levels in PASMCs isolated from idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension and associated pulmonary arterial hypertension patients, PAI-1 is downregulated in hypoxia/Sugen-induced hypertensive rat lungs. These results suggest that miR-17~92 regulates the PASMC contractile phenotype and proliferation coordinately and synergistically by direct and indirect targeting of PAI-1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L149-L161
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Mir-19a/b
  • PAI-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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