Therapeutic potential of miR-21 regulation by human peripheral blood derived-small extracellular vesicles in myocardial infarction

Ji Young Kang, Hyoeun Kim, Dasom Mun, Nuri Yun, Boyoung Joung

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) as natural membranous vesicles are on the frontiers of nanomedical research, due to their ability to deliver therapeutic molecules such as microRNAs (miRNAs). The miRNA-21 (miR-21) is thought to be involved in the initiation and development of myocardial infarction (MI). Here, we examined whether miR-21 regulation using human peripheral blood-derived sEVs (PB-sEVs) could serve as a potential therapeutic strategy for MI. First, we examined miR-21 levels in hypoxic conditions and validated the ability of PB-sEVs to serve as a potential delivery system for miRNAs. Further, bioinformatics analysis and luciferase assay were performed to identify target genes of miR-21 mechanistically. Among numerous target pathways, we focused on nitrogen metabolism, which remains relatively unexplored compared with other possible miR-21-mediated pathways; hence, we aimed to determine novel target genes of miR-21 related to nitrogen metabolism. In hypoxic conditions, the expression of miR-21 was significantly up-regulated and correlated with nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3) levels, which in turn influences cardiac function. The down-regulation of miR-21 expression by PB-sEVs loaded with anti-miR-21 significantly improved survival rates, consistent with the augmentation of cardiac function. However, the up-regulation of miR-21 expression by PB-sEVs loaded with miR-21 reversed these effects. Mechanistically, miR-21 targeted and down-regulated the mRNA and protein expression of striatin (STRN), which could regulate NOS3 expression. In conclusion, we identified a novel therapeutic strategy to improve cardiac function by regulating the expression of miR-21 with PB-sEVs as an miR-21 or anti-miR-21 delivery vehicle and confirmed the miR-21-associated nitrogen metabolic disorders in MI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-999
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Science
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by research grants from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea [grant number 017R1A2B3003303]; the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology [grant number NRF–2017R1A2B3003303]; and the Korean Healthcare Technology R&D project funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare [grant number HI16C0058].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Portland Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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