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Unique MicroRNA signatures associated with early coronary atherosclerotic plaques

Wang, Rong, Dong, Lai-Dong, Meng, Xiang-Bin, Shi, Qing, Sun, Wen-Yu
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2015 v.464 pp. 574-579
coronary artery disease, coronary vessels, gene expression regulation, microRNA, microarray technology, non-coding RNA, pathophysiology, patients, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, t-test
The pathophysiology of coronary atherosclerotic plaques is a complex process. Early detection of coronary atherosclerotic plaques is critical in the prevention, prognostic and therapeutic intervention of cardiovascular disease. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), endogenous short non-coding RNAs, have been reported to play an important role in cardiovascular diseases and are also used as disease markers. However, the miRNA expression profile in early coronary atherosclerotic plaques has yet been reported. We hypothesize that miRNAs can be used as effective disease markers for detection of early coronary atherosclerotic plaques. In this analysis, coronary artery samples from three patients with early coronary atherosclerosis were harvested and miRNA expression profile determined using microarray analysis. Compared with healthy controls, a total of 44 miRNAs were upregulated and 57 miRNAs were downregulated. Among the dysregulated miRNAs, eight were significantly upregulated while five miRNAs were significantly downregulated, as determined by t-test (P < 0.05). Four of the significantly dysregulated miRNAs, including miR-221, miR-155, miR-100 and hsa-miR-1273, were selected and verified by real-time PCR. The real-time PCR results were consistent with the microarray data that miR-221, miR-155 and miR-100 were significantly downregulated in plaques, whereas miR-1273 was significantly upregulated. These results indicate that miRNAs expression level can be used as potential markers for early coronary atherosclerotic plaque formation.