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J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 29;286(30):26616-27. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.224212. Epub 2011 Jun 3.

Heparin impairs angiogenesis through inhibition of microRNA-10b.

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  • 1Glycochemistry & Glycobiology Laboratory, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai.


Heparin, which has been used as an anticoagulant drug for decades, inhibits angiogenesis, whereas thrombin promotes tumor-associated angiogenesis. However, the mechanisms underlying the regulation of angiogenesis by heparin and thrombin are not well understood. Here, we show that microRNA-10b (miR-10b) is down-regulated by heparin and up-regulated by thrombin in human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1). Overexpression of miR-10b induces HMEC-1 cell migration, tube formation, and angiogenesis, and down-regulates homeobox D10 (HoxD10) expression via direct binding of miR-10b to the putative 3' UTR of HoxD10. In addition, HMEC-1 cell migration and tube formation are induced by HoxD10 knockdown, whereas angiogenesis is arrested when HoxD10 expression is increased after anti-miR-10b or heparin treatments. Furthermore, expression of miR-10b and its transcription factor Twist are up-regulated by thrombin, whereas HoxD10 expression is impaired by thrombin. Using quartz crystal microbalance analysis, we show that heparin binds to thrombin, thereby inhibiting thrombin-induced expression of Twist and miR-10b. However, the expression of miR-10b is not attenuated by heparin any more after thrombin expression is silenced by its siRNA. Interestingly, we find that heparin attenuates miR-10b expression and induces HoxD10 expression in vivo to inhibit angiogenesis and impair the growth of MDA-MB-231 tumor xenografts. These results provide insight into the molecular mechanism by which heparin and thrombin regulate angiogenesis.

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