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J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2016 Aug;97:47-55. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2016.05.007. Epub 2016 May 12.

The role of miR-126 in embryonic angiogenesis, adult vascular homeostasis, and vascular repair and its alterations in atherosclerotic disease.

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Department of Molecular Genetic Diagnostics and Cell Biology, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Institute of Pediatrics, Research Center for Children's Health, 119991 Moscow, Russia.
Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow 125315, Russia; Department of Biophysics, Biological Faculty, Moscow State University, Moscow 119991, Russia; Institute for Atherosclerosis Research, Skolkovo Innovative Center, Moscow 121609, Russia.
Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Moscow 125315, Russia; Faculty of Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, 2052, Australia; School of Medicine, University of Western Sydney, Campbelltown, NSW, 2560, Australia. Electronic address:


Expression of microRNA (miR)-126 is enriched in endothelial cells (ECs) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). MiR-126 is considered a master regulator of physiological angiogenesis. In embryonic vasculogenesis, this miRNA is involved in induction of angiogenic signaling, supports differentiation of embryonic stem cells to EPCs and ECs, and promotes EC maturation. However, in mature ECs and adult EPCs, miR-126 contributes to vascular homeostasis by inhibiting angiogenesis and maintaining the quiescent endothelial phenotype associated with increased vascular integrity and inhibited proliferation and motility. In a case of vessel injury and/or hypoxia, miR-126 up-regulation activates EPCs and ECs and contributes to vascular healing and neovessel formation. Indeed, miR-126 exhibits vasculoprotective and atheroprotective properties. The promising regenerative and proangiogenic potential of this miRNA will be helpful for development of cardioprotective strategies and cardiovascular repair therapies of myocardial infarction, heart failure, and other cardiovascular pathology.


Angiogenesis; Atherosclerosis; Endothelial cell; Endothelial progenitor cell; Endothelial quiescence; Vascular repair; miR-126

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