LncRNAs and circular RNAs as endothelial cell messengers in hypertension: mechanism insights and therapeutic potential


Endothelial cells are major constituents in the vasculature, and they act as important players in vascular homeostasis via secretion/release of vasodilators and vasoconstrictors. In healthy arteries, endothelial cells play a key role in the regulation of vascular tone, cellular adhesion, and angiogenesis. A shift in the functions of the blood vessels toward vasoconstriction, proinflammatory state, oxidative stress and deficiency of nitric oxide (NO) might lead to endothelial dysfunction, a key event implicated in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular metabolic diseases, including diabetes, atherosclerosis, arterial hypertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Thus, reversibility of endothelial dysfunction may be beneficial for maintaining vascular homeostasis. In recent years, accumulative evidence has documented that noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are critically involved in endothelial homeostasis. Specifically, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and circular RNAs are highly expressed in endothelial cells where they serve as important mediators in normal endothelial functions. Dysregulation of lncRNAs and circular RNAs has been tightly associated with hypertension-related endothelial dysfunction. In this review, we will summarize the current progression and underlying mechanisms of lncRNA and circular RNA in endothelial cell biology under hypertensive conditions. We will also highlight their potential as biomarkers or therapeutic targets for hypertension and its associated endothelial dysfunction.

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This work was supported by grants from the Fund of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81700364), Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation (BK20170179, BK20191138), Key Young Medical Talent Project of Jiangsu Health Commission (QNRC2016158), Jiangsu Province Department of Science and Technology (BE2020634), Project funded by China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M611688) and Project funded by Jiangsu Postdoctoral Science Foundation (1701062C).

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JRZ, and HJS consulted the literature, wrote and reviewed the manuscript. All authors approved the final version for submission.

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Correspondence to Hai-Jian Sun.

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Zhang, J., Sun, H. LncRNAs and circular RNAs as endothelial cell messengers in hypertension: mechanism insights and therapeutic potential. Mol Biol Rep (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11033-020-05601-5

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  • Long noncoding RNA
  • Circular RNA
  • hypertension
  • Endothelial dysfunction