Transcoronary gradients of HDL-associated MicroRNAs in unstable coronary artery disease



      MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are transported on high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) and HDL-associated miRNAs are involved in intercellular communication. We explored HDL-associated miRNAs concentration gradients across the coronary circulation in stable and unstable coronary artery disease patients and whether changes in the transcoronary gradient were associated with changes in HDL composition and size.


      Acute coronary syndrome (ACS, n = 17) patients, those with stable coronary artery disease (stable CAD, n = 19) and control subjects without CAD (n = 6) were studied. HDLs were isolated from plasma obtained from the coronary sinus (CS), aortic root (arterial blood) and right atrium (venous blood). HDL-associated miRNAs (miR-16, miR-20a, miR-92a, miR-126, miR-222 and miR-223) were quantified by TaqMan miRNA assays. HDL particle sizes were determined by non-denaturing polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis. HDL composition was measured immunoturbidometrically or enzymatically.


      A concentration gradient across the coronary circulation was observed for all the HDL-associated miRNAs. In ACS patients, there was a significant inverse transcoronary gradient for HDL-associated miR-16, miR-92a and miR-223 (p < 0.05) compared to patients with stable CAD. Changes in HDL-miRNA transcoronary gradients were not associated with changes in HDL composition or size.


      HDLs are depleted of miR-16, miR-92a and miR-223 during the transcoronary passage in patients with ACS compared to patients with stable CAD.


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      • Catch miR if you can — Transcoronary gradients of HDL-bound microRNAs
        International Journal of CardiologyVol. 253
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          MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that are not translated into a functional protein, but exert their function through post-transcriptional modification of coding RNAs [1]. MiRNAs are not only present as fine-tuners within the cells, but can also circulate in body fluids such as blood. Remarkably, circulating miRNAs are protected from degradation due to their association with proteins as well as to lipoproteins and vesicles [2]. As a result, circulating miRNAs have gained much attention in recent years as potential biomarkers.
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