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Framework Nucleic Acids Enabled Pulmonary Artery Endothelial Cell Growth Inhibition by Targeting microRNA‐152

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Abstract

Pulmonary artery vascular endothelial dysfunction plays a pivotal role in the occurrence and progression of pulmonary vascular remodeling (PVR). To address this, aberrantly expressed non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) are excellent therapeutic targets in human pulmonary artery endothelial cells (HPAECs). Here, we discovered and validated the overexpression of miRNA-152 in HPAECs under hypoxia and its role in endothelial cell dysfunction. We constructed a framework nucleic acid nanostructure that harbors six protruding single-stranded DNA segments that can fully hybridize with miRNA-152 (DNT-152). DNT-152 was efficiently taken up by HPAECs with increasing time and concentration; it markedly induced apoptosis, and inhibited HPAEC growth under hypoxic conditions. Mechanistically, DNT-152 silenced miRNA-152 expression and upregulated its target gene Meox2, which subsequently inhibited the AKT/mTOR signaling pathway. These results indicate that miRNA-152 in HPAECs may be an excellent therapeutic target against PVR, and that framework nucleic acids with carefully designed sequences are promising nanomedicines for noncancerous cells and diseases.

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