In their study, they demonstrated the role of miR-449c-5p in VICs osteogenesis. MiRNA microarray assay and qRT-PCR results revealed miR-449c-5p was significantly down-regulated in calcified aortic valves compared with non-calcified valves. MiR-449c-5p overexpression inhibited VICs osteogenic differentiation in vitro, whereas down-regulation of miR-449c-5p enhanced the process. Target prediction analysis and dual-luciferase reporter assay confirmed Smad4 was a direct target of miR-449c-5p. Furthermore, knockdown of Smad4 inhibited VICs osteogenic differentiation, similar to the effect observed in up-regulation miR-449c-5p. In addition, animal experiments proved indirectly miR-449c-5p could alleviate aortic valve calcification.
These data suggest miR-449c-5p could function as a new inhibitory regulator of VICs osteogenic differentiation, which may act by targeting Smad4. MiR-449c-5p may be a potential therapeutic target for CAVD.