Identification of the central role of RNA polymerase mitochondrial for angiogenesis

Cell Commun Signal. 2024 Jun 21;22(1):343. doi: 10.1186/s12964-024-01712-9.


Mitochondria are central to endothelial cell activation and angiogenesis, with the RNA polymerase mitochondrial (POLRMT) serving as a key protein in regulating mitochondrial transcription and oxidative phosphorylation. In our study, we examined the impact of POLRMT on angiogenesis and found that its silencing or knockout (KO) in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and other endothelial cells resulted in robust anti-angiogenic effects, impeding cell proliferation, migration, and capillary tube formation. Depletion of POLRMT led to impaired mitochondrial function, characterized by mitochondrial depolarization, oxidative stress, lipid oxidation, DNA damage, and reduced ATP production, along with significant apoptosis activation. Conversely, overexpressing POLRMT promoted angiogenic activity in the endothelial cells. In vivo experiments demonstrated that endothelial knockdown of POLRMT, by intravitreous injection of endothelial specific POLRMT shRNA adeno-associated virus, inhibited retinal angiogenesis. In addition, inhibiting POLRMT with a first-in-class inhibitor IMT1 exerted significant anti-angiogenic impact in vitro and in vivo. Significantly elevated expression of POLRMT was observed in the retinal tissues of streptozotocin-induced diabetic retinopathy (DR) mice. POLRMT endothelial knockdown inhibited pathological retinal angiogenesis and mitigated retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration in DR mice. At last, POLRMT expression exhibited a substantial increase in the retinal proliferative membrane tissues of human DR patients. These findings collectively establish the indispensable role of POLRMT in angiogenesis, both in vitro and in vivo.

PMID:38907279 | DOI:10.1186/s12964-024-01712-9