Remodeling of the primitive vasculature is necessary for the formation of a complex branched vascular architecture. However, the factors that modulate these processes are incompletely defined. Previously, we defined the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in endothelial specification. In the present study, we further examined the Etv2-Cre mediated ablation of DicerL/L and characterized the perturbed vascular patterning in the embryo proper and yolksac. We mechanistically defined an important role for miR-130a, an Etv2 downstream target, in the mediation of vascular patterning and angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Inducible overexpression of miR-130a resulted in robust induction of vascular sprouts and angiogenesis with increased uptake of acetylated-LDL. Mechanistically, miR-130a directly regulated Jarid2 expression by binding to its 3'-UTR region. Over-expression of Jarid2 in HUVEC cells led to defective tube formation indicating its inhibitory role in angiogenesis. The knockout of miR-130a showed increased levels of Jarid2 in the ES/EB system. In addition, the levels of Jarid2 transcripts were increased in the Etv2-null embryos at E8.5. In the in vivo settings, injection of miR-130a specific morpholinos in zebrafish embryos resulted in perturbed vascular patterning with reduced levels of endothelial transcripts in the miR-130a morphants. Further, co-injection of miR-130a mimics in the miR-130a morphants rescued the vascular defects during embryogenesis. qPCR and in situ hybridization techniques demonstrated increased expression of jarid2a in the miR-130a morphants in vivo. These findings demonstrate a critical role for Etv2-miR-130a-Jarid2 in vascular patterning both in vitro and in vivo.
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