Neumann P, Jaé N, Knau A, Glaser SF, Fouani Y, Rossbach O, Krüger M, John D, Bindereif A, Grote P, Boon RA, Dimmeler S
Impaired or excessive growth of endothelial cells contributes to several diseases. However, the functional involvement of regulatory long non-coding RNAs in these processes is not well defined. Here, we show that the long non-coding antisense transcript of GATA6 (GATA6-AS) interacts with the epigenetic regulator LOXL2 to regulate endothelial gene expression via changes in histone methylation. Using RNA deep sequencing, we find that GATA6-AS is upregulated in endothelial cells during hypoxia. Silencing of GATA6-AS diminishes TGF-β2-induced endothelial-mesenchymal transition in vitro and promotes formation of blood vessels in mice. We identify LOXL2, known to remove activating H3K4me3 chromatin marks, as a GATA6-AS-associated protein, and reveal a set of angiogenesis-related genes that are inversely regulated by LOXL2 and GATA6-AS silencing. As GATA6-AS silencing reduces H3K4me3 methylation of two of these genes, periostin and cyclooxygenase-2, we conclude that GATA6-AS acts as negative regulator of nuclear LOXL2 function.