Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2010 Jun 25;285(26):20281-90. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.109207. Epub 2010 Apr 19.

MicroRNA-21 is a downstream effector of AKT that mediates its antiapoptotic effects via suppression of Fas ligand.

Author information

  • 1Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey 07103, USA.


MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is highly up-regulated during hypertrophic and cancerous cell growth. In contrast, we found that it declines in cardiac myocytes upon exposure to hypoxia. Thus, the objective was to explore its role during hypoxia. We show that miR-21 not only regulates phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), but also targets Fas ligand (FasL). During prolonged hypoxia, down-regulation of miR-21 proved necessary and sufficient for enhancing expression of both proteins. We demonstrate here for the first time that miR-21 is positively regulated via an AKT-dependent pathway, which is depressed during prolonged hypoxia. Accordingly, hypoxia-induced down-regulation of miR-21 and up-regulation of FasL and PTEN were reversed by activated AKT and reproduced by a dominant negative mutant, wortmannin, or PTEN. Moreover, the antiapoptotic function of AKT partly required miR-21, which was sufficient for inhibition of caspase-8 activity and mitochondrial damage. In consensus, overexpression of miR-21 in a transgenic mouse heart resulted in suppression of ischemia-induced up-regulation of PTEN and FasL expression, an increase in phospho-AKT, a smaller infarct size, and ameliorated heart failure. Thus, we have identified a unique aspect of the function of AKT by which it inhibits apoptosis through miR-21-dependent suppression of FasL.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk