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Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Feb;31(4):744-55. doi: 10.1128/MCB.00581-10. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

MicroRNA-27a regulates beta cardiac myosin heavy chain gene expression by targeting thyroid hormone receptor beta1 in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small noncoding RNAs, are negative regulators of gene expression and play important roles in gene regulation in the heart. To examine the role of miRNAs in the expression of the two isoforms of the cardiac myosin heavy chain (MHC) gene, α- and β-MHC, which regulate cardiac contractility, endogenous miRNAs were downregulated in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs) using lentivirus-mediated small interfering RNA (siRNA) against Dicer, an essential enzyme for miRNA biosynthesis, and MHC expression levels were examined. As a result, Dicer siRNA could downregulate endogenous miRNAs simultaneously and the β-MHC gene but not α-MHC, which implied that specific miRNAs could upregulate the β-MHC gene. Among 19 selected miRNAs, miR-27a was found to most strongly upregulate the β-MHC gene but not α-MHC. Moreover, β-MHC protein was downregulated by silencing of endogenous miR-27a. Through a bioinformatics screening using TargetScan, we identified thyroid hormone receptor β1 (TRβ1), which negatively regulates β-MHC transcription, as a target of miR-27a. Moreover, miR-27a was demonstrated to modulate β-MHC gene regulation via thyroid hormone signaling and to be upregulated during the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells or in hypertrophic hearts in association with β-MHC gene upregulation. These findings suggested that miR-27a regulates β-MHC gene expression by targeting TRβ1 in cardiomyocytes.

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