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Mol Ther. 2012 Jun;20(6):1251-60. doi: 10.1038/mt.2012.36. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

miR-29 inhibits bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, and Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


Loss of microRNA-29 (miR-29) is known to be a mechanism of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-mediated pulmonary fibrosis, but the therapeutic implication of miR-29 for pulmonary fibrosis remains unexplored. The present study investigated whether miR-29 had therapeutic potential for lung disease induced by bleomycin in mice. In addition, the signaling mechanisms that regulated miR-29 expression were investigated in vivo and in vitro. We found that miR-29 was a downstream target gene of Smad3 and negatively regulated by TGF-β/Smad signaling in fibrosis. This was evidenced by the findings that mice or pulmonary fibroblasts null for Smad3 were protected against bleomycin or TGF-β1-induced loss of miR-29 along with fibrosis in vivo and in vitro. Interestingly, overexpression of miR-29 could in turn negatively regulated TGF-β and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) expression and Smad3 signaling. Therefore, Sleeping Beauty (SB)-mediated miR-29 gene transfer into normal and diseased lung tissues was capable of preventing and treating pulmonary fibrosis including inflammatory macrophage infiltration induced by bleomycin in mice. In conclusion, miR-29 is negatively regulated by TGF-β/Smad3 and has a therapeutic potential for pulmonary fibrosis. SB-mediated miR-29 gene therapy is a non-invasive therapeutic strategy for lung disease associated with fibrosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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