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Pharm Res. 2011 Oct;28(10):2467-76. doi: 10.1007/s11095-011-0473-y. Epub 2011 May 12.

PPARα is regulated by miR-21 and miR-27b in human liver.

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Drug Metabolism and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa, 920-1192, Japan.



Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα) is an important transcriptional factor that regulates genes encoding endo/xenobiotic enzymes and lipid metabolizing enzymes. In this study, we investigated whether microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in the regulation of PPARα in human liver.


Precursor or antisense oligonucleotide for miR-21 or miR-27b was transfected into HuH7 cells; expression of PPARα and acyl-CoA synthetase M2B was determined by Western blot and real-time RT-PCR. Luciferase assay was performed to identify the functional miRNA recognition element (MRE). Expression levels of PPARα, miR-21, and miR-27b in a panel of 24 human livers were determined.


The overexpression and inhibition of miR-21 or miR-27b in HuH7 cells significantly decreased and increased the PPARα protein level, respectively, but not PPARα mRNA level. The miRNA-dependent regulation of PPARα affected the expression of its downstream gene. Luciferase assay identified a functional MRE for miR-21 in the 3'-untranslated region of PPARα. In human livers, the PPARα protein levels were not correlated with PPARα mRNA, but inversely correlated with the miR-21 levels, suggesting a substantial impact of miR-21, although the contribution of miR-27b could not be ruled out.


We found that PPARα in human liver is regulated by miRNAs.

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