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Hypertension. 2013 Sep;62(3):572-8. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.01102. Epub 2013 Jul 8.

MicroRNA-24 is a novel regulator of aldosterone and cortisol production in the human adrenal cortex.

Author information

1
Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Dysregulation of aldosterone or cortisol production can predispose to hypertension, as seen in aldosterone-producing adenoma, a form of primary aldosteronism. We investigated the role of microRNA (miRNA) in their production, with particular emphasis on the CYP11B1 (11β-hydroxylase) and CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) genes, which produce the enzymes responsible for the final stages of cortisol and aldosterone biosynthesis, respectively. Knockdown of Dicer1, a key enzyme in miRNA maturation, significantly altered CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 expression in a human adrenocortical cell line. Screening of nondiseased human adrenal and aldosterone-producing adenoma samples yielded reproducible but distinctive miRNA expression signatures for each tissue type, with levels of certain miRNA, including microRNA-24 (miR-24), differing significantly between the 2. Bioinformatic analysis identified putative binding sites for several miRNA, including miR-24, in the 3' untranslated region of CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 mRNAs. In vitro manipulation of miR-24 confirmed its ability to modulate CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 expression, as well as cortisol and aldosterone production. This study demonstrates that Dicer-dependent miRNA, including miR-24, can post-transcriptionally regulate expression of the CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 genes. Normal adrenal tissue and aldosterone-producing adenoma differ significantly and reproducibly in their miRNA expression profiles, with miR-24 significantly downregulated in the latter. Adrenal miRNA may, therefore, be a novel and valid target for the therapeutic manipulation of corticosteroid biosynthesis.

KEYWORDS:

aldosterone; aldosterone synthase; cortisol; hypertension; microRNAs; steroid 11-beta-hydroxylase

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