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Sci Rep. 2015 Mar 5;5:8801. doi: 10.1038/srep08801.

MiR-181a regulates lipid metabolism via IDH1.

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CAS Key Laboratory of Innate Immunity and Chronic Disease, Innovation Center for Cell Signaling Network, School of Life Sciences, University of Science &Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230027, China.
Scientific and Educational Department, The second hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui. 230061, China.


Lipid metabolism is important for cellular energy homeostasis. Excessive cellular lipid accumulation is associated with various human diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease or even cancer. It has been recognized that miR-181a is an important modulator in regulating T lymphocyte differentiation, vascular development and cerebellar neurodegeneration. Here we reports a novel function of miR-181a in the regulation of lipid metabolism. MiR-181a is able to target isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1), a metabolic enzyme in TCA cycle. Via targeting IDH1, miR-181a decreases expression of genes involved in lipid synthesis and increases expression of genes involved in β-oxidation, thereafter inhibiting lipid accumulation. MiR-181a transgenic mice show a lower body weight as compared with their wild-type littermates, and moreover, miR-181a transgenic mice exhibit less lipid accumulation. Collectively, these findings uncover a novel miR-181a-IDH1 axis that has an important role in regulating lipid metabolism, and implicate miR-181a as a potential therapeutic target for lipid metabolism disorders.

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