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Reprod Sci. 2017 Sep;24(9):1264-1274. doi: 10.1177/1933719116682877. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

miR-181b-5p Modulates Cell Migratory Proteins, Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase 3, and Annexin A2 During In Vitro Decidualization in a Human Endometrial Stromal Cell Line.

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1 Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, Institute for Reproductive Health and Regenerative Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA.


Decidualization is essential for successful embryo implantation and is regulated by concerted actions of growth factors and hormones. More recently, microRNAs, small RNA molecules that regulate posttranscriptional gene expression, have been implicated to play a role in the decidualization process. Of these microRNAs, miR-181b-5p has been associated with decidualization but its precise role and targets are not well established. To address this gap in our knowledge, we assessed the expression of miR-181b-5p, and its target tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP-3), during in vitro decidualization using the well-characterized human endometrial stromal cell line, t-HESC. miR-181b-5p expression was highest prior to decidualization and significantly decreased in response to decidualization stimulus. In contrast, TIMP-3 expression was absent prior to in vitro decidualization and increased during decidualization. Regulation of TIMP-3 expression by miR-181b-5p was confirmed in vitro by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), Western blot analysis, and 3' untranslated region reporter constructs. To identify unforeseen targets of miR-181b-5p during in vitro decidualization, t-HESC cells were transfected with pre- miR-181b-5p, and protein profiles were determined by 2-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis followed by matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI TOF/TOF) tandem mass spectrometry. Of these proteins, several downregulated proteins associated with cell migration were identified including annexin A2, which we subsequently confirmed by qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis to be regulated by miR-181b-5p. In conclusion, miR-181b-5p is downregulated during the process of in vitro decidualization and may regulate the expression of proteins associated with cell migration including TIMP-3 and annexin A2.


decidualization; endometrium; miR-181b-5p; miRNA

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