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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Dec 21. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00244.2018. [Epub ahead of print]

Increased circulating miR-370-3p regulates Steroidogenic Factor 1 in Endometriosis.

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Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, China.
Internal Medicine (Endocrinology), Yale University School of Medicine, United States.
Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, United States.


Endometriosis is a gynecological disease among reproductive-aged women caused by the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. Altered expression of genes and microRNAs has been reported in endometriosis. Steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1), an essential transcriptional regulator of multiple genes involved in estrogen biosynthesis; is aberrantly increased and plays an important role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis. Here, we show the expression of SF-1 in endometriosis is regulated by microRNA miR-370-3p. Sera and tissue were collected from surgically diagnosed twenty women with endometriosis and twenty six women without endometriosis. We found that miR-370-3p levels were decreased in the serum of patients with endometriosis while SF-1 mRNA levels were inversely upregulated in endometriotic lesions compared to respective controls. Transfection of primary endometriotic cells with miR-370-3p mimic or inhibitor resulted in the altered expression of SF-1 and SF-1 downstream genes, StAR and CYP19A1. Overexpression of miR-370-3p inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in endometriotic cells. This study reveals that miR-370-3p functions as a negative regulator of SF-1 and cell proliferation in endometriotic cells. This study provides a novel therapeutic strategy for controlling SF-1 in endometriosis.


Endometriosis; SF-1; apoptosis; cell proliferation; miR-370-3p


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