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MicroRNA 27a Is a Key Modulator of Cholesterol Biosynthesis

, Khan A.A., Agarwal H., Santosh Reddy S., Arige V., Natarajan B., Gupta V., Kalyani A., Barthwal M.K.
Published in American Society for Microbiology
Volume: 40
Issue: 9
Hypercholesterolemia is a strong predictor of cardiovascular diseases. The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase gene (Hmgcr) coding for the rate-limiting enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway is a crucial regulator of plasma cholesterol levels. However, the posttranscriptional regulation of Hmgcr remains poorly understood. The main objective of this study was to explore the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of Hmgcr expression. Systematic in silico predictions and experimental analyses reveal that miRNA 27a (miR-27a) specifically interacts with the Hmgcr 3= untranslated region in murine and human hepatocytes. Moreover, our data show that Hmgcr expression is inversely correlated with miR-27a levels in various cultured cell lines and in human and rodent tissues. Actinomycin D chase assays and relevant experiments demonstrate that miR-27a regulates Hmgcr by translational attenuation followed by mRNA degradation. Early growth response 1 (Egr1) regulates miR-27a expression under basal and cholesterol-modulated conditions. miR-27a augmentation via tail vein injection of miR-27a mimic in high-cholesterol-diet-fed Apoe-/- mice shows downregulation of hepatic Hmgcr and plasma cholesterol levels. Pathway and gene expression analyses show that miR-27a also targets several other genes (apart from Hmgcr) in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway. Taken together, miR-27a emerges as a key regulator of cholesterol biosynthesis and has therapeutic potential for the clinical management of hypercholesterolemia. © 2020 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
About the journal
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
PublisherAmerican Society for Microbiology
Open AccessYes