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eISSN: 1643-3750

miR-181a Modulates Chondrocyte Apoptosis by Targeting Glycerol-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenase 1-Like Protein (GPD1L) in Osteoarthritis

Xicheng Zhai, Ru Meng, Hongbiao Li, Jie Li, Lei Jing, Lei Qin, Yulei Gao

(Department of Orthopedics, Shanxian Central Hospital, Heze, Shandong, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:1224-1231

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.899228

Published: 2017-03-10

BACKGROUND: miR-181a is a small non-coding RNA known to be dysregulated in osteoarthritis (OA), but the role of miR-181a in human OA remains unclear. The aim of this study was to identify its function and molecular target in chondrocytes during OA pathogenesis.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The function of miR-181a was assessed by gain-of-function studies in human OA chondrocytes. Potential targets of miR-181a were predicted using series of bioinformatics and intersection analysis, then confirmed by luciferase reporter assay. Gene expression was quantified using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) assays, and protein production was quantified by Western blot analysis.
RESULTS: The FITC apoptosis assay results indicated that the upregulation of miR-181a led to an increase of apoptosis rate in chondrocytes. Then bioinformatic analysis identified potential target sites of the miR-181a located in the 3’ untranslated region of GPD1L. Dual-luciferase reporter assays results showed that GPD1L is a target gene of miR-181a. Furthermore, Western blot and qRT-PCR analysis demonstrated that miR-181a inhibited GPD1L gene expression. Increased GPD1L and decreased miRNA-181a were observed in tissues from osteoarthritis patients. Moreover, we found a highly negative correlation between miRNA-181a and GPD1L.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrated that miR-181a may play an important role in the pathogenesis of OA through targeting GPD1L and regulating chondrocyte apoptosis.

Keywords: Apoptosis, Chondrocytes, Down-Regulation, MicroRNAs, Osteoarthritis