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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

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MicroRNA-34a Promotes Hepatic Stellate Cell Activation via Targeting ACSL1

Gangli Yan, Binbin Li, Xuan Xin, Midie Xu, Guoqing Ji, Hongyu Yu

(Department of Pathology, Changzheng Hospital, The Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:3008-3015

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.894000

BACKGROUND: The incidence of liver fibrosis remains high due to the lack of effective therapies. Our previous work found that microRNA (miR)-34a expression was increased, while acy1-CoA synthetase long-chain family member1 (ACSL1) was decreased, in a dimethylnitrosamine (DNS)-induced hepatic fibrosis rat model. We hypothesized that miR-34a may play a role in the process of hepatic fibrosis by targeting ACSL1.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: From days 2 to 14, cultured primary hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) underwent cell morphology, immunocytochemical staining, and quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) for alpha smooth muscle actin (a-SMA), desmin, rno-miR-34a, and ACSL1 expression. Wild-type and mutant luciferase reporter plasmids were constructed according to the predicted miR-34a binding site on the 3’-untranslated region (UTR) of the ACSL1 mRNA and then transfected into HEK293 cells. rno-miR-34a was silenced in HSCs to confirm that rno-miR-34a negatively regulates ACSL1 expression. mRNA and protein expression of α-SMA, type I collagen, and desmin were assayed in miR-34a-silenced HSCs.
RESULTS: HSCs were deemed quiescent during the first 3 days and activated after 10 days. rno-miR-34a expression increased, and ACSL1 expression decreased, from day 2 to 7 to 14. rno-miR-34a was shown to specifically bind to the 3’-UTR of ACSL1. miR-34a-silenced HSCs showed higher ACSL1and lower α-SMA, type I collagen, and desmin expression than that of matching negative controls and non-transfected cells.
CONCLUSIONS: miR-34a appears to play an important role in the process of liver fibrosis by targeting ACSL1 and may show promise as a therapeutic molecular target for hepatic fibrosis.

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