MiR-27a Regulates Apoptosis in Nucleus Pulposus Cells by Targeting PI3K.

TitleMiR-27a Regulates Apoptosis in Nucleus Pulposus Cells by Targeting PI3K.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLiu G, Cao P, Chen H, Yuan W, Wang J, Tang X
JournalPloS one
Date Published2013

The precise role of apoptosis in the pathogenesis of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) remains to be elucidated. We analyzed degenerative nucleus pulposus (NP) cells and found that the expression of miR-27a was increased. The overexpression of miR-27a was further verified using real-time RT-PCR. Bioinformatics target prediction identified phosphoinositide-3 kinases (PI3K) as putative targets of miR-27a. Furthermore, miR-27a inhibited PI3K expression by directly targeting their 3'-UTRs, and this inhibition was abolished by mutation of the miR-27a binding sites. Various cellular processes including cell growth, proliferation, migration and adhesion are regulated by activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, and nucleus pulposus cells are known to strongly express the phosphorylated survival protein AKT. Our results identify PI3K as a novel target of miR-27a. Upregulation of miR-27a thus targets PI3K, initiating apoptosis of nucleus pulposus cells. This present study revealed that downregulated miR-27a might develop a novel intervention for IDD treatment through the prevention of apoptosis in Nucleus pulposus Cells.

Alternate JournalPLoS ONE