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MicroRNA-375 promotes 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation through modulation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase signalling

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Summary

1. Adipocyte hypertrophy and hyperplasia are important processes in the development of obesity. To understand obesity and its associated diseases, it is important to elucidate the molecular mechanisms governing adipogenesis. MicroRNA-375 has been shown to inhibit differentiation of neurites, and participate in the regulation of insulin secretion and blood homeostasis. However, it is unknown whether miR-375 plays a role in adipocyte differentiation.

2. To investigate the role of miR-375 in adipocyte differentiation, we compared the miR-375 expression level between 3T3-L1 pre-adipocytes and adipocytes using miRNA microarray and quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis. Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of overexpression or inhibition of miR-375 on 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation.

3. In the present study, we found that miR-375 expression was increased after induction of adipogenic differentiation. Overexpression of miR-375 enhanced 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation, as evidenced by its ability to increase mRNA levels of both CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α (C/EBPα) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ2), and induction of adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein (aP2) and triglyceride (TG) accumulation. Furthermore, we found overexpression of miR-375 suppressed phosphorylation levels of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2). In contrast, anti-miR-375 increased ERK1/2 phosphorylation levels and inhibited mRNA expression of C/EBPα, PPARγ2 and aP2 in 3T3-L1 adipocyte, accompanied by decreased adipocyte differentiation.

4. Taken together, these data suggest that miR-375 promotes 3T3-L1 adipocyte differentiation, possibly through modulating the ERK–PPARγ2–aP2 pathway.
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Keywords: 3T3-L1 adipocytes; differentiation; extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2; microRNA-375; obesity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Clinical Research/First Affiliated Hospital 2: Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health 3: Key Laboratory for Pharmacoproteomics of Hunan Province/Institute of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, University of South China, Hengyang, China 4: Laboratory of Cell & Molecular Biology, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Port Orange, Florida, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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