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MicroRNA-148a Regulates Low-Density Lipoprotein Metabolism by Repressing the (Pro)renin Receptor

By Na Wang, Lishu He, Hui Lin, Lunbo Tan, Yuan Sun, Xiaoying Zhang, A.H. Jan Danser, Hong S. Lu, Yongcheng He, Xifeng Lu

Posted 05 Nov 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/831529 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225356)

High plasma LDL cholesterol (LDL-c) concentration is a major risk factor for atherosclerosis. Hepatic LDLR regulates LDL metabolism, and thereby plasma LDL-c concentration. Recently, we identified the (pro)renin receptor [(P)RR] as a novel regulator of LDL metabolism, which regulates LDLR degradation and hence its protein abundance and activity. In silicon analysis suggests that the (P)RR is a target of miR-148a. In this study we determined whether miR-148a could regulate LDL metabolism by regulating (P)RR expression in HepG2 and Huh7 cells. We found that miR-148a suppressed (P)RR expression by binding to the 3’-untranslated regions (3’-UTR) of (P)RR mRNA. Mutating the binding sites for miR-148a in the 3’-UTR of (P)RR mRNA abolished the inhibitory effects of miR-148a on (P)RR expression. In line with our recent findings, reduced (P)RR expression resulted in decreased cellular LDL uptake, likely as a consequence of decreased LDLR protein abundance. Overexpressing the (P)RR prevented miR-148a-induced reduction in LDLR abundance and cellular LDL uptake. Our study supports a new concept that miR-148a is a regulator of (P)RR expression. By reducing (P)RR abundance, miR-148a decreases LDLR protein abundance and consequently cellular LDL uptake.

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