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Volume 47 Number 6 Volume 48 Number 1

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Research articles

ScienceAsia 48 (2022): 57-61 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2022.011

MicroRNA-21a-5p regulates TGF-β1-induced myofibroblast transformation of rabbit keratocytes by targeting Smad7

Jianhai Baia, Minli Zhangb, Xiaomin Dingb, Xingzhi Yangb, Dan Zhenga, Hongyun Moua, Xiaoxiao Ruana, Yueqing Fengc, Haifei Hanb, Shili Wanga,*

ABSTRACT:     The transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1)-induced transformation of keratocytes to myofibroblasts is a very common process during corneal wound healing, but a dysregulated TGF-β1 activity may induce unfavorable fibrosis and scar formation in the cornea. MicroRNA (miR)-21a-5p and Smad7 have been reported to play an important role in the fibrosis process. However, how miR-21a-5p involves in the TGF-β1-induced myofibroblasts transformation of keratocytes remains unclear. In the present study, we found an increase in the expressions of α-SMA and collagen I at protein level as well as Smad7 and miR-21a-5p at mRNA level when keratocytes were treated with TGF-β1Here; but the Smad7 at protein level kept unchanged. The overexpression of miR-21a-5p attenuated Smad7 protein expression, and miR-21a-5p inhibition promoted Smad7 protein expression without affecting its mRNA expression. Furthermore, inhibition of miR-21a-5p could decrease TGF-β1-induced α-SMA expression, whereas the addition of Smad7 knockdown would rescue the expression of α-SMA. These results suggested that miR-21a-5p had a promoting effect on TGF-β1-induced myofibroblast transformation of keratocytes by targeting Smad7 at its translation stage.

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a Department of Ophthalmology, Taizhou Central Hospital (Taizhou University Hospital), Zhejiang 318000 China
b Operating Room, Taizhou Central Hospital (Taizhou University Hospital), Zhejiang 318000 China
c Cardiothoracic Surgery, Taizhou Central Hospital (Taizhou University Hospital), Zhejiang 318000 China

* Corresponding author, E-mail: wangsl7149@tzzxyy.com

Received 29 Jan 2021, Accepted 27 Aug 2021