|miR-148a is Associated with Obesity and Modulates Adipocyte Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells through Wnt Signaling.|
Shi, C; Zhang, M; Tong, M; Yang, L; Pang, L; Chen, L; Xu, G; Chi, X; Hong, Q; Ni, Y; Ji, C; Guo, X
Obesity results from numerous, interacting genetic, behavioral, and physiological factors. Adipogenesis is partially regulated by several adipocyte-selective microRNAs (miRNAs) and transcription factors that regulate proliferation and differentiation of human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs-Ad). In this study, we examined the roles of adipocyte-selective miRNAs in the differentiation of hMSCs-Ad to adipocytes. Results showed that the levels of miR-148a, miR-26b, miR-30, and miR-199a increased in differentiating hMSCs-Ad. Among these miRNAs, miR-148a exhibited significant effects on increasing PPRE luciferase activity (it represents PPAR-dependent transcription, a major factor in adipogenesis) than others. Furthermore, miR-148a expression levels increased in adipose tissues from obese people and mice fed high-fat diet. miR-148a acted by suppressing its target gene, Wnt1, an endogenous inhibitor of adipogenesis. Ectopic expression of miR-148a accelerated differentiation and partially rescued Wnt1-mediated inhibition of adipogenesis. Knockdown of miR-148a also inhibited adipogenesis. Analysis of the upstream region of miR-148a locus identified a 3 kb region containing a functional cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB) required for miR-148a expression in hMSCs-Ad. The results suggest that miR-148a is a biomarker of obesity in human subjects and mouse model, which represents a CREB-modulated miRNA that acts to repress Wnt1, thereby promoting adipocyte differentiation.