The muscle-specific microRNA miR-1 regulates cardiac arrhythmogenic potential by targeting GJA1 and KCNJ2

Yang, Baofeng; Lin, Huixian; Xiao, Jiening; Lu, Yanjie; Luo, Xiaobin; Li, Baoxin; Zhang, Ying; Xu, Chaoqian; Bai, Yunlong; Wang, Huizhen; Chen, Guohao; Wang, Zhiguo
April 2007
Nature Medicine;Apr2007, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p486
Academic Journal
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous noncoding RNAs, about 22 nucleotides in length, that mediate post-transcriptional gene silencing by annealing to inexactly complementary sequences in the 3′-untranslated regions of target mRNAs. Our current understanding of the functions of miRNAs relies mainly on their tissue-specific or developmental stage-dependent expression and their evolutionary conservation, and therefore is primarily limited to their involvement in developmental regulation and oncogenesis. Of more than 300 miRNAs that have been identified, miR-1 and miR-133 are considered to be muscle specific. Here we show that miR-1 is overexpressed in individuals with coronary artery disease, and that when overexpressed in normal or infarcted rat hearts, it exacerbates arrhythmogenesis. Elimination of miR-1 by an antisense inhibitor in infarcted rat hearts relieved arrhythmogenesis. miR-1 overexpression slowed conduction and depolarized the cytoplasmic membrane by post-transcriptionally repressing KCNJ2 (which encodes the K+ channel subunit Kir2.1) and GJA1 (which encodes connexin 43), and this likely accounts at least in part for its arrhythmogenic potential. Thus, miR-1 may have important pathophysiological functions in the heart, and is a potential antiarrhythmic target.


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