Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.472, No.1, 150-155, 2016
TGF-beta regulates TGFBIp expression in corneal fibroblasts via miR-21, miR-181a, and Smad signaling
Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)-induced gene (TGFBI) protein (TGFBIp) is associated with granular corneal dystrophy type 2 (GCD2). TGFBIp levels can affect GCD2 phenotypes, but the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We investigated the involvement of microRNA (miRNA) and TGF-beta in the regulation of TGFBIp expression in corneal fibroblasts. Ectopic expression of miR-9, miR-21, and miR-181a significantly decreased TGFBIp levels. Conversely, expression of miR-21 and miR-181a was induced by TGF-beta 1. Expression of miR-21 was 10-fold higher than that of miR-9 and miR-181 a in corneal fibroblasts. Additionally, TGF-beta 1 expression was significantly higher than that of TGF-beta 2 and TGF-beta 3 in corneal fibroblasts, whereas expression of all three TGF-beta forms was not significantly different between wild-type (WT) and GCD2 homozygotes (HO) corneal fibroblasts. Taken together, these data indicate that TGFBIp expression is positively regulated by TGF-beta, whereas TGF-beta-induced miR-21 and miR-181a negatively regulate TGFBIp expression. In conclusion, TGFBIp levels in corneal fibroblasts are controlled via the coordinated activity of miR-21 and miR-181a and by Smad signaling. Pharmacologic modulation of these miRNAs and TGF-beta signaling could have therapeutic potential for TGFBI-associated corneal dystrophy, including GCD2. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.