Biotechnology Letters, Vol.43, No.2, 353-367, 2021
miR-375-3p contributes to hypoxia-induced apoptosis by targeting forkhead box P1 (FOXP1) and Bcl2 like protein 2 (Bcl2l2) in rat cardiomyocyte h9c2 cells
miRNAs have been pointed to play critical role in the development of congenital heart disease (CHD). miRNA-375-3p (miR-375-3p) was involved in cardiac dysfunction and cardiogenesis. However, no prior study had established a therapeutic role of miR-375-3p in CHD. We intended to investigate the effect and mechanism of miR-375-3p on apoptosis in hypoxic cardiomyocytes in vitro. Expression of miR-375-3p, forkhead box P1 (FOXP1) and Bcl2 like protein 2 (Bcl2l2) was detected using real-time quantitative PCR and western blot. Apoptosis was measured with MTT assay, flow cytometry and caspase-3 activity assay. The potential target binding between miR-375-3p and FOXP1/Bcl2l2 was predicted on DianaTools, and was validated by luciferase reporter assay and RNA pull-down assay. As a result, miR-375-3p was upregulated and FOXP1/Bcl2l2 was downregulated in maternal serum of women with fetal CHD and hypoxia-induced rat cardiomyocyte h9c2 cells. Hypoxia induced apoptosis rate elevation, caspase-3 activity promotion and viability inhibition in h9c2 cells; overexpression of miR-375-3p promoted, whereas knockdown of miR-375-3p antagonized hypoxia-induced effects in h9c2 cells. In addition, miR-375-3p was validated to negatively regulate FOXP1 and Bcl2l2 expression through target binding, and silencing of FOXP1 and Bcl2l2 could independently abate the anti-apoptosis role of miR-375-3p knockdown in hypoxic h9c2 cells. Collectively, blocking miR-375-3p suppressed hypoxia-evoked apoptosis of cardiomyocytes by targeting and upregulating FOXP1 and Bcl2l2. Our results might suggest maternal serum miR-375-3p as a potential biomarker for prenatal detection of fetal CHD.