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29 October 2016 : Clinical Research  

Molecular Mechanism of MicroRNA-200c Regulating Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β)/SMAD Family Member 3 (SMAD3) Pathway by Targeting Zinc Finger E-Box Binding Homeobox 1 (ZEB1) in Hypospadias in Rats

Chong QianABCD, Xiangyang DangABC, Xianglin WangABE, Wei XuABCD, Guijian PangAEF, Yifeng ChenADEF, Chengbei LiuAE

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.896958

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:4073-4081

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to explore effects of microRNA-200c regulating TGF-β/Smad3 pathway by targeting Zeb1 on the occurrence and development of hypospadias and to evaluate the relationship between microRNA-200c and occurrence of hypospadias.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Pregnant rats with a gestational age of 12 days were allocated into 2 groups; one received gavage of DEHP-contained soybean oil (1 ml/day, 8 days; Group A) and the other had gavage of normal soybean oil (1 ml/day, 8 days; Group B). Baby rats with hypospadias from Group A were assigned to the model group (n=20) and healthy baby rats from Group B were assigned to the control group (n=20). Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis were performed to detect microRNA-200c, Zeb1, TGF-β, and Smad3 mRNA and protein expressions in the model group (n=20) and the control group (n=20). The relationship between microRNA-200c and Zeb1 was detected using a dual-luciferase reporter gene experiment. After the in vitro intervention experiment in fetal rat penises, Western blot was used to detect the expression of Zeb1, TGF-β, and Smad3.

RESULTS: In the model group, microRNA-200c was expressed at a low level, and microRNA-200c expression in control group was 2.1 times higher than in the model group (P<0.05). When compared with the control group, mRNA expressions, protein expressions, and positive rates of Zeb1, TGF-β, and Smad3 were higher in the model group (all P<0.01). Luciferase gene report determined that Zeb1 is a target gene of microRNA-200c. The in vitro intervention experiment in fetal rat penises found that a high concentration of microRNA-200c inhibited hypospadias occurrence by suppressing the expression of Zeb1, TGF-β, and Smad3.

CONCLUSIONS: MicroRNA-200c was expressed in hypospadias penis tissues at low levels and was negatively correlated with Zeb1 expression. MicroRNA-200c up-regulated Zeb1 expression to regulate the TGF-β/Smad3 pathway, which led to the occurrence of hypospadias.

Keywords: Genes, Homeobox, Hypospadias - metabolism, RNA, Messenger - metabolism, Signal Transduction, Smad3 Protein - metabolism, Transcription Factors - metabolism, Transforming Growth Factor beta - metabolism, Zinc Finger E-box-Binding Homeobox 1 - metabolism

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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416
Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416