miR-196b targets c-myc and Bcl-2 expression, inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in endometriotic stromal cells.Hum Reprod. 2013 Mar; 28(3):750-61.HR
What is the global expression pattern of microRNAs (miRNAs) in endometriotic stromal cells and is miR-196b involved in the pathogenesis of endometriosis?
Several miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in endometriotic cyst stromal cells (ECSCs), including miR-196b whose expression is repressed in endometriotic stromal cells.
WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY
Although, histologically, endometriotic tissues and normal proliferative endometrium are similar, a number of distinct molecular differences have been reported to date. The anti-apoptotic and excessive proliferative properties of endometriotic cells are considered to be involved in the development and progression of endometriosis.
STUDY DESIGN AND SIZE DURATION
ECSCs and normal endometrial stromal cells (NESCs) were isolated from ovarian endometriotic tissues and eutopic endometrial tissues, respectively and compared.
PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING AND METHODS
Aberrantly expressed miRNAs in ECSCs were identified by a global miRNA microarray technique. The roles of miR-196b in ECSC proliferation, apoptosis, and c-myc and B-cell lymphoma/leukemia (Bcl)-2 mRNA expression were investigated with precursor hsa-miR-196b transfection. The methylation status of the miR-196b gene in ECSCs and the effect of a DNA demethylating agent on miR-196b expression were also examined.
MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE
miRNA microarray analysis identified eight down-regulated miRNAs (including miR-196b) and four up-regulated miRNAs in ECSCs. Compulsory expression of miR-196b directed the inhibition of proliferation and the induction of apoptosis in ECSCs. miR-196b was found to suppress c-myc and Bcl-2 mRNA expression in ECSCs, and there was a significant correlation between miR-196b and HOXA10 expression in ECSCs and NESCs. The miR-196b gene was hypermethylated in ECSCs when compared with NESCs, and the treatment with a DNA demethylating agent restored the expression of miR-196b in ECSCs.
LIMITATIONS AND REASONS FOR CAUTION
miRNA expression profiles were investigated only in the stromal component of ectopic and eutopic endometrium samples. In addition to miR-196b, the roles of other miRNAs aberrantly expressed in ECSCs should be examined.
WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS
The present findings suggest that aberrant miRNA expression plays an important role in the pathogenesis of endometriosis as a part of epigenetic mechanisms, that expression of miR-196b in ECSCs is repressed by DNA hypermethylation of the miR-196b gene and this repression may be involved in the development of proliferative and anti-apoptotic characteristics of endometriosis.
This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (no. 20591920 to K.N. and no. 23592407 to H.N.) and The Uehara Memorial Foundation (to K.N.).