MiR-210 facilitates ECM degradation by suppressing autophagy via silencing of ATG7 in human degenerated NP cells.Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 Sep; 93:470-479.BP
Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is thought to be the most common cause of low back pain. Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is involved in the development of IDD. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of miR-210 on type II collagen (Col II) and aggrecan expression and possible mechanisms in human degenerated nucleus pulposus (NP) cells. Our results showed that miR-210 levels were significantly increased in degenerated NP tissues compared with healthy controls, and positively correlated with disc degeneration grade. By gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies in human degenerated NP cells, miR-210 was shown to inhibit autophagy and then upregulate MMP-3 and MMP-13 expression, leading to increased degradation of Col II and aggrecan. Autophagy-related gene 7 (ATG7) was identified as a direct target of miR-210. Knockdown of ATG7 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) abrogated the effects of miR-210 inhibitor on MMP-3, MMP-13, Col II and aggrecan expression. Taken together, these results suggest that miR-210 inhibits autophagy via silencing of ATG7, leading to increased Col II and aggrecan degradation in human degenerated NP cells.