Multiple microRNAs function as self-protective modules in acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in humans
Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) participates in the metabolism of approximately 20-25% of prescribed drugs. Genetic polymorphisms influence the expression and/or activity of CYP2D6, and inter-individual differences in drug activation and elimination caused by CYP2D6 genetic variants were reported. However, little is known about the potential modulation of CYP2D6 expression by microRNAs (miRNAs). In the current study, by using in silico prediction of the stabilities of miRNA/mRNA complexes, we screened 38 miRNA candidates that may interact with the transcript of CYP2D6. An inverse correlation between the expression of miRNA hsa-miR-370-3p and the expression of CYP2D6 was observed in human liver tissue samples. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays confirmed that hsa-miR-370-3p was able to directly bind to its cognate target within the coding region of the CYP2D6 transcript. The transfection of hsa-miR-370-3p mimics into the HepG2CYP2D6 cell line, a genetically modified cell line that overexpresses exogenous CYP2D6, was able to suppress the expression of CYP2D6 significantly at both mRNA and protein levels. The transfection of hsa-miR-370-3p mimics was also able to inhibit endogenous mRNA expression and/or protein production of CYP2D6 in HepaRG cells. Furthermore, in HepaRG, HepG2, and Huh7 cells, dexamethasone-induced expression of CYP2D6 was inhibited by hsa-miR-370-3p mimics. To investigate whether the miRNA mediated suppression is caused by inhibiting protein translation or promoting mRNA degradation, an actinomycin D assay was used to measure the stability of CYP2D6 transcripts. The results indicated that hsa-miR-370-3p mimics facilitated significantly the degradation of CYP2D6 mRNA. In addition, proteomics analyses of proteins isolated from the miRNA/mRNA/protein complex suggested that a group of multifunctional proteins facilitated the interaction between hsa-miR-370-3p and CYP2D6, thereby promoting mRNA degradation.