Posttranscriptional mechanisms involving microRNA-27a and b contribute to fast-specific and glucocorticoid-mediated myostatin expression in skeletal muscle.


Expression of the antigrowth factor myostatin (MSTN) differs between fast and slow skeletal muscles and is increased in nearly every form of muscle atrophy, but the contribution of transcriptional vs. posttranscriptional mechanisms to its differing expression in these states has not been defined. We show here that levels of mature MSTN mRNA were sixfold greater in fast vs. slow muscle and were increased twofold in fast muscle in response to dexamethasone (Dex) injection in vivo and in C₂C₁₂ myotubes following Dex treatment in vitro, but that levels of MSTN pre-mRNA, a readout of transcription, only minimally and nonsignificantly differed in these states. Moreover, Dex treatment with or without cotransfection with a glucocorticoid receptor expression construct had only modest effects on mouse MSTN promoter activity in C₂C₁₂ myotubes. We therefore explored the potential contribution of posttranscriptional mechanisms, and the role of the microRNAs miR-27a and b in particular, on MSTN expression. The MSTN 3'-untranslated region (UTR) contains a putative recognition sequence for miR-27a and b that is conserved across a wide range of vertebrate species. Cotransfection of a MSTN 3'-UTR-luciferase construct with a miR-27b expression construct significantly attenuated by approximately half while mutation of the miR-27 recognition sequence significantly increased by approximately twofold the activity of a MSTN 3'-UTR construct and decreased mRNA degradation of a luciferase reporter construct in C₂C₁₂ myotubes. Expression of miR-27a and b was almost sixfold greater in slow-twitch than in fast-twitch muscle in vivo, and miR-27a expression was significantly decreased by nearly half by glucocorticoid treatment in vitro. Finally, the miR-27a and b promoters were activated by cotransfection with the slow-specific signaling molecules calcineurin and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ coactivator-1α. The present data represent the first demonstration that posttranscriptional mechanisms involving miR-27a and b may contribute to fast-specific and glucocorticoid-dependent myostatin expression in muscle.

DOI: 10.1152/ajpcell.00142.2010
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@article{Allen2011PosttranscriptionalMI, title={Posttranscriptional mechanisms involving microRNA-27a and b contribute to fast-specific and glucocorticoid-mediated myostatin expression in skeletal muscle.}, author={David L. Allen and Amanda S Loh}, journal={American journal of physiology. Cell physiology}, year={2011}, volume={300 1}, pages={C124-37} }