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MicroRNA-23a reduces slow myosin heavy chain isoforms composition through myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) and potentially influences meat quality

Shen, Linyuan, Chen, Lei, Zhang, Shunhua, Zhang, Yi, Wang, Jingyong, Zhu, Li
Meat science 2016 v.116 pp. 201-206
epigenetics, gene expression regulation, gene overexpression, genes, luciferase, meat quality, messenger RNA, microRNA, muscle development, muscle fibers, myoblasts, myosin heavy chains
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding small RNAs that participate in the regulation of a variety of biological processes. Muscle fiber types were very important to meat quality traits, however, the molecular mechanism by which miRNAs regulate the muscle fiber type composition is not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate whether miRNA-23a can affect muscle fiber type composition. Luciferase reporter assays proved that miRNA-23a directly targets the 3′ untranslated region (UTRs) of MEF2c. Overexpression of miRNA-23a significantly suppressed the expression of MEF2c both in mRNA and protein levels, thus caused down-regulation of the expression of some key downstream genes of MEF2c (PGC1-α, NRF1 and mtTFA). More interestingly, overexpression of miRNA-23a significantly restrained the myogenic differentiation and decreased the ratio of slow myosin heavy chain in myoblasts (p<0.05). Our findings hinted a novel role of miRNA-23a in the epigenetic regulation of meat quality via decreasing the ratio of slow myosin heavy chain isoforms.