Loss of muscle proteins and the consequent weakness has important clinical consequences in diseases such as cancer, diabetes, chronic heart failure, and in aging. In fact, excessive proteolysis causes cachexia, accelerates disease progression, and worsens life expectancy. Muscle atrophy involves a common pattern of transcriptional changes in a small subset of genes named atrophy-related genes or atrogenes. Whether microRNAs play a role in the atrophy program and muscle loss is debated. To understand the involvement of miRNAs in atrophy we performed miRNA expression profiling of mouse muscles under wasting conditions such as fasting, denervation, diabetes, and cancer cachexia. We found that the miRNA signature is peculiar of each catabolic condition. We then focused on denervation and we revealed that changes in transcripts and microRNAs expression did not occur simultaneously but were shifted. Indeed, whereas transcriptional control of the atrophy-related genes peaks at 3 days, changes of miRNA expression maximized at 7 days after denervation. Among the different miRNAs, microRNA-206 and -21 were the most induced in denervated muscles. We characterized their pattern of expression and defined their role in muscle homeostasis. Indeed, in vivo gain and loss of function experiments revealed that miRNA-206 and miRNA-21 were sufficient and required for atrophy program. In silico and in vivo approaches identified transcription factor YY1 and the translational initiator factor eIF4E3 as downstream targets of these miRNAs. Thus miRNAs are important for fine-tuning the atrophy program and their modulation can be a novel potential therapeutic approach to counteract muscle loss and weakness in catabolic conditions.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.