Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 507–521 | Cite as

Down-Regulation of SIRT1 Expression by mir-23b Contributes to Lipid Accumulation in HepG2 Cells

  • Mohammad Borji
  • Mitra NourbakhshEmail author
  • Sayed Mohammad ShafieeEmail author
  • Ali Akbar Owji
  • Zohreh Abdolvahabi
  • Zahra Hesari
  • Davod Ilbeigi
  • Parvaneh Seiri
  • Zeynab Yousefi
Original Article


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is one of the main causes of chronic liver disease and therefore is currently considered a major public health problem. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) is an NAD-dependent deacetylase enzyme that contributes in the regulation of metabolic processes and protects against lipid accumulation in hepatocytes. Its expression is potentially regulated by microRNAs which attach to the 3′ untranslated region (3′-UTR) of their target mRNA. HepG2 cells were incubated by glucose to induce lipid accumulation and were subsequently transfected with mir-23b mimic and inhibitor. Real-time PCR was used for measuring the expression of mir-23b and SIRT1 mRNA. Cell survival assay and intracellular triglyceride measurement were performed using colorimetric methods. Determination of SIRT1 protein level and activity were done by western blot and fluorometric analysis, respectively. The interaction of miR-23b with 3′-UTR of SIRT1 mRNA was confirmed by dual luciferase. miR-23b mimic inhibited gene and protein expression of SIRT1, while the inhibitor of miR-23b significantly elevated the expression levels of SIRT1 mRNA and protein. The results showed that the 3′-UTR of SIRT1 mRNA is a direct target for miR-23b. The intracellular triglyceride level was increased following the inhibition of SIRT1 in transfected HepG2 cell by miR-23b mimic. Cell viability was decreased in response to miR-23b upregulation compared to control cells. miR-23b reduces the expression and activity of SIRT1 and therefore may be a causative factor in the enhancement of lipid accumulation in HepG2 cells.


miR-23b-3p Sirtuins 1 Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease Luciferase assay 



non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide


silent information regulation homology 1


untranslated region


microRNA response elements



This research has been extracted from the Ph.D. thesis of Mohammad Borji and was supported by Grant Number 94-01-01-10596 from Vice-chancellor for Research Affairs of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

Compliance with Ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human participants and there is no need for informed consent.

Supplementary material

10528_2019_9905_MOESM1_ESM.docx (251 kb)
Supplementary file1 (DOCX 250 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, School of MedicineShiraz University of Medical SciencesShirazIran
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry, School of MedicineIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  3. 3.Laboratory Sciences Research CenterGolestan University of Medical SciencesGorganIran
  4. 4.Neuroscience Researcher CenterTorbat Heydarieh University of Medical SciencesTorbat HeydariehIran
  5. 5.Department of Biochemistry, School of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran

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