ATRA induces the differentiation of hepatic progenitor cells by upregulating microRNA-200a
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Hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) are potential seed cells for hepatocyte transplantation treatment of liver diseases. ATRA can induce the differentiation and mature function of hepatic progenitor cells, but the mechanism is still poorly understood. Here, by using microRNA array to analyze the expression profiles of microRNA (miR), we found that miR-200 family molecules in HPCs were upregulated after ATRA treatment, especially miR-200a-3p, 200c-3p, and 141-3p. ATRA induction could downregulate the expression of hepatic stem markers Oct4 and AFP, and improve the expression of hepatic markers ALB, CK18, and TAT, and the activity of ALB-GLuc, as well as indocyanine green uptake and glycogen storage function of HPCs. These above effects of ATRA on HPC differentiation were almost inhibited by blocking of miR-200a-3p, but not miR-200c-3p and 141-3p using antagomir. Cell autophagy is associated with ATRA regulation in HPCs, compared with control group, the expression of LC3 and Beclin1 increased in ATRA-treated HPCs, and orange and red fluorescent spot, which represents autophagy flow, also enhanced after ATRA treatment. However, ATRA-induced cell autophagy level was inhibited in antagomir-200a-3p+ATRA-treated cells. Therefore, the present study indicates that antagomir-200a-3p is related to ATRA-induced hepatic differentiation of HPCs through regulating cell autophagy, supporting the possible use of ATRA as a key inducer in HPC-based therapy of liver diseases.
KeywordsATRA MicroRNA-200 Hepatic differentiation Antagomir Autophagy
The present study was supported by research grants from the Natural Science Foundation of Chongqing City Grant (No. csct2016jcyjA0228 to YB, cstc2018jcyjAX0111 to YH).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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