Murine hepatic miRNAs expression and regulation of gene expression in diet-induced obese mice

Mol Cells. 2011 Jan;31(1):33-8. doi: 10.1007/s10059-011-0009-7. Epub 2010 Nov 25.


MicroRNAs are short, non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression primarily by translational repression or by messenger RNA degradation. MicroRNAs play crucial roles in various biological processes. However, little is known regarding their role in obesity. We investigated differences of microRNA (miRNA) expression in liver tissue from diet-induced obese mice and potential effects of them on gene and protein expression. We used a miRNA microarray and quantitative RT-PCR to determine miRNA expression in murine liver tissue. Gene and protein expression were determined by qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Effects of miRNA by knock-down using RNAi or overexpression on putative target genes and/or proteins in a murine hepatic cell line were also investigated. MicroRNA array and qRT-PCR analsysis revealed that > 50 miRNAs were down- or upregulated more than 2-fold in the liver of diet-induced obese mice. While changes in expression of many genes were observed at the mRNA level, some were only altered at the protein level. Overexpression or knock-down of miR-107 in murine hepatic cells revealed that the expression of its putative target, fatty acid synthase, was dramatically decreased or increased, respectively. In conclusion, more than 50 hepatic miRNAs were dysregulated in diet-induced obese mice. Some of them regulate protein expression at translation level and others regulate mRNA expression at transcriptional level. MiR-107 is downregulated while FASN, a putative target of miR-107, was increased in diet-induced obese mice. These findings provide the evidence of the correlation of miRNAs and their targets in diet-induced obese mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / genetics
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Liver / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Obesity / metabolism*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / genetics
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Weight Gain


  • Dietary Fats
  • MIRN107 microRNA, mouse
  • MicroRNAs
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • CRF receptor type 1
  • Fatty Acid Synthases