Down-regulation of MiR-127 facilitates hepatocyte proliferation during rat liver regeneration

PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39151. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039151. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


Liver regeneration (LR) after partial hepatectomy (PH) involves the proliferation and apoptosis of hepatocytes, and microRNAs have been shown to post-transcriptionally regulate genes involved in the regulation of these processes. To explore the role of miR-127 during LR, the expression patterns of miR-127 and its related proteins were investigated. MiR-127 was introduced into a rat liver cell line to examine its effects on the potential target genes Bcl6 and Setd8, and functional studies were undertaken. We discovered that miR-127 was down-regulated and inversely correlated with the expression of Bcl6 and Setd8 at 24 hours after PH, a time at which hypermethylation of the promoter region of the miR-127 gene was detected. Furthermore, in BRL-3A rat liver cells, we observed that overexpression of miR-127 significantly suppressed cell growth and directly inhibited the expression of Bcl6 and Setd8. The results suggest that down-regulation of miR-127 may be due to the rapid methylation of its promoter during the first 24 h after PH, and this event facilitates hepatocyte proliferation by releasing Bcl6 and Setd8. These findings support a miRNA-mediated negative regulation pattern in LR and implicate an anti-proliferative role for miR-127 in liver cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA Methylation
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Hepatocytes / cytology*
  • Liver Regeneration*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Rats


  • MicroRNAs
  • Mirn127 microRNA, rat