ROCK inhibition enhances microRNA function by promoting deadenylation of targeted mRNAs via increasing PAIP2 expression

Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Sep 3;43(15):7577-89. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkv728. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


The reduced expression levels and functional impairment of global miRNAs are related to various human diseases, including cancers. However, relatively little is known about how global miRNA function may be upregulated. Here, we report that global miRNA function can be enhanced by Rho-associated, coiled-coil-containing protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitors. The regulation of miRNA function by ROCK inhibitors is mediated, at least in part, by poly(A)-binding protein-interacting protein 2 (PAIP2), which enhances poly(A)-shortening of miRNA-targeted mRNAs and leads to global upregulation of miRNA function. In the presence of a ROCK inhibitor, PAIP2 expression is enhanced by the transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4A) through increased ROCK1 nuclear localization and enhanced ROCK1 association with HNF4A. Our data reveal an unexpected role of ROCK1 as a cofactor of HNF4A in enhancing PAIP2 transcription. ROCK inhibitors may be useful for the various pathologies associated with the impairment of global miRNA function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amides / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Caco-2 Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Pyridines / pharmacology
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • rho-Associated Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • rho-Associated Kinases / metabolism


  • Amides
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4
  • MicroRNAs
  • PAIP2 protein, human
  • Pyridines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Y 27632
  • rho-Associated Kinases