Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs that bind target mRNA transcripts and modulate gene expression. In the cortical collecting duct (CCD), aldosterone stimulates the expression of genes that increase activity of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC); in the early phase of aldosterone induction, one such gene is serum and glucocorticoid regulated kinase 1 (SGK1). We hypothesized that aldosterone regulates the expression of miRNAs in the early phase of induction to control the expression of target genes that stimulate ENaC activity. We treated mpkCCDc14 cells with aldosterone or vehicle for 1 h and used a miRNA microarray to analyze differential miRNA expression. We identified miR-466g as a miRNA that decreased by 57% after 1 h of aldosterone treatment. Moreover, we identified a putative miR-466g binding site in the 3'-untranslated region of SGK1. We constructed an SGK1 3'-untranslated region luciferase reporter and found that cotransfection of miR-466g suppressed luciferase activity in human embryonic kidney-293 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Deletion or introduction of point mutations that disrupt the miR-466g target site attenuated miR-466g-directed suppression of luciferase activity. Finally, we generated stably transduced mpkCCDc14 cell lines overexpressing miR-466g. Cells overexpressing miR-466g demonstrated 12.9-fold lower level of SGK1 mRNA compared with control cells after 6 h of aldosterone induction; moreover, cells overexpressing miR-466g exhibited 25% decrease in amiloride-sensitive current after 6 h of aldosterone induction and complete loss of amiloride-sensitive current after 24 h of aldosterone induction. Our findings implicate miR-466g as a novel early-phase aldosterone responsive miRNA that regulates SGK1 and ENaC in CCD cells.
Keywords: ENaC; SGK1; aldosterone; cortical collecting duct; miRNA.