Background: Cardiac injury is accompanied by dynamic changes in the expression of microRNAs (miRs), small non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate target genes. MiR-125b-5p is downregulated in patients with end-stage dilated and ischemic cardiomyopathy, and has been proposed as a biomarker of heart failure. We previously reported that the β-blocker carvedilol promotes cardioprotection via β-arrestin-biased agonism of β1-adrenergic receptor while stimulating miR-125b-5p processing in the mouse heart. We hypothesize that β1-adrenergic receptor/β-arrestin1-responsive miR-125b-5p confers the improvement of cardiac function and structure after acute myocardial infarction.
Methods and results: Using cultured cardiomyocyte (CM) and in vivo approaches, we show that miR-125b-5p is an ischemic stress-responsive protector against CM apoptosis. CMs lacking miR-125b-5p exhibit increased susceptibility to stress-induced apoptosis, while CMs overexpressing miR-125b-5p have increased phospho-AKT pro-survival signaling. Moreover, we demonstrate that loss-of-function of miR-125b-5p in the mouse heart causes abnormalities in cardiac structure and function after acute myocardial infarction. Mechanistically, the improvement of cardiac function and structure elicited by miR-125b-5p is in part attributed to repression of the pro-apoptotic genes Bak1 and Klf13 in CMs.
Conclusions: In conclusion, these findings reveal a pivotal role for miR-125b-5p in regulating CM survival during acute myocardial infarction.
Keywords: Apoptotic genes; Biased G protein-coupled receptor signaling; Cardioprotection; MicroRNAs; β-arrestin.
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