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MicroRNA-221 may be involved in lipid metabolism in mammary epithelial cells

Chu, M., Zhao, Y., Yu, S., Hao, Y., Zhang, P., Feng, Y., Zhang, H., Ma, D., Liu, J., Cheng, M., Li, L., Shen, W., Cao, H., Li, Q. and Min, L. (2018) MicroRNA-221 may be involved in lipid metabolism in mammary epithelial cells. The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology, 97 . pp. 118-127.

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Milk lipids, important for infant growth and development, are produced and secreted by mammary gland under the regulation of steroid hormones, growth factors, and microRNAs (miRNAs). miR-221 has been identified in milk and adipocytes and it plays important roles in regulating normal mammary epithelial hierarchy and breast cancer stem cells; however, its roles in lipid metabolism in mammary epithelial cells (MECs), the cells of lipid synthesis and secretion, are as yet unknown. Through overexpression or inhibition of miR-221 expression, we found that it regulated lipid metabolism in MECs and was expressed differentially at various stages during murine mammary gland development. Inhibition of miR-221 expression increased lipid content in MECs through elevation of the lipid synthesis enzyme FASN, while overexpression of miR-221 reduced MEC lipid content. Moreover, the steroid hormones estradiol and progesterone decreased miR-221 expression with a subsequent increase in lipid formation in MECs. The expression of miR-221 was lower during lactation, which suggests that it may be involved in milk production. Therefore, miR-221 might be a useful target for influencing milk lipid production.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier Limited
Copyright: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd.
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