Identification and validation of microRNAs directly regulating the UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 1A subfamily enzymes by a functional genomics approach

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Graphical abstractPosttranscriptional repression of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) 1A expression by microRNAs (miRNAs) may be an important mechanism underlying interindividual variability in drug glucuronidation. Furthermore, the UGT1A 3′-UTR shared by all UGT1A enzymes is polymorphic, containing three linked SNPs (rs10929303, rs1042640, and rs8330) that could influence miRNA binding. The aim of this study was to identify the complete complement of miRNAs that could regulate UGT1A expression through binding to the reference and/or common variant UGT1A 3′-UTR. Luciferase reporter plasmids containing either the reference or variant UGT1A 3′-UTR were screened against a 2048 human miRNA library to identify those miRNAs that decrease luciferase activity by at least 30% when co-transfected into HEK293 cells. Four novel miRNAs (miR-103b, miR-141-3p, miR-200a-3p, and miR-376b-3p) were identified that repressed both reference and variant UGT1A 3′-UTR, while two other miRNAs selectively repressed the reference (miR-1286) or variant (miR-21-3p) 3′-UTR. Deletion and mutagenesis studies confirmed the binding site location for each miRNA. rs8330 disrupted miR-1286 binding to the reference UGT1A 3′-UTR, while rs10929303 enhanced miR-21-3p binding to the variant 3′-UTR. Transfection of miR-21-3p, miR-103b, miR-141-3p, miR-200a-3p, and miR-376b-3p mimics into LS180 human intestinal cells showed repression of UGT1A1 and UGT1A6 mediated glucuronidation and mRNA without affecting UGT2B7 activity or mRNA. Furthermore, transfection of miR-21-3p, miR-141-3p, and miR-200a-3p into primary human hepatocytes, repressed UGT1A1 activity and mRNA without affecting CYP3A activity. Finally, miR-21-3p and miR-200a-3p expression were negatively correlated with UGT1A6 activity and mRNA in human liver samples. Thus, UGT1A is regulated by multiple miRNAs with some showing allele-dependent effects.

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