MicroRNA-133 Modulates the β1-Adrenergic Receptor Transduction Cascade

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The sympathetic nervous system plays a fundamental role in the regulation of myocardial function. During chronic pressure overload, overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system induces the release of catecholamines, which activate β-adrenergic receptors in cardiomyocytes and lead to increased heart rate and cardiac contractility. However, chronic stimulation of β-adrenergic receptors leads to impaired cardiac function, and β-blockers are widely used as therapeutic agents for the treatment of cardiac disease. MicroRNA-133 (miR-133) is highly expressed in the myocardium and is involved in controlling cardiac function through regulation of messenger RNA translation/stability.


To determine whether miR-133 affects β-adrenergic receptor signaling during progression to heart failure.

Methods and Results:

Based on bioinformatic analysis, β1-adrenergic receptor (β1AR) and other components of the β1AR signal transduction cascade, including adenylate cyclase VI and the catalytic subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase A, were predicted as direct targets of miR-133 and subsequently validated by experimental studies. Consistently, cAMP accumulation and activation of downstream targets were repressed by miR-133 overexpression in both neonatal and adult cardiomyocytes following selective β1AR stimulation. Furthermore, gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies of miR-133 revealed its role in counteracting the deleterious apoptotic effects caused by chronic β1AR stimulation. This was confirmed in vivo using a novel cardiac-specific TetON-miR-133 inducible transgenic mouse model. When subjected to transaortic constriction, TetON-miR-133 inducible transgenic mice maintained cardiac performance and showed attenuated apoptosis and reduced fibrosis compared with control mice.


miR-133 controls multiple components of the β1AR transduction cascade and is cardioprotective during heart failure.

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