Knockdown of Plakophilin 2 Downregulates miR-184 Through CpG Hypermethylation and Suppression of the E2F1 Pathway and Leads to Enhanced Adipogenesis In Vitro

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PKP2, encoding plakophilin 2 (PKP2), is the most common causal gene for arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy.


To characterize miRNA expression profile in PKP2-deficient cells.

Methods and Results:

Control and PKP2-knockdown HL-1 (HL-1Pkp2-shRNA) cells were screened for 750 miRNAs using low-density microfluidic panels. Fifty-nine miRNAs were differentially expressed. MiR-184 was the most downregulated miRNA. Expression of miR-184 in the heart and cardiac myocyte was developmentally downregulated and was low in mature myocytes. MicroRNA-184 was predominantly expressed in cardiac mesenchymal progenitor cells. Knockdown of Pkp2 in cardiac mesenchymal progenitor cells also reduced miR-184 levels. Expression of miR-184 was transcriptionally regulated by the E2F1 pathway, which was suppressed in PKP2-deficient cells. Activation of E2F1, on overexpression of its activator CCND1 (cyclin D1) or knockdown of its inhibitor retinoblastoma 1, partially rescued miR-184 levels. In addition, DNA methyltransferase-1 was recruited to the promoter region of miR-184, and the CpG sites at the upstream region of miR-184 were hypermethylated. Treatment with 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine, a demethylation agent, and knockdown of DNA methyltransferase-1 partially rescued miR-184 level. Pathway analysis of paired miR-184:mRNA targets identified cell proliferation, differentiation, and death as the main affected biological processes. Knockdown of miR-184 in HL-1 cells and mesenchymal progenitor cells induced and, conversely, its overexpression attenuated adipogenesis.


PKP2 deficiency leads to suppression of the E2F1 pathway and hypermethylation of the CpG sites at miR-184 promoter, resulting in downregulation of miR-184 levels. Suppression of miR-184 enhances and its activation attenuates adipogenesis in vitro. Thus, miR-184 contributes to the pathogenesis of adipogenesis in PKP2-deficient cells.

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