Regulation of divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) non-IRE isoform by the microRNA Let-7d in erythroid cells

Immacolata Andolfo, Luigia De Falco, Roberta Asci, Roberta Russo, Simona Colucci, Marisa Gorrese, Massimo Zollo, Achille Iolascon
Haematologica 2010, 95 (8): 1244-52

BACKGROUND: Divalent metal transporter 1 (DMT1) is a widely expressed metal-iron transporter gene encoding four variant mRNA transcripts, differing for alternative promoter at 5' (DMT1 1A and 1B) and alternative splicing at 3' UTR, differing by a specific sequence either containing or lacking an iron regulatory element (+IRE and -IRE, respectively). DMT1-IRE might be the major DMT1 isoform expressed in erythroid cells, although its regulation pathways are still unknown.

DESIGN AND METHODS: The microRNA (miRNA) Let-7d (miR-Let-7d) was selected by the analysis of four miRNAs, predicted to target the DMT1-IRE gene in CD34(+) hematopoietic progenitor cells, in K562 and in HEL cells induced to erythroid differentiation. Using a luciferase reporter assay we demonstrated the inhibition of DMT1-IRE by miR-Let-7d in K562 and HEL cells. The function of miR-Let-7d in erythroid cells was evaluated by the flow cytometry analysis of erythroid differentiation markers, by benzidine staining and by iron flame atomic absorption for the evaluation of iron concentration in the endosomes from K562 cells over-expressing miR-Let-7d.

RESULTS: We show that in erythroid cells, DMT1-IRE expression is under the regulation of miR-Let-7d. DMT1-IRE and miR-Let-7d are inversely correlated with CD34(+) cells, K562 and HEL cells during erythroid differentiation. Moreover, overexpression of miR-Let-7d decreases the expression of DMT1-IRE at the mRNA and protein levels in K562 and HEL cells. MiR-Let-7d impairs erythroid differentiation of K562 cells by accumulation of iron in the endosomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, these data suggest that miR-Let-7d participates in the finely tuned regulation of iron metabolism by targeting DMT1-IRE isoform in erythroid cells.


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