MicroRNA-141 Inhibits the Proliferation of Penile Cavernous Smooth Muscle Cells Associated with Down-Regulation of the Rhoa/Rho Kinase Signaling Pathway

Ying Zhang, Linpei Jia, Wei Ji, Hai Li
Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry 2018, 48 (1): 348-360

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The role of the RhoA/Rho kinase signaling pathway in diabetes mellitus-induced erectile dysfunction has been partially understood.

METHODS: In the present study, we explored the changes of the RhoA/Rho associated kinase (ROCK) signaling pathway in diabetic erectile dysfunction in vivo and the effects of microRNA-141 on the RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway in vitro.

RESULTS: The mRNA and protein expressions of RhoA and ROCK2 were significantly increased while the expression of microRNA-141 was decreased in the penile cavernous smooth muscle cells of rats with diabetic erectile dysfunction. Moreover, increased expression of microRNA-141, decreased expressions of RhoA and ROCK2 (mRNA and protein), accelerated cell proliferation rate and reduced cell apoptosis were found in the microRNA-141 mimics group and the siRNA-Rho group. The microRNA-141 expression in the microRNA-141 inhibitors + siRNA-Rho group was significantly decreased. microRNA-141 specifically bound to Rho-3'-UTR and down-regulated the expression of Rho gene at the post transcriptional level.

CONCLUSION: Decreased expression of miR-141 is associated with up-regulation of RhoA and ROCK2 in the RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway in rats with diabetic erectile dysfunction. miR-141 inhibits the growth of penile cavernous smooth muscle cells associated with down-regulation of the RhoA/ROCK signaling pathway in vitro.

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