TGF-β regulates TGFBIp expression in corneal fibroblasts via miR-21, miR-181a, and Smad signaling

Seung Il Choi, Jun Yup Jin, Yong Sun Maeng, Tae Im Kim, Eung Kweon Kim

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)-induced gene (TGFBI) protein (TGFBIp) is associated with granular corneal dystrophy type 2 (GCD2). TGFBIp levels can affect GCD2 phenotypes, but the underlying molecular mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We investigated the involvement of microRNA (miRNA) and TGF-β in the regulation of TGFBIp expression in corneal fibroblasts. Ectopic expression of miR-9, miR-21, and miR-181a significantly decreased TGFBIp levels. Conversely, expression of miR-21 and miR-181a was induced by TGF-β1. Expression of miR-21 was 10-fold higher than that of miR-9 and miR-181a in corneal fibroblasts. Additionally, TGF-β1 expression was significantly higher than that of TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 in corneal fibroblasts, whereas expression of all three TGF-β forms was not significantly different between wild-type (WT) and GCD2 homozygotes (HO) corneal fibroblasts. Taken together, these data indicate that TGFBIp expression is positively regulated by TGF-β, whereas TGF-β-induced miR-21 and miR-181a negatively regulate TGFBIp expression. In conclusion, TGFBIp levels in corneal fibroblasts are controlled via the coordinated activity of miR-21 and miR-181a and by Smad signaling. Pharmacologic modulation of these miRNAs and TGF-β signaling could have therapeutic potential for TGFBI-associated corneal dystrophy, including GCD2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 25

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MEST) (2011-0028699).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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