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Feb 16, 2019
Molecular Therapy. Nucleic Acids
Early in gestation, wounds in fetal skin heal by regeneration, in which microRNAs play key roles. Seq-915_x4024 is a novel microRNA candidate confirmed by deep sequencing and mirTools 2.0. It is highly expressed in fetal keratinocytes during early gestation. Using an in vitro wound-healing assay, Transwell cell migration assay, and MTS proliferation assay, we demonstrated that keratinocytes overexpressing seq-915_x4024 exhibited higher proliferative activity and the ability to promote fibroblast migration and fibroblast proliferation. These characteristics of keratinocytes are the same biological behaviors as those of fetal keratinocytes, which contribute to skin regeneration. In addition, seq-915_x4024 suppressed the expression of the pro-inflammatory markers TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8 and the pro-inflammatory chemokines CXCL1 and CXCL5. We also demonstrated that seq-915_x4024 regulates TGF-β isoforms and the extracellular matrix. Moreover, using an in vivo wound-healing model, we demonstrated that overexpression of seq-915_x4024 in keratinocytes suppresses inflammatory cell infiltration and scar formation. Using bioinformatics analyses, luciferase reporter assays, and western blotting, we further demonstrated that Sar1A, Smad2, TNF-α, and IL-8 are direct targets of seq-915_x4024. Furthermore, the expression of phosphorylated Smad2 and Smad3 was reduced by seq-915_x4024. Seq-915_x4024 could be used as an anti-fibrotic factor for the treatment of wound healing.

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