MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small noncoding RNA molecules, have emerged as important factors during intervertebral disc degeneration. This study was to determine whether miR-202-3p regulates interleukin-1β (IL-1β)–induced expression of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1) in human nucleus pulposus (NP) cells. Human NP cells were stimulated with IL-1β in vitro. MicroRNA arrays were used to determine the expression profile of 1971 human miRNAs and the miRNAs targets were identified using bioinformatics. In IL-1β–stimulated NP cells, 10 microRNAs were down-regulated, 2 microRNAs were up-regulated. There was a significant reduction in hsa-miR-202-3p (miR-202-3p) expression in the severe degenerative disc compared with mild degenerative disc. Down-regulation of miR-202-3p expression by IL-1β was correlated with up-regulation of MMP-1 expression in human NP cells. IL-1β-induced activation of MAP kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) decreased miR-202-3p expression and induced MMP-1 expression. MiR-202-3p suppressed IL-1β–induced MMP-1 production. Conversely, treatment with anti-miR-202-3p remarkably increased MMP-1 production. In addition, mutation of the miR-202-3p binding site in the 3’-UTR of MMP-1 mRNA abolished miR-202-3p–mediated repression of reporter activity. Functional analysis showed that miR-202-3p could decrease type II collagen degradation, whereas overexpression of MMP-1 by Lentiviral-shMMP-1 abolished the effect of miR-202-3p on type II collagen degradation. These results suggest that miR-202-3p is an important regulator of MMP-1 in human nucleus pulposus and may contribute to the development of intervertebral disc degeneration.
- Intervertebral disc degeneration
- Matrix metalloproteinase 1
- Nucleus pulposus
- Type II collagen
ASJC Scopus subject areas