Molecular and cellular biochemistry

MiR-34a promotes Fas-mediated cartilage endplate chondrocyte apoptosis by targeting Bcl-2.

PMID 25910896


Apoptosis of cartilage endplate (CEP) chondrocytes is associated with the pathogenesis of intervertebral disk degeneration (IDD). Recent studies have shown that miR-34a is crucially involved in chondrocyte apoptosis during osteoarthritic cartilage. Here, we investigated the involvement of miR-34a in CEP chondrocyte apoptosis in IDD. In human degenerated CEP chondrocytes, miRNA (miR)-34a was markedly elevated in association with increased apoptosis. Bioinformatics target prediction identified Bcl-2 as a putative target of miR-34a. Furthermore, miR-34a inhibited Bcl-2 expression by directly targeting their 3'-untranslated regions, and this inhibition was abolished by mutation of the miR-34a binding sites. In vitro, knockdown of miR-34a in human endplate chondrocytes resulted in overexpression of Bcl-2, whereas upregulation of miR-34a led to repression of Bcl-2. Fas-mediated apoptosis was decreased when antagonizing miR-34a with locked nucleotide analog-miR-34a in human endplate chondrocytes. Taken together, our results demonstrate that upregulated miR-34a potentiates Fas-mediated endplate chondrocyte apoptosis, which is associated with IDD.