Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology

MicroRNA-30 Protects Against Carbon Tetrachloride-induced Liver Fibrosis by Attenuating Transforming Growth Factor Beta Signaling in Hepatic Stellate Cells.

PMID 25912033


Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) is crucial for transdifferentiation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and the blunting of TGF-β signaling in HSCs can effectively prevent liver fibrosis. Krüppel-like factor 11 (KLF11) is an early response transcription factor that potentiates TGF-β/Smad signaling by suppressing the transcription of inhibitory Smad7. Using a mouse model of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver fibrosis, we observed significant upregulation of KLF11 in the activated HSCs during liver fibrogenesis. Meanwhile, the downregulation of miR-30 was observed in the HSCs isolated from fibrotic liver. Adenovirus-mediated ectopic expression of miR-30 was under the control of smooth muscle α-actin promoter, showing that the increase in miR-30 in HSC greatly reduced CCl4-induced liver fibrosis. Subsequent investigations showed that miR-30 suppressed KLF11 expression in HSC and led to a significant upregulation of Smad7 in vivo. Mechanistic studies further confirmed that KLF11 was the direct target of miR-30, and revealed that miR-30 blunted the profibrogenic TGF-β signaling in HSC by suppressing KLF11 expression and thus enhanced the negative feedback loop of TGF-β signaling imposed by Smad7. Finally, we demonstrated that miR-30 facilitated the reversal of activated HSC to a quiescent state as indicated by the inhibition of proliferation and migration, the loss of activation markers, and the gain of quiescent HSC markers. In conclusion, our results define miR-30 as a crucial suppressor of TGF-β signaling in HSCs activation and provide useful insights into the mechanisms underlying liver fibrosis.