Research Papers:

The zebrafish miR-125c is induced under hypoxic stress via hypoxia-inducible factor 1α and functions in cellular adaptations and embryogenesis

Yan He, Chun-Xiao Huang, Nan Chen, Meng Wu, Yan Huang, Hong Liu, Rong Tang, Wei-Min Wang and Huan-Ling Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:73846-73859. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17994

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Yan He1,2,*, Chun-Xiao Huang1,2,*, Nan Chen1,2, Meng Wu1,2, Yan Huang1,2, Hong Liu1,2, Rong Tang1,2, Wei-Min Wang1 and Huan-Ling Wang1,2

1Key Laboratory of Freshwater Animal Breeding, Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Education, College of Fishery, Huazhong Agricultural University, 430070, Wuhan, PR China

2Freshwater Aquaculture Collaborative Innovation Center of Hubei Province, 430070, Wuhan, PR China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Huan-Ling Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: hypoxia, miR-125c, cdc25a, cell cycle, embryogenesis

Received: February 09, 2017     Accepted: May 06, 2017     Published: May 18, 2017


Hypoxia is a unique environmental stress. Hypoxia inducible factor-lα (HIF-lα) is a major transcriptional regulator of cellular adaptations to hypoxic stress. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) as posttranscriptional gene expression regulators occupy a crucial role in cell survival under low-oxygen environment. Previous evidences suggested that miR-125c is involved in hypoxia adaptation, but its precise biological roles and the regulatory mechanism underlying hypoxic responses remain unknown. The present study showed that zebrafish miR-125c is upregulated by hypoxia in a Hif-lα-mediated manner in vitro and in vivo. Dual-luciferase assay revealed that cdc25a is a novel target of miR-125c. An inverse correlation between miR-125c and cdc25a was further confirmed in vivo, suggesting miR-125c as a crucial physiological inhibitor of cdc25a which responds to cellular hypoxia. Overexpression of miR-125c suppressed cell proliferation, led to cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase in ZF4 cells and induced apoptotic responses during embryo development. More importantly, miR-125c overexpression resulted in severe malformation and reduction of motility during zebrafish embryonic development. Taken together, we conclude that miR-125c plays a pivotal role in cellular adaptations to hypoxic stress at least in part through the Hif-1α/miR-125c/cdc25a signaling and has great impact on zebrafish early embryonic development.

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