Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

MiR-23a-depressed autophagy is a participant in PUVA- and UVB-induced premature senescence

Jia-an Zhang, Bing-rong Zhou, Yang Xu, Xu Chen, Juan Liu, Maya Gozali, Di Wu, Zhi-qiang Yin and Dan Luo _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:37420-37435. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9357

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Jia-an Zhang1,*, Bing-rong Zhou1,2,*, Yang Xu1, Xu Chen2,3, Juan Liu1, Maya Gozali1, Di Wu1, Zhi-qiang Yin1 and Dan Luo1

1 Department of Dermatology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

2 Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology for Skin Diseases and STIs, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

3 Institute of Dermatology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS) & Peking Union Medical College (PUMC), Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Bing-rong Zhou, email:

Dan Luo, email:

Keywords: autophagy, stress-induced premature senescence, miR-23a, AMBRA1, ultraviolet, Gerotarget

Received: September 17, 2015 Accepted: May 05, 2016 Published: May 13, 2016


Autophagy is a cellular catabolic mechanism that is activated in response to stress conditions, including ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, starvation, and misfolded protein accumulation. Abnormalities in autophagy are associated with several pathologies, including aging and cancer. Furthermore, recent studies have demonstrated that microRNAs (miRNAs) are potent modulators of the autophagy pathway. As a result, the current study aims to elucidate the role of the autophagy-related miRNA miR-23ain the process of photoaging. Experiments demonstrated that the antagomir-mediated inactivation of miR-23a resulted in the stimulation of PUVA- and UVB-depressed autophagy flux and protected human fibroblasts from premature senescence. Furthermore, AMBRA1 was identified as a miR-23a target. AMBRA1 cellular levels increased following the introduction of miR-23a antagomirs. And a bioinformatics analysis revealed that the AMBRA1 3’ UTR contains functional miR-23a responsive sequences. Finally, it was also demonstrated that both AMBRA1 overexpression and Rapamycin treatment were both able to rescue fibroblasts from PUVA and UVB irradiation-induced autophagy inhibition, but that these effects could also be mitigated by miR-23a overexpression. Therefore, this study concludes that miR-23a-regulated autophagy is a novel and important regulator of ultraviolet-induced premature senescence and AMBRA1 is a rate-limiting miRNA target in this pathway.

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