MicroRNAs have a fundamental role in diabetic heart failure. The cardioprotective microRNA-133a (miR-133a) is downregulated, and contractility is decreased in diabetic hearts. Norepinephrine (NE) is a key catecholamine that stimulates contractility by activating beta-adrenergic receptors (β-AR). NE is synthesized from tyrosine by the rate-limiting enzyme, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and tyrosine is catabolized by tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT). However, the cross-talk/link between TAT and TH in the heart is unclear. To determine whether miR-133a plays a role in the cross-talk between TH and TAT, and regulates contractility by influencing NE biosynthesis and/or β-AR levels in diabetic hearts, Sprague-Dawley rats and miR-133a transgenic (miR-133aTg) mice were injected with streptozotocin to induce diabetes. The diabetic rats were then treated with miR-133a mimic or scrambled miRNA. Our results revealed that miR-133a mimic treatment improved the contractility of the diabetic rat’s heart concomitant with upregulation of TH, cardiac NE, β-AR, and downregulation of TAT and plasma levels of NE. In miR-133aTg mice, cardiac specific miR-133a overexpression prevented upregulation of TAT and suppression of TH in the heart after streptozotocin treatment. Moreover, miR-133a overexpression in CATH.a neuronal cells suppressed TAT with concomitant upregulation of TH, whereas knockdown and overexpression of TAT demonstrated that TAT inhibited TH. Luciferase reporter assay confirmed that miR-133a targets TAT. In conclusion, miR-133a controls the contractility of diabetic hearts by targeting TAT, regulating NE biosynthesis, and consequently β-AR and cardiac function.
- Received January 5, 2016.
- Accepted June 28, 2016.
- © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.