Serum response factor-dependent MicroRNAs regulate gastrointestinal smooth muscle cell phenotypes

Chanjae Park, Grant W. Hennig, Kenton M. Sanders, Jonathan H. Cho, William J. Hatton, Doug Redelman, Jong Kun Park, Sean M. Ward, Joseph M. Miano, Wei Yan, Seungil Ro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) change phenotypes under various pathophysiological conditions. These changes are largely controlled by the serum response factor (SRF), a transcription factor that binds to CC (A/T)6 GG (CArG) boxes in SM contractile genes. MicroRNAs (miRNA) regulate transitions among SMC phenotypes. The SMC miRNA transcriptome (SMC miRNAome) and its regulation by SRF have not been determined. Methods: We performed massively parallel sequencing to identify gastrointestinal (GI) SMC miRNA transcriptomes in mice and humans. SMC miRNA transcriptomes were mapped to identify all CArG boxes, which were confirmed by SRF knockdown and microarrays. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to identify SMC-phenotypic miRNAs in differentiated and proliferating SMCs. Bioinformatics and target validation analysis showed regulation of SMC phenotype by SRF-dependent, SMC-phenotype miRNAs. Results: We cloned and identified GI miRNA transcriptomes using genome-wide analyses of mouse and human cells. The SM miRNAome consisted of hundreds of unique miRNAs that were highly conserved among both species. We mapped miRNAs CArG boxes and found that many had an SRF-dependent signature in the SM miRNAome. The SM miRNAs CArG boxes had several distinct features. We also identified approximately 100 SMC-phenotypic miRNAs that were induced in differentiated or proliferative SMC phenotypes. We showed that SRF-dependent, SMC-phenotypic miRNAs bind and regulate Srf and its cofactors, myocadin (Myocd) and member of ETS oncogene family Elk1. Conclusions: The GI SMC phenotypes are controlled by SRF-dependent, SMC-phenotypic miRNAs that regulate expression of SRF, MYOCD, and ELK1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-175
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • GI Contraction
  • Gene Expression Profile
  • Genomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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