Exp Mol Med.  2016 Apr;48(4):e226. 10.1038/emm.2016.3.

miR-148a is a downstream effector of X-box-binding protein 1 that silences Wnt10b during adipogenesis of 3T3-L1 cells

  • 1Department of Biochemistry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea. ojkwon@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Medical Informatics, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Wnt10b, an endogenous inhibitor of adipogenesis, maintains preadipocytes in an undifferentiated state by suppressing adipogenic transcription factors. We have previously demonstrated that Wnt10b transcription during adipogenesis is negatively regulated by X-box-binding protein 1 (XBP1), an important transcription factor of the unfolded protein response. In this report, we demonstrate that XBP1s can directly induce the transcription of microRNA-148a, which in turn mediates the silencing of Wnt10b mRNA during adipogenic differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells. Stability of Wnt10b mRNA was found to be significantly increased by knockdown of XBP1s. Using computational algorithms, a set of microRNAs was predicted to bind Wnt10b mRNA, of which microRNA-148a was selected as a potential target for XBP1s. Our results revealed that microRNA-148a could bind to the 3"²UTR of Wnt10b mRNA. Its ectopic expression significantly suppressed both Wnt10b expression and β-catenin activity. When we altered the expression of XBP1 in 3T3-L1 cells, microRNA-148a levels changed accordingly. A potential XBP1 response element was found in the promoter region of microRNA-148a, and XBP1s directly bound to this response element as shown by point mutation analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. In addition, a microRNA-148a mimic significantly restored adipogenic potential in XBP1-deficient 3T3-L1 cells. These findings provide the first evidence that XBP1s can regulate Wnt10b by a post-transcriptional mechanism through directly inducing microRNA-148a.

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