MicroRNA-1 and microRNA-133a expression are decreased during skeletal muscle hypertrophy

John J. McCarthy, Karyn A. Esser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

342 Scopus citations


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of highly conserved, noncoding RNAs involved in posttranscriptional gene regulation. A small number of muscle-specific miRNAs have been identified and shown to have a role in myoblast proliferation and differentiation as well as embryonic muscle growth. The primary objective of the present study was to determine the expression level of the muscle-specific miRNAs in the soleus and plantaris muscles and whether their expression in the plantaris was altered in response to functional overload. Of the miRNAs examined, only miRNA-206 was differentially expressed between soleus and plantaris muscles, as reflected by the sevenfold higher expression in the soleus for both the primary miRNA (pri-miRNA) and mature miRNA (miR). Following 7 days of functional overload, transcript levels for both pri-miRNA-1-2 and pri-miRNA-133a-2 increased by ∼2-fold, whereas pri-miRNA-206 levels were elevated 18.3-fold. In contrast, expression of miR-1 and miR-133a were downregulated by ∼50% following overload. The discrepancy between pri-miRNA and miR expression following overload was not explained by a change in the expression of components of the miRNA biogenesis pathway, since Drosha and Exportin-5 transcript levels were significantly increased by 50% in response to functional overload, whereas Dicer expression remained unchanged. These results are the first to report alterations in expression of muscle-specific miRNAs in adult skeletal muscle and suggest miRNAs may have a role in the adaptation to functional overload.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-313
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Gene regulation
  • Skeletal muscle hypertrophy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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