MicroRNA-29c prevents pulmonary fibrosis by regulating epithelial cell renewal and apoptosis

Ting Xie, Jiurong Liang, Yan Geng, Ningshan Liu, Adrianne Kurkciyan, Vrishika Kulur, Dong Leng, Nan Deng, Zhenqiu Liu, Jianbo Song, Peter Chen, Paul W. Noble, Dianhua Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Successful repair and renewal of alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) are critical in prohibiting the accumulation of myofibroblasts in pulmonary fibrogenesis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are multifocal regulators involved in lung injury and repair. However, the contribution of miRNAs to AEC2 renewal and apoptosis is incompletely understood. We report that miRNA-29c (miR-29c) expression is lower in AEC2s of individuals with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis than in healthy lungs. Epithelial cells overexpressing miR-29c show higher proliferative rates and viability. miR-29c protects epithelial cells from apoptosis by targeting forkhead box O3a (Foxo3a). Both overexpression of miR-29c conventionally and AEC2s specifically lead to less fibrosis and better recovery in vivo. Furthermore, deficiency of miR-29c in AEC2s results in higher apoptosis and reduced epithelial renewal. Interestingly, a gene network including a subset of apoptotic genes was coregulated by both Toll-like receptor 4 and miR-29c. Taken together, miR-29c maintains epithelial integrity and promotes recovery from lung injury, thereby attenuating lung fibrosis in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-732
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'MicroRNA-29c prevents pulmonary fibrosis by regulating epithelial cell renewal and apoptosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this