Transforming growth factor-β1-induced human subconjunctival fibrosis is mediated by MicroRNA 143/145 expression

Young Hoon Hwang, Sun Ah Jung, Jungmook Lyu, Yong Yeon Kim, Joon H. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. To investigate the roles and pathways of microRNAs 143 and 145 in transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1-induced human subconjunctival fibrosis. METHODS. Human tenon’s capsule fibroblasts (HTFs) were obtained from a healthy eye. After treating cultured HTFs with TGF-β1, the expression of microRNAs 143 and 145 was evaluated using polymerase chain reaction. To identify the pathways of TGF-β1-induced microRNA 143/145 expression, HTFs were treated with specific inhibitors of p38MAPK, PI3K/Akt, JNK, ERK, and with siRNAs for SMAD2 and SMAD4. Mutagenesis studies were performed to evaluate the role of the CArG box and SMAD-binding element (SBE). To investigate the role of microRNA 143/145 in TGF-β1-induced myofibroblast transdifferentiation, microRNA 143/145 mimics and microRNA 143/145 inhibitors were applied to the HTFs. RESULTS. Array analysis revealed that TGF-b1 induced the expression of microRNA 143/145 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. When inhibitors and siRNAs for p38MAPK, PI3K/Akt, ERK, and JNK were applied, the TGF-β1-induced expression of microRNA 143/145 was inhibited; however, SMAD2 and SMAD4 inhibition did not affect the TGF-β1-induced expression of these microRNAs. In the mutagenesis studies, both the CArG box and SBE were associated with TGF-β1-induced expression of microRNA 143/145. Mimics of microRNA 143/ 145 induced increased myofibroblast formation, whereas their inhibitors had the opposite effect. CONCLUSIONS. TGF-β1-induced human subconjunctival fibrosis was mediated by the expression of microRNA 143/145, mainly via SMAD-independent pathways. Inhibition of TGF-β1-induced microRNA 143/145 expression in HTFs might represent a novel strategy to prevent subconjunctival fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2064-2071
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May


  • Conjunctiva
  • Fibrosis
  • Glaucoma
  • TGF-beta
  • microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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