miRNAs are an important class of regulators that play roles in cellular homeostasis and disease. Muscle-specific miRNAs, miR-1-1 and miR-1-2, have been found to play important roles in regulating cell proliferation and cardiac function. Redundancy between miR-1-1 and miR-1-2 has previously impeded a full understanding of their roles in vivo. To determine how miR-1s regulate cardiac function in vivo, we generated mice lacking miR-1-1 and miR-1-2 without affecting nearby genes. miR-1 double knockout (miR-1 dKO) mice were viable and not significantly different from wild-type controls at postnatal day 2.5. Thereafter, all miR-1 dKO mice developed dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and died before P17. Massively parallel sequencing showed that a large portion of upregulated genes after deletion of miR-1s is associated with the cardiac fetal gene program including cell proliferation, glycolysis, glycogenesis, and fetal sarcomere-associated genes. Consistent with gene profiling, glycogen content and glycolytic rates were significantly increased in miR-1 dKO mice. Estrogen-related Receptor β (Errβ) was identified as a direct target of miR-1, which can regulate glycolysis, glycogenesis, and the expression of sarcomeric proteins. Cardiac-specific overexpression of Errβ led to glycogen storage, cardiac dilation, and sudden cardiac death around 3-4 weeks of age. We conclude that miR-1 and its primary target Errβ act together to regulate the transition from prenatal to neonatal stages by repressing the cardiac fetal gene program. Loss of this regulation leads to a neonatal DCM.
- dilated cardiomyopathy
- fetal gene program