• Authors: Sharma K. et al.
  • Year: 2021
  • Journal: Mitochondrion 60 160-169
  • Applications: in vivo / antimiR / in vivo-jetPEI


Mice received 5 peritoneal injections of antimiR on alternate days at a dose of 5 mg/kg body weight to target skeletal muscle tissues.


The size and morphology of mitochondria are very heterogeneous and correlates well with their healthy functioning. In many pathological conditions, mitochondrial morphology is altered due to impaired mitochondrial dynamics (a collective term for mitochondrial fusion and fission) and dysfunction. The current study aimed at identifying the role of microRNA-128 (miR-128) in regulating mitochondrial biogenesis. Previously, peroxisome proliferator activator receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC1α) has been shown to co-activate key intermediates of mitochondrial biogenesis, function, and dynamics; however, the upstream regulatory network remains largely unknown. We, herein using in silico analysis followed by in vitro experiments in C2C12 myoblasts, showed that miR-128 reduces mitochondrial biogenesis by directly targeting PGC1α. The expression of downstream genes, nuclear respiratory factors 1 and 2 (NRF1 and NRF2, respectively), and mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) were decreased in C2C12 myoblasts upon overexpression of miR-128. Also, miR-128 is shown to promote mitochondrial dysfunction by directly targeting NADH Dehydrogenase (Ubiquinone) Fe-S Protein 4 (NDUFS4). The mitochondrial dynamics and morphology were impaired post miR-128 overexpression, as revealed by downregulation of fusion proteins (mitofusin1 and 2, i.e., MFN1 and MFN2, respectively) and upregulation of fission protein (dynamin-related protein 1, i.e., DRP1). Conversely, inhibition of miR-128 expression improved mitochondrial biogenesis, function, and dynamics, as evidenced by increased mitochondrial mass and ATP production after antimiR-128 treatment. Our findings reveal that inhibition of miR-128 can be a new potential target for reversing the effects of metabolic disorders of skeletal muscle as observed during many pathophysiological conditions such as obesity and type II diabetes.