MicroRNA-210 decreases heme levels by targeting ferrochelatase in cardiomyocytes.

Aijun Qiao*, Arineh Khechaduri, R. Kannan Mutharasan, Rongxue Wu, Varun Nagpal, Hossein Ardehali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


MicroRNA-210 (miR-210) increases in hypoxia and regulates mitochondrial respiration through modulation of iron-sulfur cluster assembly proteins (ISCU1/2), a protein that is involved in Fe/S cluster synthesis. However, it is not known how miR-210 affects cellular iron levels or production of heme, another iron containing molecule that is also needed for cellular and mitochondrial function. To screen for micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNAs) regulated by iron, we performed a miRNA gene array in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes treated with iron chelators. Levels of miR-210 are significantly increased with iron chelation, however, this response was mediated entirely through the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway. Furthermore, miR-210 reduced cellular heme levels and the activity of mitochondrial and cytosolic heme-containing proteins by modulating ferrochelatase (FECH), the last enzyme in heme biosynthesis. Mutation of the 2 miR-210 binding sites in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of FECH reversed the miR-210 response, while mutation of either binding site in isolation did not exert any effects. Changes mediated by miR-210 in heme and FECH were independent of ISCU, as overexpression of an ISCU construct lacking the 3' UTR does not alter miR-210 regulation of heme and FECH. Finally, FECH levels increased in hypoxia, and this effect was not reversed by miR-210 knockdown, suggesting that the effects of miR-210 on heme are restricted to normoxic conditions, and that the pathway is overriden in hypoxia. Our results identify a role for miR-210 in the regulation of heme production by targeting and inhibiting FECH under normoxic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e000121
JournalUnknown Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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