miR-514a-3p: a novel SHP-2 regulatory miRNA that modulates human cytotrophoblast proliferation

Rachel C. Quilang, Sylvia Lui, Karen Forbes

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Src homology-2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP-2), encoded by the PTPN11 gene, forms a central component of multiple signalling pathways and is required for insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-induced placental growth. Altered expression of SHP-2 is associated with aberrant placental and fetal growth indicating that drugs modulating SHP-2 expression may improve adverse pregnancy outcome associated with altered placental growth. We have previously demonstrated that placental PTPN11/SHP-2 expression is controlled by miRNAs. SHP-2 regulatory miRNAs may have therapeutic potential; however, the individual miRNA(s) that regulate SHP-2 expression in the placenta remain to be established. We performed in silico analysis of 3'UTR target prediction databases to identify libraries of Hela cells transfected with individual miRNA mimetics, enriched in potential SHP-2 regulatory miRNAs. Analysis of PTPN11 levels by quantitative (q) PCR revealed that miR-758-3p increased, while miR-514a-3p reduced PTPN11 expression. The expression of miR-514a-3p and miR-758-3p within the human placenta was confirmed by qPCR; miR-514a-3p (but not miR-758-3p) levels inversely correlated with PTPN11 expression. To assess the interaction between these miRNAs and PTPN11/SHP-2, specific mimetics were transfected into first-trimester human placental explants and then cultured for up to 4 days. Overexpression of miR-514a-3p, but not miR-758-3p, significantly reduced PTPN11 and SHP-2 expression. microRNA-ribonucleoprotein complex (miRNP)-associated mRNA assays confirmed that this interaction was direct. miR-514a-3p overexpression attenuated IGF-I-induced trophoblast proliferation (BrdU incorporation). miR-758-3p did not alter trophoblast proliferation. These data demonstrate that by modulating SHP-2 expression, miR-514a-3p is a novel regulator of IGF signalling and proliferation in the human placenta and may have therapeutic potential in pregnancies complicated by altered placental growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-110
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of molecular endocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2022


  • IGF
  • miR-514
  • miR-758
  • miRNA
  • placenta
  • proliferation
  • PTPN11
  • SHP-2
  • trophoblast


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