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    Thymic epithelial cells (TECs) are essential regulators of T-cell development and selection. miRNAs play critical roles in regulating TEC proliferation during the process of thymic aging. Our previous studies revealed that miR-199b-5p was upregulated in TECs from 1- to 3-month-old mice. But its function and potential mechanism are not clear. We hypothesized that miR-199b-5p may play an important role in age-related thymus involution via targeting some genes. To confirm it, the murine thymic epithelial cell line 1 (MTEC1) cells were used. Our results showed that overexpression of miR-199b-5p can enhance MTEC1 cell proliferation. On the contrary, repression of miR-199b-5p can inhibit MTEC1 cell proliferation. Meanwhile, it was confirmed that frizzled receptor 6 (Fzd6) is the direct target gene of miR-199b-5p. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-199b-5p can upregulate the expressions of β-catenin, Tcf7, Wnt4, and C-myc to activate Wnt signaling and cell cycle signaling. Silence of Fzd6 and co-transfection with siFzd6 and miR-199b-5p mimic/inhibitor confirmed that the biological function of miR-199b-5p is indeed by targeting Fzd6 in medullary TECs. Overall, miR-199b-5p is an important regulator in medullary TEC proliferation through targeting Fzd6 to activate Wnt signaling and cell cycle signaling. Our data indicate that miR-199b-5p may block the process of thymic aging and be a potential therapeutic target for thymus involution. © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:


    Xintong Wang, Ying Li, Bishuang Gong, Kaizhao Zhang, Yongjiang Ma, Yugu Li. miR-199b-5p enhances the proliferation of medullary thymic epithelial cells via regulating Wnt signaling by targeting Fzd6. Acta biochimica et biophysica Sinica. 2021 Jan 12;53(1):36-45

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    PMID: 33313638

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