RNAase III-type enzyme dicer regulates mitochondrial fatty acid oxidative metabolism in cardiac mesenchymal stem cells

Xuan Su, Yue Jin, Yan Shen, Il-man Kim, Neal L. Weintraub, Yaoliang Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Cardiac mesenchymal stem cells (C-MSC) play a key role in maintaining normal cardiac function under physiological and pathological conditions. Glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation predominately account for energy production in C-MSC. Dicer, a ribonuclease III endoribonuclease, plays a critical role in the control of microRNA maturation in C-MSC, but its role in regulating C-MSC energy metabolism is largely unknown. In this study, we found that Dicer knockout led to concurrent increase in both cell proliferation and apoptosis in C-MSC compared to Dicer floxed C-MSC. We analyzed mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation by quantifying cellular oxygen consumption rate (OCR), and glycolysis by quantifying the extracellular acidification rate (ECAR), in C-MSC with/without Dicer gene deletion. Dicer gene deletion significantly reduced mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation while increasing glycolysis in C-MSC. Additionally, Dicer gene deletion selectively reduced the expression of β-oxidation genes without affecting the expression of genes involved in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle or electron transport chain (ETC). Finally, Dicer gene deletion reduced the copy number of mitochondrially encoded 1,4-Dihydronicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH): ubiquinone oxidoreductase core subunit 6 (MT-ND6), a mitochondrial-encoded gene, in C-MSC. In conclusion, Dicer gene deletion induced a metabolic shift from oxidative metabolism to aerobic glycolysis in C-MSC, suggesting that Dicer functions as a metabolic switch in C-MSC, which in turn may regulate proliferation and environmental adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5554
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2 2019


  • Aerobic glycolysis
  • Cardiac mesenchymal stem cells (C-MSC)
  • Dicer
  • Mitochondrial oxidative metabolism
  • Warburg effect
  • β-oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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