Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(2):287-297. doi:10.7150/ijbs.29273 This issue

Research Paper

NFAT5 is Regulated by p53/miR-27a Signal Axis and Promotes Mouse Ovarian Granulosa Cells Proliferation

Hu Tao, Qi Xiong, Ziyun Ji, Feng Zhang, Yang Liu, Mingxin Chen

Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Embryo Engineering and Molecular Breeding, Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Wuhan 430064, China

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
Tao H, Xiong Q, Ji Z, Zhang F, Liu Y, Chen M. NFAT5 is Regulated by p53/miR-27a Signal Axis and Promotes Mouse Ovarian Granulosa Cells Proliferation. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(2):287-297. doi:10.7150/ijbs.29273. Available from

File import instruction


Graphic abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in mammalian folliculogenesis (a complex process in which primordial follicles develop into mature oocytes) by inhibiting mRNA translation or by inducing its degradation, while the role of miRNA in folliculogenesis and regulation mechanism remain unclear. In this study, we explored the role of the p53/miR-27a/nuclear factor of activated T-cells 5 (NFAT5) signaling axis in mouse ovarian granulosa cell proliferation. Luciferase reporter assay, overexpression, site-directed mutagenesis, and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay results showed that the transcription factor p53 significantly decreased the expression level of miR-27a by binding to sites 4 (-646 to -637 bp) and 10 (-50 to -41 bp) of the miR-27a promoter. Moreover, miR-27a directly targeted the 3′-untranslated region of the target gene, NFAT5, to regulate its expression levels. p53 also upregulated the expression of NFAT5. Meanwhile, overexpression of NFAT5 strongly upregulated the mRNA and protein levels of the Wnt signaling genes, β-catenin and B-Cell CLL/Lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2). In addition, NFAT5 promoted mouse granulosa cell proliferation; this was confirmed by EdU/Hoechst immunostaining. Taken together, our findings define a novel pathway p53/miR-27a/NFAT5, and NFAT5 regulates mouse granulosa cell functions via activating Wnt signaling pathway.

Keywords: Mouse, Granulosa cell, p53, miR-27a, NFAT5, Wnt signaling pathway