Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(5):685-690. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.685


miR-21 Promotes Keratinocyte Migration and Re-epithelialization During Wound Healing

Xue Yang1,2, Jun Wang2, Shui-Long Guo2, Kai-Ji Fan2, Jun Li2, You-Liang Wang2, Yan Teng2✉, Xiao Yang1,2 ✉

1. Model Organism Division, E-institutes of Shanghai Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, P.R. China
2. State Key Laboratory of Proteomics, Genetic Laboratory of Development and Diseases, Institute of Biotechnology, Beijing, P.R. China

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Yang X, Wang J, Guo SL, Fan KJ, Li J, Wang YL, Teng Y, Yang X. miR-21 Promotes Keratinocyte Migration and Re-epithelialization During Wound Healing. Int J Biol Sci 2011; 7(5):685-690. doi:10.7150/ijbs.7.685. Available from

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MicroRNAs involved in keratinocyte migration and wound healing are largely unknown. Here, we revealed the indispensable role of miR-21 in keratinocyte migration and in re-epithelialization during wound healing in mice. In HaCaT cell, miR-21 could be upregulated by TGF-β1. Similar to the effect of TGF-β1, miR-21 overexpression promoted keratinocyte migration. Conversely, miR-21 knockdown attenuated TGF-β1-induced keratinocyte migration, suggesting that miR-21 was essential for TGF-β-driven keratinocyte migration. Furthermore, we found that miR-21 was upregulated during wound healing, coincident with the temporal expression pattern of TGF-β1. Consistently, knockdown of endogenous miR-21 using a specific antagomir dramatically delayed re-epithelialization possibly due to the reduced keratinocyte migration. TIMP3 and TIAM1, direct targets of miR-21, were verified to be regulated by miR-21 in vitro and in vivo, indicating that these two molecules might contribute to miR-21-induced keratinocyte migration. Taken together, our results demonstrate that miR-21 promotes keratinocyte migration and boosts re-epithelialization during skin wound healing.

Keywords: miR-21, keratinocyte, migration, wound healing