MicroRNA profiling and the role of microRNA-132 in neurodegeneration using a rat model

Neuroscience Letters
Gina LunguAndy Ambrus

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRs) are endogenous small RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by mediating mRNA degradation or transcriptional inhibition. MiRs were implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD). In this study we analyzed the possible role of miRs in the neurodegenerative process in a spontaneous autosomal recessive rat model for neurodegeneration developed in our laboratory. To investigate the role of miRs in the etiology of PD, we conducted miR expression profiling using microarrays. We found 20 miRs that are deregulated in affected rats and many of these are implicated in neurodegenerative disease, including PD. In this study we were particularly interested in the expression of miR-132, a miR that has been reported to be highly expressed in neurons, and to have a potential role in neurodegenerative diseases. We found a significant increase in miR-132 in affected rats by microarray and the result was confirmed by qPCR. Next we analyzed one of the known downstream targets of miR-132, nuclear receptor related 1 protein (Nurr1), which is essential in neurogenesis of midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistr...Continue Reading

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