Journal Article

A set of differentially expressed miRNAs, including miR-30a-5p, act as post-transcriptional inhibitors of BDNF in prefrontal cortex

Nikolaos Mellios, Hsien-Sung Huang, Anastasia Grigorenko, Evgeny Rogaev and Schahram Akbarian

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 17, issue 19, pages 3030-3042
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddn201
A set of differentially expressed miRNAs, including miR-30a-5p, act as post-transcriptional inhibitors of BDNF in prefrontal cortex

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Expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is developmentally regulated in prefrontal cortex (PFC). The underlying molecular mechanisms, however, remain unclear. Here, we explore the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) as post-transcriptional inhibitors of BDNF. A sequential approach involving in silico, miRNA microarray, in situ hybridization and qRT–PCR studies identified a group of 10 candidate miRNAs, segregating into five miRNA families (miR-30a-5p/b/c/d, miR-103/107, miR-191, miR-16/195, miR-495), which exhibited distinct developmental and lamina-specific expression in human PFC. Luciferase assays confirmed that at least two of these miRNAs, miR-30a-5p and miR-195, target specific sequences surrounding the proximal polyadenylation site within BDNF 3′-untranslated region. Furthermore, neuronal overexpression of miR-30a-5p, a miRNA enriched in layer III pyramidal neurons, resulted in down-regulation of BDNF protein. Notably, a subset of seven miRNAs, including miR-30a-5p, exhibited an inverse correlation with BDNF protein levels in PFC of subjects age 15–84 years. In contrast, the role of transcriptional mechanisms was more apparent during the transition from fetal to childhood and/or young adult stages, when BDNF mRNA up-regulation was accompanied by similar changes in (open chromatin-associated) histone H3-lysine 4 methylation at BDNF gene promoters I and IV. Collectively, our data highlight the multiple layers of regulation governing the developmental expression of BDNF in human PFC and suggest that miRNAs are involved in the fine-tuning of this neurotrophin particularly in adulthood.

Journal Article.  8683 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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