A potential regulatory role for intronic microRNA-338-3p for its host gene encoding apoptosis-associated tyrosine kinase.
SourcePLoS One, 7, 2, (2012), article e31022
Article / Letter to editor
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Molecular Animal Physiology
SubjectDCN 3: Neuroinformatics; DCN MP - Plasticity and memory; DCN NN - Brain networks and neuronal communication; Molecular Animal Physiology
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important gene regulators that are abundantly expressed in both the developing and adult mammalian brain. These non-coding gene transcripts are involved in post-transcriptional regulatory processes by binding to specific target mRNAs. Approximately one third of known miRNA genes are located within intronic regions of protein coding and non-coding regions, and previous studies have suggested a role for intronic miRNAs as negative feedback regulators of their host genes. In the present study, we monitored the dynamic gene expression changes of the intronic miR-338-3p and miR-338-5p and their host gene Apoptosis-associated Tyrosine Kinase (AATK) during the maturation of rat hippocampal neurons. This revealed an uncorrelated expression pattern of mature miR-338 strands with their host gene. Sequence analysis of the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of rat AATK mRNA revealed the presence of two putative binding sites for miR-338-3p. Thus, miR-338-3p may have the capacity to modulate AATK mRNA levels in neurons. Transfection of miR-338-3p mimics into rat B35 neuroblastoma cells resulted in a significant decrease of AATK mRNA levels, while the transfection of synthetic miR-338-5p mimics did not alter AATK levels. Our results point to a possible molecular mechanism by which miR-338-3p participates in the regulation of its host gene by modulating the levels of AATK mRNA, a kinase which plays a role during differentiation, apoptosis and possibly in neuronal degeneration.
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