MicroRNA-181 promotes synaptogenesis and attenuates axonal outgrowth in cortical neurons
Number of pages
SourceCellular and Molecular Life Sciences, 73, 18, (2016), pp. 3555-3567
Article / Letter to editor
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Molecular Animal Physiology
Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences
SubjectMolecular Animal Physiology; Radboudumc 7: Neurodevelopmental disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
MicroRNAs (miRs) are non-coding gene transcripts abundantly expressed in both the developing and adult mammalian brain. They act as important modulators of complex gene regulatory networks during neuronal development and plasticity. miR-181c is highly abundant in cerebellar cortex and its expression is increased in autism patients as well as in an animal model of autism. To systematically identify putative targets of miR-181c, we repressed this miR in growing cortical neurons and found over 70 differentially expressed target genes using transcriptome profiling. Pathway analysis showed that the miR-181c-modulated genes converge on signaling cascades relevant to neurite and synapse developmental processes. To experimentally examine the significance of these data, we inhibited miR-181c during rat cortical neuronal maturation in vitro; this loss-of miR-181c function resulted in enhanced neurite sprouting and reduced synaptogenesis. Collectively, our findings suggest that miR-181c is a modulator of gene networks associated with cortical neuronal maturation.
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