Epigenetic regulation of miR-184 by MBD1 governs neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation.
ABSTRACT Methyl-CpG binding protein 1 (MBD1) regulates gene expression via a DNA methylation-mediated epigenetic mechanism. We have previously demonstrated that MBD1 deficiency impairs adult neural stem/progenitor cell (aNSC) differentiation and neurogenesis, but the underlying mechanism was unclear. Here, we show that MBD1 regulates the expression of several microRNAs in aNSCs and, specifically, that miR-184 is directly repressed by MBD1. High levels of miR-184 promoted proliferation but inhibited differentiation of aNSCs, whereas inhibition of miR-184 rescued the phenotypes associated with MBD1 deficiency. We further found that miR-184 regulates the expression of Numblike (Numbl), a known regulator of brain development, by binding to the 3'-UTR of Numbl mRNA and affecting its translation. Expression of exogenous Numbl could rescue the aNSC defects that result from either miR-184 overexpression or MBD1 deficiency. Therefore, MBD1, miR-184, and Numbl form a regulatory network that helps control the balance between proliferation and differentiation of aNSCs.
Article: Identification of astrocyte-expressed factors that modulate neural stem/progenitor cell differentiation.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Multipotent neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) can be isolated from many regions of the adult central nervous system (CNS), yet neurogenesis is restricted to the hippocampus and subventricular zone in vivo. Identification of the molecular cues that modulate NSPC fate choice is a prerequisite for their therapeutic applications. Previously, we demonstrated that primary astrocytes isolated from regions with higher neuroplasticity, such as newborn and adult hippocampus and newborn spinal cord, promoted neuronal differentiation of adult NSPCs, whereas astrocytes isolated from the nonneurogenic region of the adult spinal cord inhibited neural differentiation. To identify the factors expressed by these astrocytes that could modulate NSPC differentiation, we performed gene expression profiling analysis using Affymetrix rat genome arrays. Our results demonstrated that these astrocytes had distinct gene expression profiles. We further tested the functional effects of candidate factors that were differentially expressed in neurogenesis-promoting and -inhibiting astrocytes using in vitro NSPC differentiation assays. Our results indicated that two interleukins, IL-1beta and IL-6, and a combination of factors that included these two interleukins could promote NSPC neuronal differentiation, whereas insulin-like growth factor binding protein 6 (IGFBP6) and decorin inhibited neuronal differentiation of adult NSPCs. Our results have provided further evidence to support the ongoing hypothesis that, in adult mammalian brains, astrocytes play critical roles in modulating NSPC differentiation. The finding that cytokines and chemokines expressed by astrocytes could promote NSPC neuronal differentiation may help us to understand how injuries induce neurogenesis in adult brains.Stem Cells and Development 07/2006; 15(3):407-21. · 4.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that recognize and bind to partially complementary sites in the 3' untranslated regions of target genes in animals and, by unknown mechanisms, regulate protein production of the target transcript. Different combinations of microRNAs are expressed in different cell types and may coordinately regulate cell-specific target genes. Here, we present PicTar, a computational method for identifying common targets of microRNAs. Statistical tests using genome-wide alignments of eight vertebrate genomes, PicTar's ability to specifically recover published microRNA targets, and experimental validation of seven predicted targets suggest that PicTar has an excellent success rate in predicting targets for single microRNAs and for combinations of microRNAs. We find that vertebrate microRNAs target, on average, roughly 200 transcripts each. Furthermore, our results suggest widespread coordinate control executed by microRNAs. In particular, we experimentally validate common regulation of Mtpn by miR-375, miR-124 and let-7b and thus provide evidence for coordinate microRNA control in mammals.Nature Genetics 06/2005; 37(5):495-500. · 35.53 Impact Factor