miR-204 is required for lens and retinal development via Meis2 targeting.
ABSTRACT MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that have important roles in the regulation of gene expression. The roles of individual miRNAs in controlling vertebrate eye development remain, however, largely unexplored. Here, we show that a single miRNA, miR-204, regulates multiple aspects of eye development in the medaka fish (Oryzias latipes). Morpholino-mediated ablation of miR-204 expression resulted in an eye phenotype characterized by microphthalmia, abnormal lens formation, and altered dorsoventral (D-V) patterning of the retina, which is associated with optic fissure coloboma. Using a variety of in vivo and in vitro approaches, we identified the transcription factor Meis2 as one of the main targets of miR-204 function. We show that, together with altered regulation of the Pax6 pathway, the abnormally elevated levels of Meis2 resulting from miR-204 inactivation are largely responsible for the observed phenotype. These data provide an example of how a specific miRNA can regulate multiple events in eye formation; at the same time, they uncover an as yet unreported function of Meis2 in the specification of D-V patterning of the retina.
Article: Effect of PITX2 knockdown on transcriptome of primary human trabecular meshwork cell cultures.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To identify genes whose expressions in primary human trabecular meshwork (TM) cell cultures are affected by the transcription factor pituitary homeobox 2 (PITX2) and to identify genes that may have roles in glaucoma. Known glaucoma causing genes account for disease in a small fraction of patients, and we aimed at identification of other genes that may have subtle and accumulative effects not easily identifiable by a genetic approach. Expression profiles derived using microarrays were compared between TM control cells and cells treated with PITX2 siRNAs using three protocols so as to minimize false positive and negative results. The first protocol was based on the commonly used B statistic. The second and third protocols were based on fold change in expression. The second protocol used a threshold of at least 2 fold change in expression, whereas the third protocol used ranking in fold change without setting a threshold. The likelihood of a selected gene being a true positive was considered to correlate with the number of protocols by which it was selected. By considering all genes that were selected by at least one protocol, the likelihood of false negatives was expected to decrease. Effects on a subset of selected genes were verified by real time PCR, western blots, and immunocytochemistry. Effects on ALDH1A1, were further pursued because its protein product, aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 family, member A1, has roles in oxidative stress and because oxidative stress is known to be relevant to the etiology of glaucoma. The expression level of 41 genes was assessed by to be possibly affected by PITX2 knockdown. Twenty one genes were down-regulated and twenty were upregulated. The expression of five genes was assessed to be altered by all three analysis protocols. The five genes were DIRAS3 (DIRAS family, GTP-binding RAS-like 3), CXCL6 (chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 6), SAMD5 (sterile alpha motif domain containing 5), CBFB (core-binding factor, beta subunit), and MEIS2 (meis homeobox 2). Real time PCR experiments verified results on a subset of genes tested. Notably, the results were also confirmed in two independent TMs. Effects on CXCL6 and ALDH1A1 were also confirmed by western blots, and effects on ALDH1A1 were further shown by immunocytochemistry. Data consistent with PITX2 involvement in ALDH1A1 mediated response to oxidative stress were presented. Bioinformatics tools revealed that the genes identified affect functions and pathways relevant to glaucoma. Involvement of PITX2 in expression of some of the genes and in some of the pathways is being reported here for the first time. As many of the genes identified have not been studied vis-à-vis glaucoma, we feel they introduce new candidates for understanding this devastating disease.Molecular vision 01/2011; 17:1209-21. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Gene transfer using adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors has been successfully applied in the retina for the treatment of inherited retinal dystrophies. Recently, microRNAs have been exploited to fine-tune transgene expression improving therapeutic outcomes. Here we evaluated the ability of retinal-expressed microRNAs to restrict AAV-mediated transgene expression to specific retinal cell types that represent the main targets of common inherited blinding conditions. To this end, we generated AAV2/5 vectors expressing EGFP and containing four tandem copies of miR-124 or miR-204 complementary sequences in the 3'UTR of the transgene expression cassette. These vectors were administered subretinally to adult C57BL/6 mice and Large White pigs. Our results demonstrate that miR-124 and miR-204 target sequences can efficiently restrict AAV2/5-mediated transgene expression to retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptors, respectively, in mice and pigs. Interestingly, transgene restriction was observed at low vector doses relevant to therapy. We conclude that microRNA-mediated regulation of transgene expression can be applied in the retina to either restrict to a specific cell type the robust expression obtained using ubiquitous promoters or to provide an additional layer of gene expression regulation when using cell-specific promoters.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e22166. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We measured the expression of 187 miRNAs using quantitative real time PCR in the hippocampal CA1 region of contextually conditioned mice and cultured embryonic rat hippocampal neurons after neuronal stimulation with either NMDA or bicuculline. Many of the changes in miRNA expression after these three types of stimulation were similar. Surprisingly, the expression level of half of the 187 measured miRNAs was changed in response to contextual conditioning in an NMDA receptor-dependent manner. Genes that control miRNA biogenesis and components of the RISC also exhibited activity induced expression changes and are likely to contribute to the widespread changes in the miRNA profile. The widespread changes in miRNA expression are consistent with the finding that genes up-regulated by contextual conditioning have longer 3' UTRs and more predicted binding sites for miRNAs. Among the miRNAs that changed their expression after contextual conditioning, several inhibit inhibitors of the mTOR pathway. These findings point to a role for miRNAs in learning and memory that includes mTOR-dependent modulation of protein synthesis.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e24682. · 4.09 Impact Factor