Novel miR-b2122 regulates several ALS-related RNA-binding proteins.Mol Brain. 2017 Oct 02; 10(1):46.MB
Common pathological features of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) include cytoplasmic aggregation of several RNA-binding proteins. Out of these RNA-binding proteins, TDP-43, FUS/TLS and RGNEF have been shown to co-aggregate with one another within motor neurons of sporadic ALS (sALS) patients, suggesting that there may be a common regulatory network disrupted. MiRNAs have been a recent focus in ALS research as they have been identified to be globally down-regulated in the spinal cord of ALS patients. The objective of this study was to identify if there are miRNA(s) dysregulated in sALS that are responsible for regulating the TDP-43, FUS/TLS and RGNEF network. In this study, we identify miR-194 and miR-b2122 to be significantly down-regulated in sALS patients, and were predicted to regulate TARDBP, FUS/TLS and RGNEF expression. Reporter gene assays and RT-qPCR revealed that miR-b2122 down-regulates the reporter gene through direct interactions with either the TARDBP, FUS/TLS, or RGNEF 3'UTR, while miR-194 down-regulates firefly expression when it contained either the TARDBP or FUS/TLS 3'UTR. Further, we showed that miR-b2122 regulates endogenous expression of all three of these genes in a neuronal-derived cell line. Also, an ALS-associated mutation in the FUS/TLS 3'UTR ablates the ability of miR-b2122 to regulate reporter gene linked to FUS/TLS 3'UTR, and sALS samples which showed a down-regulation in miR-b2122 also showed an increase in FUS/TLS protein expression. Overall, we have identified a novel miRNA that is down-regulated in sALS that appears to be a central regulator of disease-related RNA-binding proteins, and thus its dysregulation likely contributes to TDP-43, FUS/TLS and RGNEF pathogenesis in sALS.