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    microRNAs (miRs) are fundamental regulators of protein coding genes. In the CNS, miR-9 is highly enriched and critical for neuronal development and function. Mature miRs are derived from a duplex precursor, and the -5p strand ("guide") is preferentially incorporated into an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) to exert its regulatory functions, while the complementary -3p strand ("passenger") is thought to be rapidly degraded. By contrast, both strands of the miR-9 duplex have unique functions critical for neuronal physiology, yet their respective degradation rates and mechanisms governing degradation are not well understood. Therefore, we determined the degradation kinetics of miR-9-5p and miR-9-3p and investigated the cis and trans elements that affected their stability in the brain. Using a combination of homogeneous neuronal/astrocyte cell models and heterogeneous brain tissue lysate, we demonstrate the novel finding that miR-9-3p was more stable than the miR-9-5p guide strand in all models tested. Moreover, the degradation kinetics of both miR-9-5p and miR-9-3p were brain-region specific, suggesting that each brain region was differentially enriched for specific degradation factors. We also determined that the 3' nucleotides harbor important cis elements required to not only maintain stability, but also to recruit potential protein degradation factors. We used mass spectrometry to assess the miR-9 interacting proteins and found that the -5p and -3p strands were associated with functionally distinct proteins. Overall, these studies revealed unique miR-9-5p and miR-9-3p degradation kinetics in the brain and proposed critical nucleotide sequences and protein partners that could contribute to this differential stability. Copyright © 2020 Kim et al.


    C K Kim, A Asimes, M Zhang, B T Son, J A Kirk, T R Pak. Differential Stability of miR-9-5p and miR-9-3p in the Brain Is Determined by Their Unique Cis- and Trans-Acting Elements. eNeuro. 2020 May/Jun;7(3)

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    PMID: 32376600

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