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MicroRNA-101 Regulates NKCC1, Kif1a, and Ank2 to Fine-Tune the Formation of Proper Neural Networks

  • Author(s): Liu, Jerry
  • Advisor(s): Berg, Darwin K
  • et al.
Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are post-transcriptional regulators that coordinate the execution of developmental programs across all cell types. Current methods for identifying targets of miRNAs are initially theoretical. It is, therefore, essential to carry out in-vivo experiments to validate those relationships. MiRNA-101 is highly expressed in the brain and has predicted targets that are influential in neural development. Using sensor technology, we were able to show that miRNA-101 represses the expression of NKCC1, Kif1a, and Ank2. Furthermore, interference of miRNA-101 and its target NKCC1, led to increased dendritic growth, while simultaneous protection of Kif1a and Ank2 gave rise to excessive glutamatergic synapse formation. These findings verify the relationship between miRNA-101 and some of its targets, and suggest sites for therapeutic intervention for treatment of diseases that arise from excessive early network growth.

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