MicroRNA-183 family expression in hair cell development and requirement of microRNAs for hair cell maintenance and survival.
ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) post-transcriptionally repress complementary target gene expression and can contribute to cell differentiation. The coordinate expression of miRNA-183 family members (miR-183, miR-96, and miR-182) has been demonstrated in sensory cells of the mouse inner ear and other vertebrate sensory organs. To further examine hair cell miRNA expression in the mouse inner ear, we have analyzed miR-183 family expression in wild type animals and various mutants with defects in neurosensory development. miR-183 family member expression follows neurosensory cell specification, exhibits longitudinal (basal-apical) gradients in maturating cochlear hair cells, and is maintained in sensory neurons and most hair cells into adulthood. Depletion of hair cell miRNAs resulting from Dicer1 conditional knockout (CKO) in Atoh1-Cre transgenic mice leads to more disparate basal-apical gene expression profiles and eventual hair cell loss. Results suggest that hair cell miRNAs subdue cochlear gradient gene expression and are required for hair cell maintenance and survival.
Project description:Inner ear development requires coordinated transformation of a uniform sheet of cells into a labyrinth with multiple cell types. While numerous regulatory proteins have been shown to play critical roles in this process, the regulatory functions of microRNAs (miRNAs) have not been explored. To demonstrate the importance of miRNAs in inner ear development, we generated conditional Dicer knockout mice by the expression of Cre recombinase in the otic placode at E8.5. Otocyst-derived ganglia exhibit rapid neuron-specific miR-124 depletion by E11.5, degeneration by E12.5, and profound defects in subsequent sensory epithelial innervations by E17.5. However, the small and malformed inner ear at E17.5 exhibits residual and graded hair cell-specific miR-183 expression in the three remaining sensory epithelia (posterior crista, utricle, and cochlea) that closely corresponds to the degree of hair cell and sensory epithelium differentiation, and Fgf10 expression required for morphohistogenesis. The highest miR-183 expression is observed in near-normal hair cells of the posterior crista, whereas the reduced utricular macula demonstrates weak miR-183 expression and develops presumptive hair cells with numerous disorganized microvilli instead of ordered stereocilia. The correlation of differential and delayed depletion of mature miRNAs with the derailment of inner ear development demonstrates that miRNAs are crucial for inner ear neurosensory development and neurosensory-dependent morphogenesis.
Project description:The microRNA (miR)-183/96/182 cluster plays important roles in the development and functions of sensory organs, including the inner ear. Point-mutations in the seed sequence of miR-96 result in non-syndromic hearing loss in both mice and humans. However, the lack of a functionally null mutant has hampered the evaluation of the cluster's physiological functions. Here we have characterized a loss-of-function mutant mouse model (miR-183CGT/GT), in which the miR-183/96/182 cluster gene is inactivated by a gene-trap (GT) construct. The homozygous mutant mice show profound congenital hearing loss with severe defects in cochlear hair cell (HC) maturation, alignment, hair bundle formation and the checkboard-like pattern of the cochlear sensory epithelia. The stereociliary bundles retain an immature appearance throughout the cochlea at postnatal day (P) 3 and degenerate soon after. The organ of Corti of mutant newborn mice has no functional mechanoelectrical transduction. Several predicted target genes of the miR-183/96/182 cluster that are known to play important roles in HC development and function, including Clic5, Rdx, Ezr, Rac1, Myo1c, Pvrl3 and Sox2, are upregulated in the cochlea. These results suggest that the miR-183/96/182 cluster is essential for stereociliary bundle formation, morphogenesis and function of the cochlear HCs.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are an integral component of the metazoan genome and affect posttranscriptional repression of target messenger RNAs. The extreme phylogenetic conservation of certain miRNAs suggests their ancient origin and crucial function in conserved developmental processes. We demonstrate that highly conserved miRNA-183 orthologs exist in both deuterostomes and protostomes and their expression is predominant in ciliated ectodermal cells and organs. The miRNA-183 family members are expressed in vertebrate sensory hair cells, in innervated regions of invertebrate deuterostomes, and in sensilla of Drosophila and C. elegans. Thus, miRNA-183 family member expression is conserved in possibly homologous but morphologically distinct sensory cells and organs. The results suggest that miR-183 family members contribute specifically to neurosensory development or function, and that extant metazoan sensory organs are derived from cells that share genetic programs of common evolutionary origin.
Project description:Germline mutations in Mir96, one of three co-expressed polycistronic miRNA genes (Mir96, Mir182, Mir183), cause hereditary hearing loss in humans and mice. Transgenic FVB/NCrl- Tg(GFAP-Mir183,Mir96,Mir182)MDW1 mice (Tg1MDW), which overexpress this neurosensory-specific miRNA cluster in the inner ear, were developed as a model system to identify, in the aggregate, target genes and biologic processes regulated by the miR-183 cluster. Histological assessments demonstrate Tg1MDW/1MDW homozygotes have a modest increase in cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs). Affymetrix mRNA microarray data analysis revealed that downregulated genes in P5 Tg1MDW/1MDW cochlea are statistically enriched for evolutionarily conserved predicted miR-96, miR-182 or miR-183 target sites. ABR and DPOAE tests from 18 days to 3 months of age revealed that Tg1MDW/1MDW homozygotes develop progressive neurosensory hearing loss that correlates with histologic assessments showing massive losses of both IHCs and outer hair cells (OHCs). This mammalian miRNA misexpression model demonstrates a potency and specificity of cochlear homeostasis for one of the dozens of endogenously co-expressed, evolutionally conserved, small non-protein coding miRNA families. It should be a valuable tool to predict and elucidate miRNA-regulated genes and integrated functional gene expression networks that significantly influence neurosensory cell differentiation, maturation and homeostasis.
Project description:Hearing loss is the most common sensory defect afflicting several hundred million people worldwide. In most cases, regardless of the original cause, hearing loss is related to the degeneration and death of hair cells and their associated spiral ganglion neurons. Despite this knowledge, relatively few studies have reported regeneration of the auditory system. Significant gaps remain in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underpinning auditory function, including the factors required for sensory cell regeneration. Recently, the identification of transcriptional activators and repressors of hair cell fate has been augmented by the discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) associated with hearing loss. As miRNAs are central players of differentiation and cell fate, identification of miRNAs and their gene targets may reveal new pathways for hair cell regeneration, thereby providing new avenues for the treatment of hearing loss.In order to identify new genetic elements enabling regeneration of inner ear sensory hair cells, next-generation miRNA sequencing (miRSeq) was used to identify the most prominent miRNAs expressed in the mouse embryonic inner ear cell line UB/OC-1 during differentiation towards a hair cell like phenotype. Based on these miRSeq results eight most differentially expressed miRNAs were selected for further characterization. In UB/OC-1, miR-210 silencing in vitro resulted in hair cell marker expression, whereas ectopic expression of miR-210 resulted in new hair cell formation in cochlear explants. Using a lineage tracing mouse model, transdifferentiation of supporting epithelial cells was identified as the likely mechanism for this new hair cell formation. Potential miR-210 targets were predicted in silico and validated experimentally using a miR-trap approach.MiRSeq followed by ex vivo validation revealed miR-210 as a novel factor driving transdifferentiation of supporting epithelial cells to sensory hair cells suggesting that miR-210 might be a potential new factor for hearing loss therapy. In addition, identification of inner ear pathways regulated by miR-210 identified potential new drug targets for the treatment of hearing loss.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs able to regulate a broad range of protein-coding genes involved in many biological processes. miR-96 is a sensory organ-specific miRNA expressed in the mammalian cochlea during development. Mutations in miR-96 cause nonsyndromic progressive hearing loss in humans and mice. The mouse mutant diminuendo has a single base change in the seed region of the Mir96 gene leading to widespread changes in the expression of many genes. We have used this mutant to explore the role of miR-96 in the maturation of the auditory organ. We found that the physiological development of mutant sensory hair cells is arrested at around the day of birth, before their biophysical differentiation into inner and outer hair cells. Moreover, maturation of the hair cell stereocilia bundle and remodelling of auditory nerve connections within the cochlea fail to occur in miR-96 mutants. We conclude that miR-96 regulates the progression of the physiological and morphological differentiation of cochlear hair cells and, as such, coordinates one of the most distinctive functional refinements of the mammalian auditory system.
Project description:The miR-183 family consists of 3 related microRNAs (miR-183, miR-96, miR-182) that are required to complete maturation of primary sensory cells in the mammalian inner ear. Because the level of these microRNAs is not uniform across hair cell subtypes in the murine cochlea, the question arises as to whether hair cell phenotypes are influenced by microRNA expression levels. To address this, we used the chicken embryo to study expression and misexpression of this gene family. By in situ hybridization, expression of all 3 microRNAs is robust in immature hair cells of both auditory and vestibular organs and is present in the statoacoustic ganglion. The auditory organ, called the basilar papilla, shows a weak radial gradient (highest on the neural side) in prosensory cells near the base on embryonic day 7. About nine days later, the basilar papilla also displays a longitudinal gradient (highest in apical hair cells) for the 3 microRNAs. Tol2-mediated gene delivery was used to ask whether cell phenotypes are malleable when the prosensory epithelium was forced to overexpress the miR-183 family. The expression plasmid included EGFP as a reporter located upstream of an intron carrying the microRNA genes. The vectors were electroporated into the otic cup/vesicle, resulting in strong co-expression of EGFP and the miR-183 family that persisted for at least 2 weeks. This manipulation did not generate ectopic hair cells in non-sensory territories of the cochlear duct, although within the basilar papilla, hair cells were over-represented relative to supporting cells. There was no evidence for a change in hair cell phenotypes, such as short-to-tall, or basal-to-apical hair cell features. Therefore, while increasing expression of the miR-183 family was sufficient to influence cell lineage decisions, it did not redirect the differentiation of hair cells towards alternative radial or longitudinal phenotypes.
Project description:Members of the microRNA (miRNA) 183 family (miR-183, miR-96, and miR-182) are expressed abundantly in specific sensory cell types in the eye, nose, and inner ear. In the inner ear, expression is robust in the mechanosensory hair cells and weak in the associated statoacoustic ganglion (SAG) neurons; both cell types can share a common lineage during development. Recently, dominant-progressive hearing loss in humans and mice was linked to mutations in the seed region of miR-96, with associated defects in both development and maintenance of hair cells in the mutant mice. To understand how the entire triplet functions in the development of mechanosensory hair cells and neurons of the inner ear, we manipulated the levels of these miRNAs in zebrafish embryos using synthesized miRNAs and antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs). Overexpression of miR-96 or miR-182 induces duplicated otocysts, ectopic or expanded sensory patches, and extra hair cells, whereas morphogenesis of the SAG is adversely affected to different degrees. In contrast, knockdown of miR-183, miR-96, and miR-182 causes reduced numbers of hair cells in the inner ear, smaller SAGs, defects in semicircular canals, and abnormal neuromasts on the posterior lateral line. However, the prosensory region of the posterior macula, where the number of hair cells is reduced by approximately 50%, is not significantly impaired. Our findings suggest both distinct and common roles for the three miRNAs in cell-fate determination in the inner ear, and these principles might apply to development of other sensory organs.
Project description:The role of Sox2 in neurosensory development is not yet fully understood. Using mice with conditional Islet1-cre mediated deletion of Sox2, we explored the function of Sox2 in neurosensory development in a model with limited cell type diversification, the inner ear. In Sox2 conditional mutants, neurons initially appear to form normally, whereas late- differentiating neurons of the cochlear apex never form. Variable numbers of hair cells differentiate in the utricle, saccule, and cochlear base but sensory epithelium formation is completely absent in the apex and all three cristae of the semicircular canal ampullae. Hair cells differentiate only in sensory epithelia known or proposed to have a lineage relationship of neurons and hair cells. All initially formed neurons lacking hair cell targets die by apoptosis days after they project toward non-existing epithelia. Therefore, late neuronal development depends directly on Sox2 for differentiation and on the survival of hair cells, possibly derived from common neurosensory precursors.
Project description:Neurosensory responses of hearing and balance are mediated by receptors in specialized neuroepithelial sensory cells. Any disruption of the biochemical and molecular pathways that facilitate these responses can result in severe deficits, including hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction. Hearing is affected by both environmental and genetic factors, with impairment of auditory function being the most common neurosensory disorder affecting 1 in 500 newborns, as well as having an impact on the majority of elderly population. Damage to auditory sensory cells is not reversible, and if sufficient damage and cell death have taken place, the resultant deficit may lead to permanent deafness. Cochlear implants are considered to be one of the most successful and consistent treatments for deaf patients, but only offer limited recovery at the expense of loss of residual hearing. Recently there has been an increased interest in the auditory research community to explore the regeneration of mammalian auditory hair cells and restoration of their function. In this review article, we examine a variety of recent therapies, including genetic, stem cell and molecular therapies as well as discussing progress being made in genome editing strategies as applied to the restoration of hearing function.