ABSTRACT: Both nuclear receptor subfamily 2 group F member 1 (NR2F1) and microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to play critical roles in the developing and functional inner ear. Based on previous studies suggesting interplay between NR2F1 and miRNAs, we investigated the coregulation between NR2F1 and miRNAs to better understand the regulatory mechanisms of inner ear development and functional maturation.Using a bioinformatic approach, we identified 11 potential miRNAs that might coregulate target genes with NR2F1 and analyzed their targets and potential roles in physiology and disease. We selected 6 miRNAs to analyze using quantitative real-time (qRT) -PCR and found that miR-140 is significantly down-regulated by 4.5-fold (P=0.004) in the inner ear of NR2F1 knockout (Nr2f1(-/-)) mice compared to wild-type littermates but is unchanged in the brain. Based on this, we performed chromatin-immunoprecipitation followed by qRT-PCR and confirmed that NR2F1 directly binds and regulates both miR-140 and Klf9 in vivo. Furthermore, we performed luciferase reporter assay and showed that miR-140 mimic directly regulates KLF9-3'UTR, thereby establishing and validating an example coregulatory network involving NR2F1, miR-140, and Klf9.We have described and experimentally validated a novel tissue-dependent coregulatory network for NR2F1, miR-140, and Klf9 in the inner ear and we propose the existence of many such coregulatory networks important for both inner ear development and function.
Project description:Hundreds of thousands of cis-regulatory DNA sequences are predicted in vertebrate genomes, but unlike genes themselves, few have been characterized at the functional level or even unambiguously paired with a target gene. Here we serendipitously identified and started investigating the first reported long-range regulatory region for the Nr2f1 (Coup-TFI) transcription factor gene. NR2F1 is temporally and spatially regulated during development and required for patterning and regionalization in the nervous system, including sensory hair cell organization in the auditory epithelium of the cochlea. Analyzing the deaf wanderer (dwnd) spontaneous mouse mutation, we traced back the cause of its associated circling behavior to a 53?kb deletion removing five exons and adjacent intronic regions of the poorly characterized Mctp1 gene. Interestingly, loss of Mctp1 function cannot account for the hearing loss, inner ear dysmorphology and sensory hair cell disorganization observed in dwnd mutants. Instead, we found that the Mctp1dwnd deletion affects the Nr2f1 gene located 1.4?Mb away, downregulating transcription and protein expression in the embryonic cochlea. Remarkably, the Mctp1dwnd allele failed to complement a targeted inactivation allele of Nr2f1, and transheterozygotes or Mctp1dwnd homozygotes exhibit the same morphological defects observed in inner ears of Nr2f1 mutants without sharing their early life lethality. Defects include improper separation of the utricle and saccule in the vestibule not described previously, which can explain the circling behavior that first brought the spontaneous mutation to attention. By contrast, mice homozygous for a targeted inactivation of Mctp1 have normal hearing and inner ear structures. We conclude that the 53?kb Mctp1dwnd deletion encompasses a long-range cis-regulatory region essential for proper Nr2f1 expression in the embryonic inner ear, providing a first opportunity to investigate Nr2f1 function in postnatal inner ears. This work adds to the short list of long-range regulatory regions characterized as essential to drive expression of key developmental control genes.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) inhibit the translation of target mRNAs and affect, directly or indirectly, the expression of a large portion of the protein-coding genes. This study focuses on miRNAs that are expressed in the mouse cochlea and vestibule, the 2 inner ear compartments. A conditional knock-out mouse for Dicer1 demonstrated that miRNAs are crucial for postnatal survival of functional hair cells of the inner ear. We identified miRNAs that have a role in the vertebrate developing inner ear by combining miRNA transcriptome analysis, spatial and temporal expression patterns, and bioinformatics. Microarrays revealed similar miRNA profiles in newborn-mouse whole cochleae and vestibules, but different temporal and spatial expression patterns of six miRNAs (miR-15a, miR-18a, miR-30b, miR-99a, miR-182, and miR-199a) may reflect their roles. Two of these miRNAs, miR-15a-1 and miR-18a, were also shown to be crucial for zebrafish inner ear development and morphogenesis. To suggest putative target mRNAs whose translation may be inhibited by selected miRNAs, we combined bioinformatics-based predictions and mRNA expression data. Finally, we present indirect evidence that Slc12a2, Cldn12, and Bdnf mRNAs may be targets for miR-15a. Our data support the hypothesis that inner ear tissue differentiation and maintenance are regulated and controlled by conserved sets of cell-specific miRNAs in both mouse and zebrafish.
Project description:The mammalian inner ear contains sensory organs, the organ of Corti in the cochlea and cristae and maculae in the vestibule, with each comprised of patterned sensory epithelia that are responsible for hearing and balance. The development, cell fate, patterning, and innervation of both the sensory and nonsensory regions of the inner ear are governed by tight regulation involving, among others, transcription factors and microRNAs (miRNAs). In humans, mutations in specific miRNA genes are associated with hearing loss. In mice, experimental reduction or mutations of miRNAs in the inner ear leads to severe developmental and structural abnormalities. A comprehensive identification of miRNAs in the sensory epithelia and their gene targets will enable pathways of auditory and vestibular function to be defined.In this study, we used Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) to identify the most prominent miRNAs in the inner ear and to define miRNA-target pairs that form pathways crucial for the function of the sensory epithelial cells. NGS of RNA from inner ear sensory epithelial cells led to the identification of 455 miRNAs in both cochlear and vestibular sensory epithelium, with 30 and 44 miRNAs found in only cochlea or vestibule, respectively. miR-6715-3p and miR-6715-5p were defined for the first time in the inner ear. Gene targets were identified for each of these miRNAs, including Arhgap12, a GTPase activating protein, for miR-6715-3p, implicating this miRNA in sensory hair cell bundle development, actin reorganization, cell adhesion and inner ear morphogenesis.This study provides a comprehensive atlas of miRNAs in the inner ear sensory epithelia. The results provide further support of the essential regulatory role of miRNAs in inner ear sensory epithelia and in regulating pathways that define development and growth of these cells.
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: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:microRNAs (miRNAs) are regulators of differentiation and development of inner ear cells. Mutations in miRNAs lead to deafness in humans and mice. Among inner ear pathologies, inflammation may lead to structural and neuronal defects and eventually to hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction. While the genetic factors of these pathways have not been defined, autoimmunity participates in these processes. We report that inflammatory stimuli in the inner ear induce activation of the innate immune system via miR-224 and pentraxin 3 (Ptx3). miR-224 is a transcriptional target of nuclear factor ?B, a key mediator of innate immunity. Ptx3 is a regulator of the immune response. It is released in response to inflammation and regulated by nuclear factor ?B. We show that miR-224 and Ptx3 are expressed in the inner ear and we demonstrate that miR-224 targets Ptx3. As a model of the innate immune response, we injected lipopolysaccharide into the scala tympani of mouse inner ears. This resulted in changes in the levels of miR-224 and Ptx3, in addition to activation of the complement system, as measured by immune cell infiltration and activated C3. This suggests that while miR-224 regulates Ptx3 under normal conditions, upon inflammation, both are recruited to offer a front line of defense in acting as responders to inflammation in the inner ear. miR-224 diminishes the innate immune response by down-regulating Ptx3 expression, while Ptx3 stimulates the innate immune response. An understanding of the molecular components of the inflammatory pathway may help develop therapeutics for reducing inflammation associated with inner ear injury.
Project description:Optic nerve atrophy and hypoplasia can be primary disorders or can result from trans-synaptic degeneration arising from cerebral visual impairment (CVI). Here we report six individuals with CVI and/or optic nerve abnormalities, born after an uneventful pregnancy and delivery, who have either de novo heterozygous missense mutations in NR2F1, also known as COUP-TFI, or deletions encompassing NR2F1. All affected individuals show mild to moderate intellectual impairment. NR2F1 encodes a nuclear receptor protein that regulates transcription. A reporter assay showed that missense mutations in the zinc-finger DNA-binding domain and the putative ligand-binding domain decrease NR2F1 transcriptional activity. These findings indicate that NR2F1 plays an important role in the neurodevelopment of the visual system and that its disruption can lead to optic atrophy with intellectual disability.
Project description: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:Metastases can originate from disseminated tumour cells (DTCs), which may be dormant for years before reactivation. Here we find that the orphan nuclear receptor NR2F1 is epigenetically upregulated in experimental head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) dormancy models and in DTCs from prostate cancer patients carrying dormant disease for 7-18 years. NR2F1-dependent dormancy is recapitulated by a co-treatment with the DNA-demethylating agent 5-Aza-C and retinoic acid across various cancer types. NR2F1-induced quiescence is dependent on SOX9, RAR? and CDK inhibitors. Intriguingly, NR2F1 induces global chromatin repression and the pluripotency gene NANOG, which contributes to dormancy of DTCs in the bone marrow. When NR2F1 is blocked in vivo, growth arrest or survival of dormant DTCs is interrupted in different organs. We conclude that NR2F1 is a critical node in dormancy induction and maintenance by integrating epigenetic programmes of quiescence and survival in DTCs.
Project description:The detailed pathogenesis of endometriosis remains largely unclear despite decades of research. Recent studies have demonstrated that miRNAs plays an important role in endometriosis. The expression of miR-142-3p was decreased in ectopic endometrial tissues, while KLF9 and VEGFA expression levels were increased. Overexpression of miR-142-3p or knockdown of KLF9 significantly suppressed CRL-7566 cell proliferation and metastasis, induced cell apoptosis, and decreased both cell autophagy and vascularization. Additionally, KLF9 was confirmed to be a direct target of miR-142-3p and to directly bind to the promoter of the VEGFA gene, regulating its expression. Finally, intraperitoneal injection of miR-142-3p lentivirus significantly attenuated ectopic endometriotic lesions in vivo.miR-142-3p directly targeted KLF9, regulated VEGFA expression, and was protective against the growth of ectopic endometriotic lesions. Therefore, the miR-142-3p/KLF9/VEGFA signalling pathway may be a potential target in endometriosis treatment.