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Dev Biol 2016 Jan 01;4091:26-38. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2015.11.005.
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Identification of microRNAs and microRNA targets in Xenopus gastrulae: The role of miR-26 in the regulation of Smad1.

Liu C , Lou CH , Shah V , Ritter R , Talley J , Soibam B , Benham A , Zhu H , Perez E , Shieh YE , Gunaratne PH , Sater AK .

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to play diverse roles in the regulation of vertebrate development. To investigate miRNA-target mRNA relationships in embryonic development, we have carried out small-RNA sequencing to identify miRNAs expressed in the early gastrula of Xenopus laevis. We identify a total of 180 miRNAs, and we have identified the locations of the miRNA precursor sequences in the X. laevis genome. Of these miRNAs, 141 represent miRs previously identified in Xenopus tropicalis. Alignment to human miRNAs led to the identification of 39 miRNAs that have not previously been described for Xenopus. We have also used a biochemical approach to isolate mRNAs that are associated with the RNA-Induced Silencing Complex (RISC) in early gastrulae and thus candidate targets of miRNA-dependent regulation. Interrogation of this RISC-associated mRNA pool by RT-PCR indicates that a number of genes essential for early patterning and specification may be under regulation by miRNAs. Smad1 transcripts are associated with the RISC; target prediction algorithms identify a single miRNA-binding site for miR-26, which is common to the 3'UTRs of Smad1a and Smad1b. Disruption of the interaction between miR-26 and the Smad1 3'UTR via a Target Protector Morpholino Oligonucleotide (TPMO) leads to a 2-fold increase in Smad1 protein accumulation, moderate increases in the expression of BMP4/Smad1 target genes, and a reduction in organizer gene expression, as well as a partially ventralized phenotype in approximately 25% of embryos. Overexpression of miR-26 resulted in moderately decreased expression of Smad1-dependent genes and an expansion of the region expressing the Organizer gene not1. Our findings indicate that interactions between miR-26 and the Smad1 3'UTR modulate Smad1 function in the establishment of axial patterning; they also establish a foundation for the functional analysis of miRNAs and their regulatory interactions during gastrulation.

PubMed ID: 26548531
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: acvr2a c2h2orf49 chrd fgf3 fgf4 gata4 gmnn gsc mmut myc nodal not nr2c2 otx2 rps18 sia1 smad1 sox2 ventx1.2 ventx2.2
Morpholinos: smad1 MO2

Phenotypes: Xla Wt + miR-26 (fig.7.c) [+]

Article Images: [+] show captions