||The Neuroprotective Effect of miR-196a on Neuronal Morphology through Targeting IMP3
||Department of Physiology
Huntington’s disease (HD)
亨丁頓式舞蹈症 (Huntington’s disease) 為一遺傳性神經退化疾病，伴隨變異的基因表現，其主對中樞系統產生神經毒性，造成個體的運動控制失調及認知功能障礙。先前實驗室的研究發現，過量表達微核醣核酸196a (miR-196a) 使亨丁頓式舞蹈症在細胞與動物疾病模式的病徵減輕，並為神經骨架蛋白提供有益的調節。在當前的研究中，我們致力於闡發miR-196a在神經退化中保護神經型態所透過的深入途徑。根據生物資訊工具的預測，一個參與癌細胞惡性轉移時細胞骨架重塑的分子，胰島素樣生長因子2 mRNA結合蛋白3 (insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 3; Igf2bp3 or IMP3) 被視為是miR-196a 潛在的標靶基因，因此我們推測在亨丁頓式舞蹈症中，miR-196a可能抑制IMP3而改善神經的型態。本研究中證實miR-196a藉由結合在IMP3 mRNA的三端不轉譯區 (3’UTR) 而抑制IMP3在神經母細胞瘤-2a (N2a) 中的表現，此外在 miR-196a的基因轉殖小鼠中，內源性的IMP3表達亦受到限制。我們進一步在經視黃酸 (retinoic acid) 分化的N2a神經細胞及初代培養之小鼠大腦皮質神經元中呈現miR-196a促進神經軸突生長及其對IMP3的抑制效果，而過量表達IMP3則阻斷miR-196a對神經型態的保護作用。同時，外源性的IMP3限制了神經軸突生長並導致不正常的神經型態，包含纖維型的微絲蛋白 (F-actin) 表現降低以及細胞形狀較扁。再者，在亨丁頓式舞蹈症疾病模式的R6/2小鼠中，我們發現IMP3蛋白在成體大腦皮質的異位表達，且該表現量與疾病進程相關。此研究結果顯示提升的IMP3表現量在神經型態上扮演著有害的角色，而miR-196a可透過抑制IMP3以助於神經發展。了解miR-196a保護神經的機制並提供疾病相關之標的蛋白將對未來神經退化的基因治療帶來新面向。
Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease leading to motor control dysfunction and cognitive deficit in patients, resulting from the neurotoxicity primarily in the central nervous system (CNS) along with altered gene expression. Previously, our research had found that overexpression of miR-196a ameliorated pathological phenotypes of HD models in vitro and in vivo and provided beneficial regulations for neuronal cytoskeleton. We now elucidate the mechanism of the neuroprotective effects of miR-196a. Bioinformatics predicts that insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA-binding protein 3 (IGF2BP3 or IMP3) is a potential target gene of miR-196a, which is involved in cytoskeleton remodeling during malignant transformation in cancers. Therefore, we hypothesize that miR-196a may improve the neuronal morphology through targeting IMP3. Here, we confirm that miR-196a inhibits the endogenous expression level of IMP3 in N2a cells by targeting the 3’UTR of IMP3 transcript. Besides, the endogenous IMP3 is suppressed in miR-196a transgenic mice. We further show that miR-196a inhibits IMP3 in N2a cells differentiated by retinoic acid and in mouse primary cortical neurons, and overexpression of IMP3 blocks the morphology protective effect of miR-196a. Additionally, the exogenous IMP3 restrains the neurite outgrowth and leads to abnormal morphology, including decreased F-actin intensity and flattened cell shape. Furthermore, in screening the expression profiling of IMP3 in the R6/2 HD mouse model, we find an ectopic expression pattern of IMP3 in their adult cortical tissues, which is distinct from the wild type mice and correlated with disease progression. These results implicate a detrimental role of elevated IMP3 in neuronal pathogenesis, and miR-196a may provide beneficial effects for neuronal morphology through targeting IMP3. In future work, we will study the role of IMP3 in the neuroprotective effect of miR-196a in HD models in vitro and in vivo. We anticipate that this study will shed light on promising treatment strategies for HD.
Chapter 1. Introduction...1
1-1. Neuronal morphology...1
1-2. Neuronal cytoskeleton...2
1-3. Actin filaments and neurite outgrowth...4
1-4. Background of miRNA...5
1-5. miRNA applications...6
1-6. Background of IMP3...7
1-7. Potential roles of IMP3...8
Chapter 2. Objectives...11
2-1. Research rationales...11
2-2. Specific aims...12
Chapter 3. Materials and Methods...13
3-1. DNA construction...13
3-2. DNA transformation...13
3-3. Plasmid extraction...14
3-4. N2a cell culture and differentiation...15
3-5. Cell freezing and thawing...16
3-7. Luciferase/β-gal Reporter assay...17
3-8. miRNA transfection...19
3-9. Ubi-IMP3-flag overexpression...19
3-10. Neurite outgrowth of N2a cells...19
3-11. Primary culture of cortical neurons...20
3-12. Western blot...22
3-13. Immunofluorescent staining...25
3-14. Imaging and analysis...27
(1) Imaging setting...27
(2) Analysis of neuronal morphology...29
(3) Analysis of the fluorescence intensity...30
(4) Analysis of the nucleus circularity...31
3-15. Statistical analysis...31
Chapter 4. Results...32
Aim 1. To identify IMP3 as a target gene of miR-196a....32
4-1. The inhibitory effect of miR-196a on IMP3 in vitro and in vivo...32
Aim 2. To investigate whether miR-196a improves neuronal morphology by targeting IMP3....33
4-2. The protective effect of miR-196a on neuronal morphology by suppressing IMP3...34
Aim 3. To investigate the role of IMP3 in neuronal morphology...36
4-3. The detrimental role of IMP3 on neuronal morphology... 36
4-4. The blockage of the protective effect of miR-196a on neuronal morphology by overexpressing IMP3...38
Chapter 5. Discussion...39
5-1. New findings in this thesis...39
5-2. The suppression of IMP3 by miR-196a in brain...39
(1) Contribution to neuronal morphology...39
(2) Potential impact in adult brains...40
5-3. The potential impact of IMP3 on neuronal morphology... 41
5-4. Research limitations...42
5-5. Future work...43
(1) The downstream regulation of IMP3 in neuronal morphology...43
(2) The ectopic expression of IMP3 in adult cortical tissues in R6/2 mice...44
Chapter 6. Conclusion...46
Chapter 7. References...47
Chapter 8. Figures...58
Figure 1. miR-196a directly targets 3’-UTR of IMP3 in N2a cells....59
Figure 2. miR-196a inhibits the protein expression of IMP3 in N2a cells....60
Figure 3. The expression level of endogenous IMP3 is suppressed in miR-196a-transgenic mice....61
Figure 4. miR-196a inhibits the protein expression of IMP3 in RA-differentiated N2a cells....64
Figure 5. miR-196a suppresses the expression level of IMP3 and enhances neurite outgrowth in RA-differentiated N2a cells....67
Figure 6. miR-196a suppresses the expression level of IMP3 and enhances neurite outgrowth in primary cortical neurons....71
Figure 7. IMP3 is overexpressed by the Ubi-IMP3-flag construct....74
Figure 8. Overexpressing IMP3 leads to worsen neuronal morphology and decreased intensity of phalloidin in RA-differentiated N2a cells....78
Figure 9. Overexpressing IMP3 leads to worsen neurite outgrowth in primary cortical neurons....82
Figure 10. miR-196a improves neuronal morphology by targeting IMP3....86
Figure 11. An RNA-seq of IMP3-bound RNA is enriched in the cytoskeleton remodeling pathway....88
Figure 12. IMP3 is abnormally expressed in the adult cortical tissue of R6/2 HD mice....90
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