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Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Mar 1;33(4):1290-7. Print 2005.

Antisense inhibition of human miRNAs and indications for an involvement of miRNA in cell growth and apoptosis.

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  • 1Ambion, Inc. 2130 Woodward Street, Austin, TX 78744-1832, USA.


Of the over 200 identified mammalian microRNAs (miRNAs), only a few have known biological activity. To gain a better understanding of the role that miRNAs play in specific cellular pathways, we utilized antisense molecules to inhibit miRNA activity. We used miRNA inhibitors targeting miR-23, 21, 15a, 16 and 19a to test efficacy of antisense molecules in reducing miRNA activity on reporter genes bearing miRNA-binding sites. The miRNA inhibitors de-repressed reporter gene activity when a miRNA-binding site was cloned into its 3'-untranslated region. We employed a library of miRNA inhibitors to screen for miRNA involved in cell growth and apoptosis. In HeLa cells, we found that inhibition of miR-95, 124, 125, 133, 134, 144, 150, 152, 187, 190, 191, 192, 193, 204, 211, 218, 220, 296 and 299 caused a decrease in cell growth and that inhibition of miR-21 and miR-24 had a profound increase in cell growth. On the other hand, inhibition of miR-7, 19a, 23, 24, 134, 140, 150, 192 and 193 down-regulated cell growth, and miR-107, 132, 155, 181, 191, 194, 203, 215 and 301 increased cell growth in lung carcinoma cells, A549. We also identified miRNA that when inhibited increased the level of apoptosis (miR-1d, 7, 148, 204, 210, 216 and 296) and one miRNA that decreased apoptosis (miR-214) in HeLa cells. From these screens, we conclude that miRNA-mediated regulation has a complexity of cellular outcomes and that miRNAs can be mediators of regulation of cell growth and apoptosis pathways.

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