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Nucleic Acids Res. 2009 Jan;37(1):123-8. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkn920. Epub 2008 Nov 23.

Twist-1 regulates the miR-199a/214 cluster during development.

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  • 1The Henry-Wellcome Laboratories for Integrated Neuroscience and Endocrinology, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.


MicroRNAs are known to regulate developmental processes but their mechanism of regulation remains largely uncharacterized. We show the transcription factor Twist-1 drives the expression of a 7.9-kb noncoding RNA transcript (from the Dynamin-3 gene intron) that encodes a miR-199a and miR-214 cluster. We also show that knocking down Twist-1 with shRNAs decreased miR-199a/214 levels and that Twist-1 bound an E-Box promoter motif to developmentally regulate the expression of these miRNAs. The expression of HIF-1 (known to mediate Twist-1 transcription), miR-199a and miR-214 was maximal at E12.5 and the miRNAs were expressed specifically in mouse cerebellum, midbrain, nasal process and fore- and hindlimb buds. This study shows the expression of the miR199a/214 cluster is controlled by Twist-1 via an E-Box promoter element and supports a role for these miRNAs as novel intermediates in the pathways controlling the development of specific neural cell populations.

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