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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Apr 16;394(4):921-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.03.076. Epub 2010 Mar 15.

miR-7 and miR-214 are specifically expressed during neuroblastoma differentiation, cortical development and embryonic stem cells differentiation, and control neurite outgrowth in vitro.

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Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit, Hodgkin Building, Lancaster Road, PO Box 138, Leicester LE1 9HN, UK.


The mammalian nervous system exerts essential control on many physiological processes in the organism and is itself controlled extensively by a variety of genetic regulatory mechanisms. microRNA (miR), an abundant class of small non-coding RNA, are emerging as important post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression in the brain. Increasing evidence indicates that miR regulate both the development and function of the nervous system. Moreover, deficiency in miR function has also been implicated in a number of neurological disorders. Expression profile analysis of miR is necessary to understand their complex role in the regulation of gene expression during the development and differentiation of cells. Here we present a comparative study of miR expression profiles in neuroblastoma, in cortical development, and in neuronal differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells. By microarray profiling in combination with real time PCR we show that miR-7 and miR-214 are modulated in neuronal differentiation (as compared to miR-1, -16 and -133a), and control neurite outgrowth in vitro. These findings provide an important step toward further elucidation of miR function and miR-related gene regulatory networks in the mammalian central nervous system.

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