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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2011 Apr;68(8):1415-28. doi: 10.1007/s00018-010-0528-y. Epub 2010 Sep 19.

MicroRNA-128 downregulates Bax and induces apoptosis in human embryonic kidney cells.

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Functional Genomics Unit, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Mall Road, Delhi, India.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short ~21-nt non-coding RNA molecules that have been shown to regulate a number of biological processes. Previous reports have shown that overexpression of miR-128 in glioma cells inhibited cell proliferation. Literature also suggests that miR-128 negatively regulates prostate cancer cell invasion. Here, we show that overexpression of hsa-miR-128, a brain-enriched microRNA, induces apoptosis in HEK293T cells as elucidated by apoptosis assay, cell cycle changes, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and multicaspase assay. By in silico analysis, we identified a putative target site within the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of Bax, a proapoptotic member of the apoptosis pathway. We found that ectopic expression of hsa-miR-128 suppressed a luciferase reporter containing the Bax-3' UTR and reduced the levels of Bax in HEK293T cells. Taken together, our study demonstrates that overexpression of hsa-miR-128 not only induces apoptosis in HEK293T cells but also is an endogenous regulator of Bax protein.

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