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Mol Endocrinol. 2011 May;25(5):810-20. doi: 10.1210/me.2010-0352. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone induces miR-132 and miR-212 to regulate cellular morphology and migration in immortalized LbetaT2 pituitary gonadotrope cells.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0673, USA.


GnRH is central to the regulation of reproductive function. It acts on pituitary gonadotropes to stimulate LH and FSH synthesis and secretion. We had previously presented evidence for translational control of LHβ synthesis; therefore we investigated whether micro-RNAs might play a role in GnRH regulation in LβT2 cells. We show here that GnRH strongly induces the AK006051 gene transcript that encodes two micro-RNAs, miR-132 and miR-212, within the first intron. We show furthermore that the AK006051 promoter region is highly GnRH responsive. We verify that the p250Rho GTPase activating protein (GAP) is a target of miR-132/212 and show that GnRH treatment leads to a decrease in mRNA and protein expression. This reduction is blocked by an anti-miR to miR-132/212 and mimicked by a pre-miR-132. GnRH inhibits p250RhoGAP expression through a miR-132/212 response element within the 3'-untranslated region. The loss of p250RhoGAP expression leads to activation of Rac and marked increases in both the number and length of neurite-like processes extending from the cell. Knockdown of p250RhoGAP by small interfering RNA induces the same morphological changes observed with GnRH treatment. In addition, loss of p250RhoGAP causes an increase in cellular motility. Our findings suggest a novel pathway regulating long-term changes in cellular motility and process formation via the GnRH induction of miR-132/212 with the subsequent down-regulation of p250RhoGAP.

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