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Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Feb;40(3):1356-65. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkr843. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Molecular basis of differential target regulation by miR-96 and miR-182: the Glypican-3 as a model.

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  • 1Université Bordeaux Segalen, Bordeaux, F-33076 Bordeaux, France.


Besides the fact that miR-96 and miR-182 belong to the miR-182/183 cluster, their seed region (UUGGCA, nucleotides 2-7) is identical suggesting potential common properties in mRNA target recognition and cellular functions. Here, we used the mRNA encoding Glypican-3, a heparan-sulfate proteoglycan, as a model target as its short 3' untranslated region is predicted to contain one miR-96/182 site, and assessed whether it is post-transcriptionally regulated by these two microRNAs. We found that miR-96 downregulated GPC3 expression by targeting its mRNA 3'-untranslated region and interacting with the predicted site. This downregulatory effect was due to an increased mRNA degradation and depended on Argonaute-2. Despite its seed similarity with miR-96, miR-182 was unable to regulate GPC3. This differential regulation was confirmed on two other targets, FOXO1 and FN1. By site-directed mutagenesis, we demonstrated that the miRNA nucleotide 8, immediately downstream the UUGGCA seed, plays a critical role in target recognition by miR-96 and miR-182. Our data suggest that because of a base difference at miRNA position 8, these two microRNAs control a completely different set of genes and therefore are functionally independent.

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