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J Inorg Biochem. 2011 Nov;105(11):1434-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2011.05.012. Epub 2011 May 27.

Up-regulation of NF-kB-sensitive miRNA-125b and miRNA-146a in metal sulfate-stressed human astroglial (HAG) primary cell cultures.

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  • 1Neuroscience Center, Department of Genetics, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112 USA.


Micro RNAs (miRNAs) constitute a unique class of small, non-coding ribonucleic acids (RNAs) that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. The presence of two inducible miRNAs, miRNA-125b and miRNA-146a, involved in respectively, astroglial cell proliferation and in the innate immune and inflammatory response, is significantly up-regulated in human neurological disorders including Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study we analyzed abundances miRNA-125b and miRNA-146a in magnesium-, iron-, gallium, and aluminum-sulfate-stressed human-astroglial (HAG) cells, a structural and immune-responsive brain cell type. The combination of iron- plus aluminum-sulfate was found to be significantly synergistic in up-regulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) abundance, NF-кB-DNA binding and miRNA-125b and miRNA-146a expression. Treatment of metal-sulfate stressed HAG cells with the antioxidant phenyl butyl nitrone (PBN) or the NF-кB inhibitors curcumin, the metal chelator-anti-oxidant pyrollidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), or the resveratrol analog CAY10512, abrogated both NF-кB signaling and induction of these miRNAs. Our observations further illustrate the potential of physiologically relevant amounts of aluminum and iron sulfates to synergistically up-regulate specific miRNAs known to contribute to AD-relevant pathogenetic mechanisms, and suggest that antioxidants or NF-кB inhibitors may be useful to quench metal-sulfate triggered genotoxicity.

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