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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Feb 14;109(7):E423-31. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1111780109. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

Regulation of prelamin A but not lamin C by miR-9, a brain-specific microRNA.

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Molecular Biology Institute and Department of Medicine and Human Genetics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Lamins A and C, alternatively spliced products of the LMNA gene, are key components of the nuclear lamina. The two isoforms are found in similar amounts in most tissues, but we observed an unexpected pattern of expression in the brain. Western blot and immunohistochemistry studies showed that lamin C is abundant in the mouse brain, whereas lamin A and its precursor prelamin A are restricted to endothelial cells and meningeal cells and are absent in neurons and glia. Prelamin A transcript levels were low in the brain, but this finding could not be explained by alternative splicing. In lamin A-only knockin mice, where alternative splicing is absent and all the output of the gene is channeled into prelamin A transcripts, large amounts of lamin A were found in peripheral tissues, but there was very little lamin A in the brain. Also, in knockin mice expressing exclusively progerin (a toxic form of prelamin A found in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome), the levels of progerin in the brain were extremely low. Further studies showed that prelamin A expression, but not lamin C expression, is down-regulated by a brain-specific microRNA, miR-9. Expression of miR-9 in cultured cells reduced lamin A expression, and this effect was abolished when the miR-9-binding site in the prelamin A 3' UTR was mutated. The down-regulation of prelamin A expression in the brain could explain why mouse models of Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome are free of central nervous system pathology.

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