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Cell Death Dis. 2014 Jan 9;5:e982. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2013.498.

The evolutionary young miR-1290 favors mitotic exit and differentiation of human neural progenitors through altering the cell cycle proteins.

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Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.
School of Interdisciplinary Informatics, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Omaha, NE, USA.


Regulation of cellular proliferation and differentiation during brain development results from processes requiring several regulatory networks to function in synchrony. MicroRNAs are part of this regulatory system. Although many microRNAs are evolutionarily conserved, recent evolution of such regulatory molecules can enable the acquisition of new means of attaining specialized functions. Here we identify and report the novel expression and functions of a human and higher primate-specific microRNA, miR-1290, in neurons. Using human fetal-derived neural progenitors, SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line and H9-ESC-derived neural progenitors (H9-NPC), we found miR-1290 to be upregulated during neuronal differentiation, using microarray, northern blotting and qRT-PCR. We then conducted knockdown and overexpression experiments to look at the functional consequences of perturbed miR-1290 levels. Knockdown of miR-1290 inhibited differentiation and induced proliferation in differentiated neurons; correspondingly, miR-1290 overexpression in progenitors led to a slowing down of the cell cycle and differentiation to neuronal phenotypes. Consequently, we identified that crucial cell cycle proteins were aberrantly changed in expression level. Therefore, we conclude that miR-1290 is required for maintaining neurons in a differentiated state.

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