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PLoS One. 2019 Jan 30;14(1):e0211597. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211597. eCollection 2019.

Characterization of a novel microRNA, miR-188, elevated in serum of muscular dystrophy dog model.

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Department of Molecular Therapy, National Institute of Neuroscience, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Gene Regulation, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Tokyo University of Science, Noda, Chiba, Japan.
Department of Cell Physiology, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Minato, Tokyo, Japan.
Laboratory of Experimental Animal Science, Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University, Musashino, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Medical Molecular Informatics, Meiji Pharmaceutical University, Kiyose, Tokyo, Japan.
Department of Genomic Medicinal Science, Research Institute for Science and Technology, Organization for Research Advancement, Tokyo University of Science, Noda, Chiba, Japan.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding small RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Several miRNAs are exclusively expressed in skeletal muscle and participate in the regulation of muscle differentiation by interacting with myogenic factors. These miRNAs can be found at high levels in the serum of patients and animal models for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is expected to be useful as biomarkers for their clinical conditions. By miRNA microarray analysis, we identified miR-188 as a novel miRNA that is elevated in the serum of the muscular dystrophy dog model, CXMDJ. miR-188 was not muscle-specific miRNA, but its expression was up-regulated in skeletal muscles associated with muscle regeneration induced by cardiotoxin-injection in normal dogs and mice. Manipulation of miR-188 expression using antisense oligo and mimic oligo RNAs alters the mRNA expression of the myogenic regulatory factors, MRF4 and MEF2C. Our results suggest that miR-188 is a new player that participates in the gene regulation process of muscle differentiation and that it may serve as a serum biomarker reflecting skeletal muscle regeneration.

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Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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