HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 22, No 07, July 2018 – Water management- Technologies for biotech and pharmaceutical industries       » Why sunshine improves mood and makes us smarter       » SGD110 million lab to create healthier foods and sustainable biochemicals       » Entries open for the USD170,000 Ryman Prize       » Could the eye be the window to brain degeneration?       » High vitamin D levels linked to lower cholesterol in children      
FEATURES
microRNAs in Huntington’s disease
by Yusuf Issa Olakunle, M.Sc and Shang-Hsun Yang, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan

Huntington’s disease (HD)

HD is a human inheritable autosomal dominant disease, and this disease is caused by a mutation of CAG trinucleotide repeats in exon 1 region of Huntingtin (HTT) gene (1993). In principle, the longer of CAG trinucleotide repeats, the more severe the HD. As a result, expression of mutant HTT leads to toxic gain-of-function, forming cytotoxicity inside cells (Li and Li 2004, Yang and Chan 2011). In addition, the size of HTT fragment is also a critical factor affecting HD. Due to proteolysis of full-length HTT, different N-terminal HTT fragments are generated. As smaller N-terminal HTT fragments carry longer CAG trinucleotide repeats, earlier onset and more severe symptoms of HD will be observed(Schilling et al. 1999). Typically pathological characteristics of HD include nuclear aggregates, intranuclear aggregates and neuropil aggregates, which are detected in central nervous system (CNS) of HD patients and animal models (Li and Li 2004, Yang et al. 2008). Clinical symptoms of HD comprise cognitive dysfunction, emotional changes, mental deterioration, motor deficits, chorea and dystonia (Yang and Chan 2011, Bates et al. 2015). Up to date, there is no cure for this genetic disease, resulting in that HD patients suffer unimaginable pain till death.

microRNA in Huntington’s disease

Mutant HTT involves in abnormal gene regulation, and results in pathological symptoms in HD patients and animals (Yang and Chan 2011, Bates et al. 2015), suggesting the important role of HTT in gene regulatory mechanisms. Recently, post-transcriptional regulation of non-coding RNAs, especially microRNAs (miRNAs), has been extensively studied in the field of gene regulation in neuronal diseases. miRNAs are small nucleotides, and involved in several cellular processes and biological functions, such as growth, development, differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. Most miRNAs are evolutionarily conserved with their sequences among different organisms, and the evolutionary presence of multicellular organisms appears to correlate with the appearance of the miRNA pathway for regulation of gene expression. In HD, first miRNA study was reported in 2008, and showed that higher expression of Repressor Element 1 Silencing Transcription Factor (REST) enhanced the repression of miR-132 in the brain of HD mice and patients (Johnson et al. 2008). Targeting to REST complex, miR-9 and miR-9* also influence severity of HD in patients (Packer et al. 2008). Later, miR-146a and miR-34b were reported to involve in the gene regulation and pathogenesis of HD as well (Sinha et al. 2010, Gaughwin et al. 2011). These studies suggest miRNA-mediated pathway should contribute to this neurodegenerative disease, and alteration of certain miRNAs might provide beneficial effects on the progression of HD.

In our current studies, we showed the beneficial effects of one specific miRNA, miR-196a, on HD via cell, transgenic mouse and HD patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (HD-iPSC) models (Cheng et al. 2013). miR-196a not only ameliorated the molecular and pathological phenotypes, but also improved the behavioral symptoms in HD transgenic mice. Especially, these effects have also been confirmed in the unique model of differentiated neurons from HD-iPSCs. Similarly, an independent study by Kunkanjanawan and his colleagues also found that overexpression of miR-196a in neural progenitor cells of HD non-human primate (HD-NHP) and HD differentiated neural cells (HD-NCs) improved mutant HTT induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis (Kunkanjanawan et al. 2016). These results imply that manipulating miR-196a might provide beneficial effects through certain unknown mechanisms of neuron protection in HD.

A potential role of mrR-196a for neuroprotection

In our previous study, we predict miR-196a might putatively provide the neuroprotective functions in HD through the regulation of neuronal morphology (Fu et al. 2015). Neuronal morphology is one of important effects, and influences intracellular trafficking, synaptic development, plasticity and brain circuitry, further affecting motor, memory and cognitive functions in brain (Skaper 2005, Calabrese 2008, Olde Loohuis et al. 2012, Bencsik et al. 2015). In addition, neuronal morphology is highly regulated by gene expression, and several important genes, such as nuclear respiratory factor 1, integrin-associated protein and synapsin I, have been shown to involve in this mechanism (Calabrese 2008, Tong et al. 2013). These regulatory factors may enhance the cytoskeleton, growth cones or neurite branching of neuronal cells during development, leading to establishment of functional neurons. As described above, miRNAs also involve in regulation of neuronal morphology during the progression of neuronal development (Schratt et al. 2006). Since miRNAs may affect several direct target genes simultaneously, it suggests the complicated regulation of neuronal morphology through mechanisms of miRNAs.

In conclusion, miRNA is still a new field in HD, but it may be at proof-of concept stage in laboratories, suggesting there is a long way to go. However, we believe these miRNA regulatory mechanisms targeting several genes simultaneously may provide an alternative insight for the therapeutical strategy for HD. Especially, it will be interesting to understand the mechanisms of certain specific miRNAs, such as miR-196a, to provide neuroprotective effects. With these related studies to understand between miRNAs and HD, we hope it will facilitate the development of potential therapy using miRNAs for this devastating HD, even for other neuronal diseases.

References

  • (1993). "A novel gene containing a trinucleotide repeat that is expanded and unstable on Huntington's disease chromosomes. The Huntington's Disease Collaborative Research Group." Cell 72(6): 971-983.
  • Bates, G. P., R. Dorsey, J. F. Gusella, M. R. Hayden, C. Kay, B. R. Leavitt, M. Nance, C. A. Ross, R. I. Scahill, R. Wetzel, E. J. Wild and S. J. Tabrizi (2015). "Huntington disease." Nature Reviews Disease Primers: 15005.
  • Bencsik, N., Z. Sziber, H. Liliom, K. Tarnok, S. Borbely, M. Gulyas, A. Ratkai, A. Szucs, D. Hazai-Novak, K. Ellwanger, B. Racz, K. Pfizenmaier, A. Hausser and K. Schlett (2015). "Protein kinase D promotes plasticity-induced F-actin stabilization in dendritic spines and regulates memory formation." J Cell Biol 210(5): 771-783.
  • Calabrese, E. J. (2008). "Enhancing and regulating neurite outgrowth." Crit Rev Toxicol 38(4): 391-418.
  • Cheng, P. H., C. L. Li, Y. F. Chang, S. J. Tsai, Y. Y. Lai, A. W. Chan, C. M. Chen and S. H. Yang (2013). "miR-196a Ameliorates Phenotypes of Huntington Disease in Cell, Transgenic Mouse, and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Models." Am J Hum Genet.
  • Fu, M. H., C. L. Li, H. L. Lin, S. J. Tsai, Y. Y. Lai, Y. F. Chang, P. H. Cheng, C. M. Chen and S. H. Yang (2015). "The Potential Regulatory Mechanisms of miR-196a in Huntington's Disease through Bioinformatic Analyses." PLoS One 10(9): e0137637.
  • Gaughwin, P. M., M. Ciesla, N. Lahiri, S. J. Tabrizi, P. Brundin and M. Bjorkqvist (2011). "Hsa-miR-34b is a plasma-stable microRNA that is elevated in pre-manifest Huntington's disease." Hum Mol Genet 20(11): 2225-2237.
  • Johnson, R., C. Zuccato, N. D. Belyaev, D. J. Guest, E. Cattaneo and N. J. Buckley (2008). "A microRNA-based gene dysregulation pathway in Huntington's disease." Neurobiol Dis 29(3): 438-445.
  • Kunkanjanawan, T., R. L. Carter, M. S. Prucha, J. Yang, R. Parnpai and A. W. Chan (2016). "miR-196a Ameliorates Cytotoxicity and Cellular Phenotype in Transgenic Huntington's Disease Monkey Neural Cells." PLoS One 11(9): e0162788.
  • Li, S. H. and X. J. Li (2004). "Huntingtin-protein interactions and the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease." Trends Genet 20(3): 146-154.
  • Olde Loohuis, N. F., A. Kos, G. J. Martens, H. Van Bokhoven, N. Nadif Kasri and A. Aschrafi (2012). "MicroRNA networks direct neuronal development and plasticity." Cell Mol Life Sci 69(1): 89-102.
  • Packer, A. N., Y. Xing, S. Q. Harper, L. Jones and B. L. Davidson (2008). "The bifunctional microRNA miR-9/miR-9* regulates REST and CoREST and is downregulated in Huntington's disease." J Neurosci 28(53): 14341-14346.
  • Schilling, G., M. W. Becher, A. H. Sharp, H. A. Jinnah, K. Duan, J. A. Kotzuk, H. H. Slunt, T. Ratovitski, J. K. Cooper, N. A. Jenkins, N. G. Copeland, D. L. Price, C. A. Ross and D. R. Borchelt (1999). "Intranuclear inclusions and neuritic aggregates in transgenic mice expressing a mutant N-terminal fragment of huntingtin." Hum Mol Genet 8(3): 397-407.
  • Schratt, G. M., F. Tuebing, E. A. Nigh, C. G. Kane, M. E. Sabatini, M. Kiebler and M. E. Greenberg (2006). "A brain-specific microRNA regulates dendritic spine development." Nature 439(7074): 283-289.
  • Sinha, M., J. Ghose, E. Das and N. P. Bhattarcharyya (2010). "Altered microRNAs in STHdh(Q111)/Hdh(Q111) cells: miR-146a targets TBP." Biochem Biophys Res Commun 396(3): 742-747.
  • Skaper, S. D. (2005). "Neuronal growth-promoting and inhibitory cues in neuroprotection and neuroregeneration." Ann N Y Acad Sci 1053: 376-385.
  • Tong, C. W., J. L. Wang, M. S. Jiang, C. H. Hsu, W. T. Chang and A. M. Huang (2013). "Novel genes that mediate nuclear respiratory factor 1-regualted neurite outgrowth in neuroblastoma IMR-32 cells." Gene 515(1): 62-70.
  • Yang, S. H. and A. W. Chan (2011). "Transgenic Animal Models of Huntington's Disease." Curr Top Behav Neurosci 7: 61-85.
  • Yang, S. H., P. H. Cheng, H. Banta, K. Piotrowska-Nitsche, J. J. Yang, E. C. Cheng, B. Snyder, K. Larkin, J. Liu, J. Orkin, Z. H. Fang, Y. Smith, J. Bachevalier, S. M. Zola, S. H. Li, X. J. Li and A. W. Chan (2008). "Towards a transgenic model of Huntington's disease in a non-human primate. " Nature 453(7197): 921-924.

About the Authors

Yusuf Issa Olakunle is a PhD student in Taiwan International Graduate Program (TIGP) of the Neuroscience at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU). He obtained the B.Sc. degree in Physiology from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, in 2010, and M.Sc. degree in Physiology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, in 2014. He currently conducts his research works in Dr. Yang’s laboratory, and demonstrates on the therapeutic roles of miR-196a in Huntington’s disease (HD).

Dr. Shang-Hsun Yang is the Associate Professor in Department of Physiology at NCKU, Taiwan. He received his B.Sc. degree at National Chung Hsing University in 1998, M.Sc. degree at National Taiwan University in 2000 and Ph.D. degree at Emory University, USA, in 2008. He has developed his own research career at NCKU since 2009. His research interests focus on the regulation of microRNAs on HD, and tries to understand the regulatory mechanisms and potentially therapeutic directions for this neurodegenerative disease. Additionally, he also attempts to expand his research fields to other neurodegenerative diseases, and hopes to demonstrate the relationship between specific microRNAs and neurodegenerative diseases.

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Shire, Microsoft and EURORDIS form Global Commission to accelerate time to diagnosis for children with rare diseases
news EmTech Asia explores future of life, humanity and economy
news Biology of Ageing II - Impactful Interventions
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  
COLUMNS  
Click here to receive APBN e-newsletters once a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2018
January:
Obesity / Outlook for 2018
February:
Searching for the fountain of youth
March:
Women in Science - Making a difference
April:
Digestive health in the 21st century - Trust your guts
May:
Dental health - The root to good health
June:
Cancer - Therapies and strategies for better patient outcomes
July:
Water management- Technologies for biotech and pharmaceutical industries
August:
Regenerative medicine / Biotech start ups
September:
Digital healthcare / 3D printing
October:
Bones / Breast cancer
November:
Liver health / Top science research nations & institutions
December:
AIDS / Breakthrough of the year/Emerging trends
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Lim Guan Yu
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2018 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy