The Journal of biological chemistry, 2012; 287 (13) doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.303636
Affiliation: Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Shanghai 200031
Abstract: Cell proliferation often decreases gradually during postnatal development of some organs. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Epididymis, playing important roles in sperm maturation, is a typical organ of this type, which displays a decreased proliferation during postnatal development and even ceased at the adult stage. Here, epididymis was employed as a model to explore the underlying mechanisms. We profiled the microRNA and mRNA expression of newborn (1 day) and adult (90 day) rat epididymis by microarray analysis, and found that the level of miR-29a was dramatically up-regulated during postnatal development of rat epididymis. Subsequent investigations demonstrated that overexpression of miR-29a inhibited the proliferation of epididymal epithelial cells in vitro. The nuclear autoantigenic sperm protein (NASP), a novel target of miR-29a, was significantly down-regulated during postnatal development of rat epididymis. Further analysis showed that silence of NASP mimicked the anti-proliferation effect of miR-29a, whereas overexpression of this protein attenuated the effect of miR-29a. As in rat epididymis, miR-29a was up-regulated and Nasp was down-regulated during postnatal development of mouse epididymis, heart, liver, and lung. Moreover, miR-29a can also inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells by targeting Nasp. Thus, an increase of miR-29a, and hence decrease of Nasp, may contribute to inhibit cell proliferation during postnatal organ development.
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