Protecting Pax6 3’ UTR from MicroRNA-7 Partially Restores PAX6 in Islets from an Aniridia Mouse Model

Date

2018

Authors

Yongblah, Kevin
Alford, Spencer C.
Ryan, Bridget C.
Chow, Robert L.
Howard, Perry L.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Molecular Therapy: Nucleic Acids

Abstract

Aniridia is a rare congenital syndrome that is associated with reduced visual acuity and progressive loss of vision. Aniridia patients may also develop systemic health issues associated with defects in the pancreas, digestive, and central nervous systems. The spectrum of symptoms associated with aniridia is due to haploinsufficiency of the paired box 6 gene (PAX6) and its role in the development and maintenance of the affected tissues. Here, we isolated pancreatic islets from mice heterozygous for Pax6 to test whether a Pax6-specific miRNA suppression (target protector) strategy can restore PAX6 protein levels. We show that miR-7 and miR-375 target specific sites within the Pax6 3′ UTR in a mouse pancreatic β-insulinoma cell line. Tough decoys (Tuds) against miR-7 and miR-375 increase expression of a mouse Pax6 3′ UTR luciferase reporter and increase PAX6 protein levels in these cells. Finally, we demonstrate that the shielding of the miR-7 binding site with a target protector restores PAX6 protein levels in the Pax6 heterozygous islets. The data presented here represent a proof of concept for RNA-based therapy for the progressive defects associated with aniridia and suggest the target protector approach may be a useful therapeutic strategy for other haploinsufficiency diseases.

Description

Keywords

aniridia, Pax6, microRNA, target protector, islets

Citation

Yongblah, K., Alford, S.C., Ryan, B.C., Chow, R.L. & Howard, P.L. (2018). Protecting Pax6 3’ UTR from MicroRNA-7 Partially Restores PAX6 in Islets from an Aniridia Mouse Model. Molecular Therapy: Nucleic Acids, 13, 144-153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.omtn.2018.08.018