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miR-29c regulates neurogliogenesis in the mammalian retina through REST

Xia, Xiaohuan, Teotia, Pooja, Ahmad, Iqbal
Developmental biology 2019 v.450 no.2 pp. 90-100
cell cycle, central nervous system, mammals, microRNA, models, neurogenesis, regulator genes, repressor proteins, rods (retina), stem cells
In the developing central nervous system, including its simple and accessible model retina, neurogenesis is followed by gliogenesis. However, the mechanism underlying the neurogliogenic switch remains poorly understood despite the identification of several regulatory genes, associated with the lineage identity and transition. The mechanism may involve cross talks between regulatory genes, facilitated through microRNAs. Here, we posit miR-29c as one of the regulatory miRNAs that may influence neuronal versus glial differentiation. We observed that the temporal patterns of miR-29c expression corresponded with late retinal histogenesis, the stage in the developing retina when neurogliogenic decision predominantly occurs. Examination of the effects of miR-29c on neurogliogenesis by the perturbation of function approach revealed that miR-29c preferentially facilitated differentiation of late RPCs into rod photoreceptors and bipolar cells, the late-born neurons, at the expense of Müller glia, the sole glia generated by retinal progenitor cells. We further observed that miR-29c facilitated neurogenesis and inhibited gliogenesis by regulating the expression of RE-1 silencing transcription factor (REST), which encodes a transcriptional repressor of cell cycle regulators and neuronal genes. Thus, miR-29c may influence neurogliogenic decision in the developing retina by regulating the instructive out put of a molecular axis helmed by REST.