MicroRNAs (miRNAs) inhibit the translation of target mRNAs and affect, directly or indirectly, the expression of a large portion of the protein-coding genes. This study focuses on miRNAs that are expressed in the mouse cochlea and vestibule, the 2 inner ear compartments. A conditional knock-out mouse for Dicer1 demonstrated that miRNAs are crucial for postnatal survival of functional hair cells of the inner ear. We identified miRNAs that have a role in the vertebrate developing inner ear by combining miRNA transcriptome analysis, spatial and temporal expression patterns, and bioinformatics. Microarrays revealed similar miRNA profiles in newborn-mouse whole cochleae and vestibules, but different temporal and spatial expression patterns of six miRNAs (miR-15a, miR-18a, miR-30b, miR-99a, miR-182, and miR-199a) may reflect their roles. Two of these miRNAs, miR-15a-1 and miR-18a, were also shown to be crucial for zebrafish inner ear development and morphogenesis. To suggest putative target mRNAs whose translation may be inhibited by selected miRNAs, we combined bioinformatics-based predictions and mRNA expression data. Finally, we present indirect evidence that Slc12a2, Cldn12, and Bdnf mRNAs may be targets for miR-15a. Our data support the hypothesis that inner ear tissue differentiation and maintenance are regulated and controlled by conserved sets of cell-specific miRNAs in both mouse and zebrafish.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 12 May 2009|