Aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRs) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders. In HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), miR-142 was found to be upregulated in neurons and myeloid cells in the brain. We investigated the downstream effects of chronic miR-142 upregulation in neuronal cells by comparing gene expression in stable clones of the human neuroblastoma cell line BE(2)M17 expressing miR-142 to controls. Microarray analysis revealed that miR-142 expression led to a reduction in monoamine oxidase (MAO) A mRNA, which was validated by qRT-PCR. In addition to the mRNA, the MAOA protein level and enzyme activity were also reduced. Examination of primary human neurons revealed that miR-142 expression indeed resulted in a downregulation of MAOA protein level. Although MAOA is not a direct target of miR-142, SIRT1, a key transcriptional upregulator of MAOA is, thus miR-142 downregulation of MAOA expression is indirect. MiR-142 induced decrease in MAOA expression and activity may contribute to the changes in dopaminergic neurotransmission reported in HAND.
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Datta Chaudhuri, Amrita; Yelamanchili, Sowmya V.; and Fox, Howard S., "MicroRNA-142 reduces monoamine oxidase A expression and activity in neuronal cells by downregulating SIRT1" (2013). Journal Articles: Pharmacology & Experimental Neuroscience. Paper 2.