MicroRNA 429 Regulates Mucin Gene Expression and Secretion in Murine Model of Colitis

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Background and Aims:

miRNAs are non-coding RNAs that play important roles in the pathogenesis of human diseases by regulating target gene expression in specific cells or tissues. We aimed to detect miRNAs related to ulcerative colitis [UC], identify their target molecules, and analyse the correlation between the miRNAs and their target genes in colorectal cells and dextran sulphate sodium [DSS]-induced mouse colitis.


UC-associated miRNAs were identified by miRNA microarray analysis using DSS-induced colitis and normal colon tissues. The results were validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction [RT-PCR]. We identified target genes of MIR429, a colitis-associated miRNA, from our screen by comparing the mRNA microarray analysis in MIR429-overexpressed cells with predicted candidate target genes. We constructed luciferase reporter plasmids to confirm the effect of MIR429 on target gene expression. The protein expression of the target genes was measured by western blot,enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA] analysis, or immunohistochemistry.


We identified 37 DSS-induced colitis associated miRNAs. We investigated MIR429 that is down-regulated in DSS-induced colitis, and identified 41 target genes of MIR429. We show that the myristoylated alanine-rich protein kinase C substrate [MARCKS] is a direct target of MIR429. MARCKS mRNA and protein expression levels are down-regulated by MIR429, and MIR429 regulates the expression of MARCKS and MARCKS-mediated mucin secretion in colorectal cells and DSS-induced colitis. In addition, anti-MIR429 up-regulates MARCKS expression in colorectal cell lines.


Our findings suggest that MIR429 modulates mucin secretion in human colorectal cells and mouse colitis tissues by up-regulating of MARCKS expression, thereby making MIR429 a candidate for anti-colitis therapy in human UC.

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