Image_4_Aberrant Expression of Circulating MicroRNA Leads to the Dysregulation of Alpha-Synuclein and Other Pathogenic Genes in Parkinson’s Disease.TIF
A group of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. However, a comprehensive study of the interactions between pathogenic miRNAs and their downstream Parkinson’s disease (PD)-related target genes has not been performed. Here, we identified the miRNA expression profiles in the plasma and circulating exosomes of Parkinson’s disease patients using next-generation RNA sequencing. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and Gene Ontology (GO) analyses showed that the miRNA target genes were enriched in axon guidance, neurotrophin signaling, cellular senescence, and the Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-protein kinase B (AKT) and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathways. Furthermore, a group of aberrantly expressed miRNAs were selected and further validated in individual patient plasma, human neural stem cells (NSCs) and a rat model of PD. More importantly, the full scope of the regulatory network between these miRNAs and their PD-related gene targets in human neural stem cells was examined, and the findings revealed a similar but still varied downstream regulatory cascade involving many known PD-associated genes. Additionally, miR-23b-3p was identified as a novel direct regulator of alpha-synuclein, which is possibly the key component in PD. Our current study, for the first time, provides a glimpse into the regulatory network of pathogenic miRNAs and their PD-related gene targets in PD. Moreover, these PD-associated miRNAs may serve as biomarkers and novel therapeutic targets for PD.