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posted on 19.02.2018, 04:18 by Haijun Zhang, Longbin Zhang, Tao Sun

Proper proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitors (NPs) in the developing cerebral cortex are critical for normal brain formation and function. Emerging evidence has shown the importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in regulating cortical development and the etiology of neurological disorders. Here we show that miR-26 is co-expressed with its host gene Ctdsp in the mouse embryonic cortex. We demonstrate that similar to its host gene Ctdsp2, miR-26 positively regulates proliferation of NPs through controlling the cell-cycle progression, by using miR-26 overexpression and sponge approaches. On the contrary, miR-26 target gene Emx2 limits expansion of cortical NPs, and promotes transcription of miR-26 host gene Ctdsp. Our study suggests that miR-26, its target Emx2 and its host gene Ctdsp cohesively regulate proliferation of NPs during the mouse cortical development.