miRNAs as therapeutic agents in neurodegeneration : a pilot study

Authors: Parsi, Sepideh
Advisor: Hébert, Sébastien
Abstract: Failure at different clinical trials emphasizes the need for developing new therapeutics for Alzheimer disease (AD) as the most common cause of dementia. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are the most studied groups of non-coding RNAs and have a critical role in modulating multiple signaling pathways and fine-tuning gene expression. Supporting evidence from other studies, including host lab, suggest that multiple members of the miR-15/107 family (miR-15ab, miR-16, miR-195, miR-424, and miR-497) could be used as therapeutic agents in AD. The potential ability of this miRNA family to modify disease pathway by multiple targeting of AD-associated genes such as Amyloid precursor protein (APP), β-site amyloid-β precursor protein cleaving enzyme (BACE1) and microtubule-associated protein Tau is of attention. Based on documented results in this study I chose miR-16 as candidate therapeutic miRNA in AD. This choice is based on data obtain from cells and in vitro luciferase assay indicating the role of this miRNA in the simultaneous regulation of APP, BACE1 (directly by targeting 3’UTR of these genes). Decrease in Tau phosphorylation and amyloid beta peptides were further observed following increased miR-16 levels. Furthermore, I validated these results in vivo by delivering miR-16 oligos using Osmotic pumps implanted subcutaneously to deliver oligos to lateral ventricles of mouse brain also providing a wide distribution of these oligos. Expression of desired protein targets was measured by western blot and qPCR in different brain regions. Results demonstrated a context-dependent action of delivered miR-16 increase on the potential AD involved targets in mouse brain. These results were complemented by proteomics study of Brainstem and Hippocampus regions. Data indicated the potential regulation of other proteins by miR-16 in vivo such as α-Synuclein in Brainstem and Transferrin receptor1 and SRm300 in Hippocampus. The increase in miR-16 levels in vivo and in vitro was sufficient to downregulate the protein product of these genes confirmed by western blot. Enrichment study predicted oxidative stress and neurodegeneration as top terms in close connection with miR-16. This work provided a proof-of-principle for possibility and efficiency of miRNA replacement based therapeutics delivered to CNS using miR-16 a member of the miR-15/107 family. Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation of AD-related genes could have important implications for sporadic AD, which accounts for more than 95% of all cases with no effective therapy available. Multi-target therapy by non-coding RNA in AD is an emerging concept that would have the potential to change the way that therapeutics is developed for AD and other neurodegenerative diseases with complex nature and no effective therapy available.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2016
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/27008
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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