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Ku-Chung Chen, Edward Hsi, Ching-Yu Hu, Wen-Wen Chou, Chung-Ling Liang, Suh-Hang Hank Juo; MicroRNA-328 May Influence Myopia Development by Mediating the PAX6 Gene. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(6):2732-2739. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-9272.
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Purpose. We showed previously that single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs662702 in PAX6 may be located in a microRNA-328 binding site that causes susceptibility to high myopia. Our study was done to elucidate the role of PAX6 and its relationship with microRNA-328 in myopia.
Methods. A luciferase assay was used to confirm microRNA-328 binding to the PAX6 locus. Clones containing each allele of rs662702 were created and tested for their binding affinity to microRNA-328. Because a low level of PAX6 is a risk factor for myopia, we tested whether knockdown of PAX6 affects retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and scleral cells, as well as expression of myopia-related genes. We also tested for the effect of retinoic acid (RA) on microRNA-328 expression, since RA-responsive elements are predicted to lie in the microRNA-328 promoter.
Results. MicroRNA-328 was shown to bind to the wild-type, but not mutant 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of PAX6. The risk C allele of rs644242 had strong response to microRNA-328 but the protective T allele did not respond to microRNA-328. Down-regulation of PAX6 in RPE increased RPE proliferation, but reduced scleral cell proliferation. In addition, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β3 in the RPE and matrix malleoproteinase-2 (MMP2) in the sclera were increased, while collagen I and integrin β1 in the sclera were decreased. RA dose-dependently increased microRNA-328 expression and, in turn, suppressed PAX6 expression.
Conclusions. We elaborated the relationship among myopia development, SNP rs662702, microRNA-328 and RA. The data imply that reduction of miR-328 and/or RA can be potential strategies for myopia prevention or treatment.
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