Neuronal loss is a prominent etiological factor for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The cerebellum is one of the areas in the developing central nervous system that is most sensitive to ethanol, especially during the temporal window of ethanol vulnerability. MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs capable of regulating diverse cellular functions including apoptosis. Ethanol exposure has been shown to interfere with the expression of microRNAs. However, the role of microRNAs in ethanol neurotoxicity is still not clear. In the present study, we identified a particular microRNA, miR-29b, as a novel target of ethanol in the developing cerebellar granule neurons. We discovered that ethanol exposure suppressed miR-29b and induced neuronal apoptosis. Overexpression of miR-29b rendered neurons protection against ethanol-induced apoptosis. Furthermore, our data indicated that miR-29b mediated ethanol neurotoxicity through the SP1/RAX/PKR cascade. More importantly, the expression of miR-29b is developmentally regulated, which may account for, at least partially, the temporal window of ethanol sensitivity in the developing cerebellum.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - Apr 4 2014|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology