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MicroRNAs are well characterized in their role in silencing gene expression by targeting 3´-UTR of mRNAs in cytoplasm. However, recent studies have shown that miRNAs have a role in the regulation of genes in the nucleus, where they are abundantly located. We show here that in mouse endothelial cell line (C166), nuclear microRNA miR-466c participates in the regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor a (Vegfa) gene expression in hypoxia. Upregulation of Vegfa expression in response to hypoxia was significantly compromised after removal of miR-466c with CRISPR-Cas9 genomic deletion. We identified a promoter-associated long non-coding RNA on mouse Vegfa promoter and show that miR-466c directly binds to this transcript to modulate Vegfa expression. Collectively, these observations suggest that miR-466c regulates Vegfa gene transcription in the nucleus by targeting the promoter, and expands on our understanding of the role of miRNAs well beyond their canonical role.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0265948

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS ONE

Publication Date

01/03/2022

Volume

17