MicroRNA-127 modulates fetal lung development

M Bhaskaran, Y Wang, H Zhang, T Weng, P Baviskar, Y Guo, D Gou and L. Liu

Physiological Genomics, 2009, 37(3), 268-278. DOI: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.90268.2008


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small endogenous RNAs and are widely regarded as one of the most important regulators of gene expression in both plants and animals. To define the roles of miRNAs in fetal lung development, we profiled the miRNA expression pattern during lung development with a miRNA microarray. We identified 21 miRNAs that showed significant changes in expression during lung development. These miRNAs were grouped into four distinct clusters based on their expression pattern. Cluster 1 contained miRNAs whose expression increased as development progressed, while clusters 2 and 3 showed the opposite trend of expression. miRNAs in cluster 4 including miRNA-127 (miR-127) had the highest expression at the late stage of fetal lung development. Quantitative real-time PCR validated the microarray results of six selected miRNAs. In situ hybridization demonstrated that miR-127 expression gradually shifted from mesenchymal cells to epithelial cells as development progressed. Overexpression of miR-127 in fetal lung organ culture significantly decreased the terminal bud count, increased terminal and internal bud sizes, and caused unevenness in bud sizes, indicating improper development. These findings suggest that miR-127 may have an important role in fetal lung development.

ASCI-ID: 1289-19