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Accession IconGSE69881

MicroRNAs of the RPE are essential for RPE differentiation and photoreceptor maturation (mRNA)

Organism Icon Mus musculus
Sample Icon 7 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Mouse Gene 1.0 ST Array (mogene10st)

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Dysfunction of the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) results in degeneration of photoreceptors and vision loss and is correlated with common blinding disorders in humans. Although many protein-coding genes are known to be expressed in RPEs and important for their development and maintenance, virtually nothing is known about the in vivo roles of non-protein coding transcripts in RPEs. The expression patterns of microRNAs (miRNAs) have been analyzed in a variety of ocular tissues, and few were implicated to play role in RPE based on studies in cell lines. Herein, through RPE specific conditional mutagenesis of Dicer1 or DGCR8, the importance of miRNA for RPE differentiation was uncovered. Interestingly, miRNAs were found to be dispensable for maintaining the RPE fate and survival, and yet they are essential for acquisition of important RPE properties such as the expression of genes involved in the visual cycle pathway, pigmentation and cell adhesion. Importantly miRNAs of the RPE were found to be required for maturation of the adjacent photoreceptors, specifically for the morphogenesis of the outer segments. The profiles of miRNA and mRNA altered in the Dicer1 deficient RPE point to a key role of miR-204 in regulation of RPE differentiation program in vivo and uncovers the importance of additional novel RPE miRNAs. The study exposes the combined regulatory activity of miRNAs of the RPE, which is required for RPE differentiation and for the development of the adjacent neuroretina.
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