A long non-coding RNA, BC048612 and a microRNA, miR-203 coordinate the gene expression of neuronal growth regulator 1 (NEGR1) adhesion protein

Prameet Kaur, Jun Rong Tan, Dwi S Karolina, Sugunavathi Sepramaniam, Arunmozhiarasi Armugam, Peter Tsun Hon Wong, Kandiah Jeyaseelan

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The regulatory roles for non-coding RNAs, the long non-coding RNAs and microRNAs, are emerging as crucial determinants of central nervous system development and function. Neuronal growth regulator 1 (NEGR1) is a cell adhesion molecule that has been shown to play an important role in neurite outgrowth during neuronal development. Precise expression of the Negr1 gene is crucial for proper brain development and is dysregulated during brain injury. Hence, we attempted to elucidate the non-coding RNAs that control Negr1 gene expression. A long non-coding RNA, BC048612, transcribed from the bidirectional GC-rich Negr1 gene promoter was found to influence Negr1 mRNA expression. In vitro knockdown of the long non-coding RNA resulted in significant down-regulation of Negr1 mRNA expression, NEGR1 protein levels and neurite length whereas over-expression enhanced Negr1 mRNA expression, NEGR1 protein levels and increased neurite length. Meanwhile, another non-coding RNA, microRNA-203, was found to target the 3 untranslated region of the Negr1 mRNA. Inhibition of microRNA-203 led to increased expression of Negr1 mRNA, elevated NEGR1 protein levels and increased neurite length. Conversely, microRNA-203 over-expression decreased the level of Negr1 mRNA, NEGR1 protein and neurite length. Neither microRNA-203 nor the long non-coding RNA, BC048612 could influence each other s expression. Hence, the long non-coding RNA, BC048612, and microRNA-203 were determined to be positive and negative regulators of Negr1 gene expression respectively. These processes have a direct effect on NEGR1 protein levels and neurite length, thus highlighting the importance of the regulatory non-coding RNAs in modulating Negr1 gene expression for precise neuronal development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533 - 543
Number of pages11
JournalBBA Molecular Cell Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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