Integrated analysis of mRNA and microRNA expression in mature neurons, neural progenitor cells and neuroblastoma cells

Gene. 2012 Mar 10;495(2):120-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2011.12.041. Epub 2012 Jan 5.


Mature neurons (MNs), neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and neuroblastoma cells (NBCs) are all neural-derived cells. However, MNs are unable to divide once differentiated; NPCs are able to divide a limited number of times and differentiate to normal brain cell types; whereas NBCs can divide an unlimited number of times but rarely differentiate. Here, we perform whole transcriptome (mRNA, miRNA) profiling of these cell types and compare expression levels of each cell type to the others. Integrated mRNA-miRNA functional analyses reveal that: 1) several very highly expressed genes (e.g., Robo1, Nrp1, Epha3, Unc5c, Dcc, Pak3, Limk4) and a few under-expressed miRNAs (e.g., miR-152, miR-146b, miR-339-5p) in MNs are associated with one important cellular process-axon guidance; 2) some very highly expressed mitogenic pathway genes (e.g., Map2k1, Igf1r, Rara, Runx1) and under-expressed miRNAs (e.g., miR-370, miR-9, miR-672) in NBCs are associated with cancer pathways. These results provide a library of negative mRNAmiRNA networks that are likely involved in the cellular processes of differentiation and division.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Neuroblastoma / genetics*
  • Neuroblastoma / pathology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis*
  • Rats


  • MicroRNAs
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger