Differentiated miRNA expression and validation of signaling pathways in apoE gene knockout mice by cross-verification microarray platform

Exp Mol Med. 2013 Mar 8;45(3):e13. doi: 10.1038/emm.2013.31.


The microRNA (miRNA) regulation mechanisms associated with atherosclerosis are largely undocumented. Specific selection and efficient validation of miRNA regulation pathways involved in atherosclerosis development may be better assessed by contemporary microarray platforms applying cross-verification methodology. A screening platform was established using both miRNA and genomic microarrays. Microarray analysis was then simultaneously performed on pooled atherosclerotic aortic tissues from 10 Apolipoprotein E (apoE) knockout mice (apoE-/-) and 10 healthy C57BL/6 (B6) mice. Differentiated miRNAs were screened and cross-verified against an mRNA screen database to explore integrative mRNA-miRNA regulation. Gene set enrichment analysis was conducted to describe the potential pathways regulated by these mRNA-miRNA interactions. High-throughput data analysis of miRNA and genomic microarrays of knockout and healthy control mice revealed 75 differentially expressed miRNAs in apoE-/- mice at a threshold value of 2. The six miRNAs with the greatest differentiation expression were confirmed by real-time quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) in atherosclerotic tissues. Significantly enriched pathways, such as the type 2 diabetes mellitus pathway, were observed by a gene-set enrichment analysis. The enriched molecular pathways were confirmed through qRT-PCR evaluation by observing the presence of suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) and SOCS3-related miRNAs, miR-30a, miR-30e and miR-19b. Cross-verified high-throughput microarrays are optimally accurate and effective screening methods for miRNA regulation profiles associated with atherosclerosis. The identified SOCS3 pathway is a potentially valuable target for future development of targeted miRNA therapies to control atherosclerosis development and progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / metabolism
  • Aorta / pathology
  • Apolipoproteins E / deficiency*
  • Apolipoproteins E / metabolism
  • Atherosclerosis / genetics
  • Atherosclerosis / pathology
  • Down-Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks / genetics
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 3 Protein
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins / genetics
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation / genetics


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Socs3 protein, mouse
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 3 Protein
  • Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling Proteins