A network comprising short and long noncoding RNAs and RNA helicase controls mouse retina architecture

Nat Commun. 2015 Jun 4:6:7305. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8305.


Brain regions, such as the cortex and retina, are composed of layers of uniform thickness. The molecular mechanism that controls this uniformity is not well understood. Here we show that during mouse postnatal development the timed expression of Rncr4, a retina-specific long noncoding RNA, regulates the similarly timed processing of pri-miR-183/96/182, which is repressed at an earlier developmental stage by RNA helicase Ddx3x. Shifting the timing of mature miR-183/96/182 accumulation or interfering with Ddx3x expression leads to the disorganization of retinal architecture, with the photoreceptor layer being most affected. We identify Crb1, a component of the adhesion belt between glial and photoreceptor cells, as a link between Rncr4-regulated miRNA metabolism and uniform retina layering. Our results suggest that the precise timing of glia-neuron interaction controlled by noncoding RNAs and Ddx3x is important for the even distribution of cells across layers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Western
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / metabolism
  • RNA Helicases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics*
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retina / growth & development*
  • Retina / metabolism


  • Crb1 protein, mouse
  • MicroRNAs
  • Mirn182 microRNA, mouse
  • Mirn183 microRNA, mouse
  • Mirn96 microRNA, mouse
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • Rncr4 RNA, mouse
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases
  • Ddx3x protein, mouse
  • RNA Helicases