Preclinical Evaluation of miR-15/107 Family Members as Multifactorial Drug Targets for Alzheimer's Disease

Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2015 Oct 6;4(10):e256. doi: 10.1038/mtna.2015.33.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a multifactorial, fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the abnormal accumulation of Aβ and Tau deposits in the brain. There is no cure for AD, and failure at different clinical trials emphasizes the need for new treatments. In recent years, significant progress has been made toward the development of miRNA-based therapeutics for human disorders. This study was designed to evaluate the efficiency and potential safety of miRNA replacement therapy in AD, using miR-15/107 paralogues as candidate drug targets. We identified miR-16 as a potent inhibitor of amyloid precursor protein (APP) and BACE1 expression, Aβ peptide production, and Tau phosphorylation in cells. Brain delivery of miR-16 mimics in mice resulted in a reduction of AD-related genes APP, BACE1, and Tau in a region-dependent manner. We further identified Nicastrin, a γ-secretase component involved in Aβ generation, as a target of miR-16. Proteomics analysis identified a number of additional putative miR-16 targets in vivo, including α-Synuclein and Transferrin receptor 1. Top-ranking biological networks associated with miR-16 delivery included AD and oxidative stress. Collectively, our data suggest that miR-16 is a good candidate for future drug development by targeting simultaneously endogenous regulators of AD biomarkers (i.e., Aβ and Tau), inflammation, and oxidative stress.