MicroRNAs miR-203-3p, miR-664-3p and miR-708-5p are associated with median strain lifespan in mice

Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 17;7:44620. doi: 10.1038/srep44620.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA species that have been shown to have roles in multiple processes that occur in higher eukaryotes. They act by binding to specific sequences in the 3' untranslated region of their target genes and causing the transcripts to be degraded by the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). MicroRNAs have previously been reported to demonstrate altered expression in several aging phenotypes such as cellular senescence and age itself. Here, we have measured the expression levels of 521 small regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) in spleen tissue from young and old animals of 6 mouse strains with different median strain lifespans by quantitative real-time PCR. Expression levels of 3 microRNAs were robustly associated with strain lifespan, after correction for multiple statistical testing (miR-203-3p [β-coefficient = -0.6447, p = 4.8 × 10-11], miR-664-3p [β-coefficient = 0.5552, p = 5.1 × 10-8] and miR-708-5p [β-coefficient = 0.4986, p = 1.6 × 10-6]). Pathway analysis of binding sites for these three microRNAs revealed enrichment of target genes involved in key aging and longevity pathways including mTOR, FOXO and MAPK, most of which also demonstrated associations with longevity. Our results suggests that miR-203-3p, miR-664-3p and miR-708-5p may be implicated in pathways determining lifespan in mammals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • MIRN203 microRNA, mouse
  • MIRN664 microRNA, mouse
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • mirn708 microRNA, mouse