We have identified and validated a spaceflight-associated microRNA (miRNA) signature that is shared by rodents and humans in response to simulated, short-duration and long-duration spaceflight. Previous studies have identified miRNAs that regulate rodent responses to spaceflight in low-Earth orbit, and we have confirmed the expression of these proposed spaceflight-associated miRNAs in rodents reacting to simulated spaceflight conditions. Moreover, astronaut samples from the NASA Twins Study confirmed these expression signatures in miRNA sequencing, single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), and single-cell assay for transposase accessible chromatin (scATAC-seq) data. Additionally, a subset of these miRNAs (miR-125, miR-16, and let-7a) was found to regulate vascular damage caused by simulated deep space radiation. To demonstrate the physiological relevance of key spaceflight-associated miRNAs, we utilized antagomirs to inhibit their expression and successfully rescue simulated deep-space-radiation-mediated damage in human 3D vascular constructs.
Keywords: NASA; Twins Study; antagomirs; miRNA-seq; microRNA; microgravity; scATAC-seq; scRNA-seq; space radiation; spaceflight.
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