Altered Expression of Brain-specific Autism-Associated miRNAs in the Han Chinese Population

Author:

Wang Ziqi,Lu Tianlan,Li Xianjing,Jiang Miaomiao,Jia Meixiang,Liu Jing,Zhang Dai,Li Jun,Wang Lifang

Abstract

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. However, its etiology is still unknown. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key post-transcriptional regulators. They play an important role in neurodevelopment and brain functions and may be involved in the pathogenesis of autism. Previous studies indicated altered expression of miRNAs in patients with autism. However, the findings were not consistent, and further explorations were needed. This study aimed to investigate whether miRNAs were dysregulated in autism. We examined the expression of 30 brain-specific autism-associated miRNAs in 110 patients with autism and 113 controls in the Han Chinese population using quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. The results demonstrated that 10 miRNAs (hsa-miR-191-5p, hsa-miR-151a-3p, hsa-miR-139-5p, hsa-miR-181a-5p, hsa-miR-432-5p, hsa-miR-181b-5p, hsa-miR-195-5p, hsa-miR-328-3p, hsa-miR-106a-5p, and hsa-miR-484) were significantly differentially expressed (false discovery rate <0.05). All of them were up-regulated in patients with autism compared with controls. The targets of these miRNAs were enriched for genes and pathways related to neurodevelopment, brain functions and autism. These findings suggested the participation of these 10 miRNAs in the pathogenesis of autism in the Han Chinese population.

Funder

National Natural Science Foundation of China

Publisher

Frontiers Media SA

Subject

Genetics (clinical),Genetics,Molecular Medicine

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