miR Cluster 143/145 Directly Targets Nrl and Regulates Rod Photoreceptor Development

Sreekumaran Sreekanth1 Vazhanthodi A Rasheed2 & Lalitha Soundararajan2 & Jayesh Antony3 & Minakshi Saikia 3 & Krishnankutty Chandrika Sivakumar4 & Ani V Das1,5

Published online: 23 November 2016 # Springer Science+ Business Media New York 2016.


Abstract Retinal histogenesis requires coordinated and temporal functioning of factors by which different cell types are generated from multipotent progenitors. Development of rod photoreceptors is regulated by multiple transcription factors, and Nrl is one of the major factors involved in their fate specification. Presence or absence of Nrl at the postnatal stages decides the generation of cone photoreceptors or other later retinal cells. This suggests the need for regulated expression of Nrl in order to accelerate the generation of other cell types during retinal development. We found that miR cluster 143/ 145, comprising miR-143 and miR-145, targets and imparts a posttranscriptional inhibition of Nrl. Expression of both miRNAs was differentially regulated during retinal development and showed least expression at PN1 stage in which most of the rod photoreceptors are generated. Downregulation of rod photoreceptor regulators and markers upon miR cluster 143/145 overexpression demonstrated that this cluster indeed negatively regulates rod photoreceptors. Further, we prove that Nrl positively regulates miR cluster 143/145, thus establishing a feedback loop regulatory mechanism. This may be one possible mechanism by which Nrl is posttranscriptionally regulated to facilitate the generation of other cell types in retina.