microRNAs are a class of non-coding RNAs including approximately 22 nucleotides in length and play a pivotal role in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Currently, the role of miRNAs in the pathophysiology of ischemic stroke has been the subject of recent investigations. In particular, antagomirs to microRNA (miRNA) let-7f have been found to be neuroprotective in vivo, although the detailed function of let-7f during cerebral ischemia has not been fully illustrated. NDRG3 is an N-myc downstream-regulated gene (NDRG) family member that has been observed in the nuclei in most brain cells. Recently, a NDRG3-mediated lactate signaling, in which stabilized NDRG3 protein can promote angiogenesis and cell growth by activating the Raf-ERK pathway in hypoxia was discovered. In this study, we preliminarily explored the change in the expression of the NDRG3 protein which indicated that NDRG3 protein is an oxygen-regulated protein in neurons in rat cerebral ischemia in vivo and in vitro. We further identiied let-7f as an upstream regulator of NDRG3 by the lentiviral transfection of rat cortical neurons and the dual luciferase analysis of human genes. In addition, a dualcolor luorescence in situ hybridization assay showed that when the expression of let-7f was elevated, the expression of NDRG3 mRNA was accordingly reduced in rat cerebral ischemia. Taken together, our results identify a new regulatory mechanism of let-7f on NDRG3 expression in the hypoxic response of cerebral ischemia and raise the possibility that the let-7f/NDRG3 pathway may serve as a potential target for the treatment of ischemic stroke.
Yao Y, Wang W, Jing L, et al. Let-7f Regulates the Hypoxic Response in Cerebral Ischemia by Targeting NDRG3. Neurochem Res. 2017; 42(2):446-454.