Accueil > Publications > Recherche par années > Années 2010 > 2017

Simion V., Sobilo J., Clemonçon R., Natkunarajah S., Ezzine S., Abdallah F., Lerondel S., Pichon C. and Baril P.

Positive radionuclide imaging of miRNA expression using RILES and the human sodium iodide symporter as reporter gene is feasible and supports a protective role of miRNA-23a in response to muscular atrophy

PLOS ONE (2017) 12 (5) e0177492

par Frapart - publié le

Abstract :

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key players in many biological processes and are considered as an emerging class of pharmacology drugs for diagnosis and therapy. However to fully exploit the therapeutic potential of miRNAs, it is becoming crucial to monitor their expression pattern using medical imaging modalities. Recently, we developed a method called RILES, for RNAi-Inducible Luciferase Expression System that relies on an engineered regulatable expression system to switch-ON the expression of the luciferase gene when a miRNA of interest is expressed in cells. Here we investigated whether replacing the luciferase reporter gene with the human sodium iodide symporter (hNIS) reporter gene will be also suited to monitor the expression of miRNAs in a clinical setting context. We provide evidence that radionuclide imaging of miRNA expression using hNIS is feasible although it is not as robust as when the luciferase reporter gene is used. However, under appropriate conditions, we monitored the expression of several miRNAs in cells, in the liver and in the tibialis anterior muscle of mice undergoing muscular atrophy. We demonstrated that radiotracer accumulation in transfected cells correlated with the induction of hNIS and with the expression of miRNAs detected by real time PCR. We established the kinetic of miRNA-23a expression in mice and demonstrated that this miRNA follows a biphasic expression pattern characterized by a loss of expression at a late time point of muscular atrophy. At autopsy, we found an opposite expression pattern between miRNA-23a and one of the main transcriptional target of this miRNA, APAF-1, and as downstream target, Caspase 9. Our results report the first positive monitoring of endogenously expressed miRNAs in a nuclear medicine imaging context and support the development of additional work to establish the potential therapeutic value of miRNA-23 to prevent the damaging effects of muscular atrophy.