Na + /Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) is a plasma membrane transporter that, by regulating Ca2+ and Na + homeostasis, contributes to brain stroke damage. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether there might be miRNAs in the brain able to regulate NCX1 expression and, thereafter, to set up a valid therapeutic strategy able to reduce stroke-induced brain damage by regulating NCX1 expression. Thus, we tested whether miR-103-1, a microRNA belonging to the miR-103/107 family that on the basis of sequence analysis might be a potential NCX1 regulator, could control NCX1 expression. The role of miR-103-1 was assessed in a rat model of transient cerebral ischemia by evaluating the effect of the correspondent antimiRNA on both brain infarct volume and neurological deficits. NCX1 expression was dramatically reduced when cortical neurons were exposed to miR-103-1. This alleged tight regulation of NCX1 by miR-103-1 was further corroborated by luciferase assay. Notably, antimiR-103-1 prevented NCX1 protein downregulation induced by the increase in miR-103-1 after brain ischemia, thereby reducing brain damage and neurological deficits. Overall, the identification of a microRNA able to selectively regulate NCX1 in the brain clarifies a new important molecular mechanism of NCX1 regulation in the brain and offers the opportunity to develop a new therapeutic strategy for stroke.
MicroRNA-103-1 selectively downregulates brain NCX1 and its inhibition by anti-miRNA ameliorates stroke damage and neurological deficits / Vinciguerra, A.; Formisano, L.; Cerullo, P.; Guida, N.; Cuomo, O.; Esposito, A.; Di Renzo, G.; Annunziato, L.; Pignataro, G.. - In: MOLECULAR THERAPY. - ISSN 1525-0016. - 22:10(2014), pp. 1829-1838. [10.1038/mt.2014.113]