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Investigation of the role of microRNAs in the regulation of stem cells of the human eye

27 September 2017 16:56

12/28/2016 17:50

microRNAsScientists from Northwestern Medicine shown as a family miR-103/107 regulates biological processes in stem cells enriched limbal epithelium of human eyes.

A study published in the Journal Cell Biology, links the cellular processes of autophagy and macropinocytosis. Cells induce autophagy or "samoedstvo" as a way of waste disposal and the stress response. When macropinocytosis cells take up a large amount of material, including fluids, membranes, bacteria and viruses.

"We have shown that the molecule microRNA-103/107 are important for the correct regulation of the last stage of autophagy and prevent excessive macropinocytosis" - said the study's authors.

Previously, Robert Lavker and other experts have found out that this family of miRNAs preferentially expressed in the limbal epithelium, which contains stem cells, supporting the corneal epithelium. The family of miRNA helps to regulate the ability of limbal epithelial basal cells to divide and maintain their proliferative capacity.

One of the authors, researcher Han Peng, suppressed the expression of miR-103/107 and watched the large vacuoles developing in the limbal epithelium due macropinocytosis.

After cell ingests material formed large vacuoles processed. Scientists have used the SIM microscopy with super-resolution for observing the morphology of vacuoles. They found that the surface markers on them linked to autophagy.

In further studies, the researchers plan to study the effect of autophagy on the stem cell population, and how macropinocytosis operates in normal corneal epithelium. They analyze how changing processes of wound healing and corneal diseases such as dry eye and diabetes.

"We - the first researchers studying the mechanisms underlying these processes in the cornea (limbal epithelium)," - says Lavker. - This work - the basis for future studies of autophagy and macropinocytosis. "



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