Researchers at Heidelberg University used a combination of expression profiling of miRNAs and subsequent functional inhibitory screening in primary hippocampal neurons to identify miRNAs in the synaptodendritic compartment that function during synaptic development. MicroRNA microarrays identified ten mature miRNAs that were enriched and four mature miRNAs that were strongly depleted in synaptosomes compared with whole forebrain. Northern blot analysis on selected miRNAs confirmed the microarray results. Subsequent functional screening identified miR-138 as a negative regulator of dendritic spine size and revealed that mRNA encoding acyl-protein thioesterase 1 (APT1) is a miR-138 target in neurons.
Siegel G, Obernosterer G, Fiore R, Oehmen M, Bicker S, Christensen M, Khudayberdiev S, Leuschner PF, Busch CJ, Kane C, Hübel K, Dekker F, Hedberg C, Rengarajan B, Drepper C, Waldmann H, Kauppinen S, Greenberg ME, Draguhn A, Rehmsmeier M, Martinez J, Schratt GM. (2009) A functional screen implicates microRNA-138-dependent regulation of the depalmitoylation enzyme APT1 in dendritic spine morphogenesis. Nat Cell Biol 11(6), 705-16. [abstract]