MicroRNA-29 is an essential regulator of brain maturation through regulation of CH methylation.


Although embryonic brain development and neurodegeneration have received considerable attention, the events that govern postnatal brain maturation are less understood. Here, we identify the miR-29 family to be strikingly induced during the late stages of brain maturation. Brain maturation is associated with a transient, postnatal period of de novo non-CG (CH) DNA methylation mediated by DNMT3A. We examine whether an important function of miR-29 during brain maturation is to restrict the period of CH methylation via its targeting of Dnmt3a. Deletion of miR-29 in the brain, or knockin mutations preventing miR-29 to specifically target Dnmt3a, result in increased DNMT3A expression, higher CH methylation, and repression of genes associated with neuronal activity and neuropsychiatric disorders. These mouse models also develop neurological deficits and premature lethality. Our results identify an essential role for miR-29 in restricting CH methylation in the brain and illustrate the importance of CH methylation regulation for normal brain maturation.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Swahari, Vijay, Ayumi Nakamura, Emilie Hollville, Hume Stroud, Jeremy M Simon, Travis S Ptacek, Matthew V Beck, Cornelius Flowers, et al. (2021). MicroRNA-29 is an essential regulator of brain maturation through regulation of CH methylation. Cell reports, 35(1). p. 108946. 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108946 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23294.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



You-Wen He

Professor of Integrative Immunobiology

We study T cell biology in health and disease. Our current study is divided into two parts. Part I is to investigate T lymphocyte-mediated anti-caner immunity. We have found that host complement inhibits the cytokine IL-10 production in CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes through complement receptors C3aR and C5aR. Complement-deficient animals are resistant to tumor development in a T cell- and IL-10-dependent manner. CD8+ tumor infiltrating T cells express IL-10 when complement signaling is disabled. We found that tumor infiltrating lymphocytes from human cancers expanded with IL-2 plus IL-10 are potent tumor killers. Complement-mediated inhibition on antitumor immunity is independent of the PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint pathway. Our findings suggest that complement receptors C3aR and C5aR expressed on CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes represent a novel class of immune checkpoints that needs to be targeted for tumor immunotherapy. Our current effort is to enhance cancer immunotherapy through several strategies. First, we investigate a combined blockade of complement signaling and anti-PD-1 to enhance the antitumor efficacy; second, we are studying the antitumor efficacy of a targeted delivery of IL-10 to antitumor CD8+ T cells by using anti-PD1-IL-10 or anti-CTLA-4-IL-10 fusion proteins; third, we are studying the tumor killing efficacy of addition of IL-10 in the expansion protocol of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes for adaptive cellular therapy.

Part II is to investigate the intracellular process termed autophagy in T lymphocyte function. Autophagy is a highly conserved self-digestion pathway that plays essential roles in maintaining the homeostasis of organelles, degrading long-lived proteins and recycling amino acids under starvation conditions. We have found that autophagy related molecules are expressed in T lymphocytes and autophagy occurs inside T lymphocytes. We have generated autophagy-deficient T lymphocytes in multiple genetic models and investigated the roles of autophagy in T lymphocytes. We found that autophagy plays a critical role in T lymphocyte function. Our current effort is to elucidate the molecular pathways by which TCR signal induces autophagy and the impact of autophagy on intracellular organelle homeostasis in dividing T cells.   




Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.