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MiR-126 secondary structure.png
miR-126 precursor secondary structure and sequence conservation.
Symbol mir-126
Rfam RF00701
miRBase family MIPF0000115
OMIM 611767
Other data
RNA type microRNA
Domain(s) Eukaryota;
SO {{{SO}}}

In molecular biology mir-126 is a short non-coding RNA molecule. MicroRNAs function to regulate the expression levels of other genes by several pre- and post-transcription mechanisms.

Mir-126 is a human microRNA that is expressed only in endothelial cells, throughout capillaries as well as larger blood vessels,[1] and acts upon various transcripts to control angiogenesis.[2]

Genomic Location[edit]

miR-126 is located within the 7th intron of the EGFL7 gene which resides on human chromosome 9.[3]


mir-126* is the complementary strand to mir-126 which forms once the double stranded pri-miRNA is cleaved and the two strands denature, separating. mir-126* is less abundantly found in organisms than mir-126 and fewer roles in regulating gene expression have been identified. However, mir-126* has recently been implicated in the silencing of prostien in non-endothelial cells. Prostein is able to be produced specifically in the prostate through the silencing of both mir-126* and EGFL7.[4]

Regulation of expression[edit]

mir-126 is regulated by the binding of two transcription factors: ETS1 and ETS2.[5] Binding of these factors induce the transcription of the mir-126 pre-miRNA resulting in the formation of the hairpin pri-miRNA. Hairpin miRNA is targeted to Dicer for cleavage, producing mature mir-126 and mir-126* transcripts.

Epigenetic regulation of the host gene by accumulation of methylation and gene silencing nucleosomes reduces expression of intronic miRNA affecting. This has been observed in cancers which benefit from the silencing of both EGFL7 and mir-126, resulting in neither being expressed.[6]

Only one Single-nucleotide polymorphism within mir-126 has been identified. A change to the 24th base prevents the processing of the pri-miRNA into the mature miRNA, reducing the suppression of the various targets of mir-126.[7] The frequency of the SNP varies between different ethnic backgrounds and potentially is related to the differential acquisition of human disease.

Targets of mir-126[edit]

miRNA binds to target sequences reducing the expression of the target gene. miRNA can bind either directly to DNA preventing transcription or to transcribed mRNA preventing translation and directing the mRNA for degradation. One of the main targets of mir-126 is the host gene EGFL7. Transcription of both occur, however mature mir-126 binds to a complementary sequence within EGFL7 preventing translation of the mRNA resulting in a decrease of EGFL7 protein levels.[8] EGFL7 is known to be involved in cell migration and blood vessel formation,[9] making EGFL7 and mir-126 opportune targets for disease, such as cancers, which require the continual formation of blood vessels to supply the tumour with nutrients and cell migration pathways to mediate tissue invasion.

Involvement in homeostasis[edit]

Tissue repair and maintenance are important parts of the life cycle of an organism, cells and tissues must remain in homeostasis to ensure survival. This includes controlled cell death and responses to wounds. During apoptosis cell death, cells release apoptotic bodies containing paracrine signals to neighbouring cells. In endothelial cells, mir-126 is also released with in these bodies are upon absorption in a neighbouring cell induce the CXCL12 dependant vascular protection.[13] CXCL12 binds the receptor CXCR4 actively counteracting apoptosis and recruiting progenitor cells to the site of injury.

Involvement in disease[edit]


mir-126 has been shown to be both a tumour suppressor and an oncogene depending on the type of cancer. Inhibition of cancer progression occurs through mir-126s negative control of proliferation, migration, invasion and cell survival, while mir-126 also may support cancer progression through the promotion of blood vessel formation and inflammation at the site of activation.[3]

Recently, mir-126 has been used as a tumour marker in a non-invasive diagnostic testing method. Urine samples have been able to identify bladder cancer sufferers apart from those non-effected, as small RNAs are readily excreted through urine.[21]


Low expression levels of many types of miRNA have been observed in type 2 diabetes including: mir-15a, mir-20b, mir-21, mir-124, mir-126, mir-191, mir-197, mir-223, mir-320 and mir-486.[22] Increased expression of mir-28-3p has also been observed.[22] The consequence of misregulation of these miRNAs has not been fully elucidated, however mir-126 has been shown to decrease in expression in response to high glucose levels.[22] Interestingly the decrease of mir-15a, mir-29b, mir-126 and mir-223 proceedes the manifestation of the disease, making these transcripts a possible target for diagnostic testing for type 2 diabetes.

Cystic fibrosis[edit]

Comparisons of cystic fibrosis against non-cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells shows that various miRNAs are differentially regulated in response to the disease. mir-126 is suspected to play a role in regulating the innate immune responses within Cystic Fibrosis affected lungs.[12]

Allergic asthma[edit]

mir-126 increases the immune response to certain antigens resulting in overstimulation of the immune system and allergic asthma. T Helper 2 Cells are affected by mir-126 through a complicated interaction pathway, an increase in mir-126 results in an increase of the response of T Helper 2 Cells.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ van Solingen C, Seghers L, Bijkerk R, Duijs JM, Roeten MK, van Oeveren-Rietdijk AM, Baelde HJ, Monge M, Vos JB, de Boer HC, Quax PH, Rabelink TJ, van Zonneveld AJ (2009). "Antagomir-mediated silencing of endothelial cell specific microRNA-126 impairs ischemia-induced angiogenesis.". J Cell Mol Med. 13 (8A): 1577–85. doi:10.1111/j.1582-4934.2008.00613.x. PMID 19120690. 
  2. ^ Wang S, Aurora AB, Johnson BA, Qi X, McAnally J, Hill JA, Richardson JA, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN (2008). "The endothelial-specific microRNA miR-126 governs vascular integrity and angiogenesis.". Dev Cell. 15 (2): 261–71. doi:10.1016/j.devcel.2008.07.002. PMC 2685763Freely accessible. PMID 18694565. 
  3. ^ a b Meister J, Schmidt MH (2010). "miR-126 and miR-126*: new players in cancer.". ScientificWorldJournal. 10: 2090–100. doi:10.1100/tsw.2010.198. PMID 20953557. 
  4. ^ Musiyenko A, Bitko V, Barik S (2008). "Ectopic expression of miR-126*, an intronic product of the vascular endothelial EGF-like 7 gene, regulates prostein translation and invasiveness of prostate cancer LNCaP cells". J Mol Med. 86 (3): 313–22. doi:10.1007/s00109-007-0296-9. PMC 3263384Freely accessible. PMID 18193184. 
  5. ^ Harris TA, Yamakuchi M, Kondo M, Oettgen P, Lowenstein CJ (2010). "Ets-1 and Ets-2 regulate the expression of microRNA-126 in endothelial cells". Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 30 (10): 1990–7. doi:10.1161/ATVBAHA.110.211706. PMC 3121560Freely accessible. PMID 20671229. 
  6. ^ a b c Saito Y, Friedman JM, Chihara Y, Egger G, Chuang JC, Liang G (2009). "Epigenetic therapy upregulates the tumor suppressor microRNA-126 and its host gene EGFL7 in human cancer cells". Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 379 (3): 726–31. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.12.098. PMID 19116145. 
  7. ^ Harnprasopwat R, Ha D, Toyoshima T, Lodish H, Tojo A, Kotani A (2010). "Alteration of processing induced by a single nucleotide polymorphism in pri-miR-126". Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 399 (2): 117–22. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.07.009. PMC 3056433Freely accessible. PMID 20621067. 
  8. ^ Sun YQ, Zhang F, Bai YF, Guo LL (2010). "[miR-126 modulates the expression of epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro]". Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 30 (4): 767–70. PMID 20423846. 
  9. ^ a b Sun Y, Bai Y, Zhang F, Wang Y, Guo Y, Guo L (2010). "miR-126 inhibits non-small cell lung cancer cells proliferation by targeting EGFL7". Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 391 (3): 1483–9. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.12.098. PMID 20034472. 
  10. ^ a b Feng R, Chen X, Yu Y, Su L, Yu B, Li J, Cai Q, Yan M, Liu B, Zhu Z (2010). "miR-126 functions as a tumour suppressor in human gastric cancer". Cancer Lett. 298 (1): 50–63. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2010.06.004. PMID 20619534. 
  11. ^ Crawford M, Brawner E, Batte K, Yu L, Hunter MG, Otterson GA, Nuovo G, Marsh CB, Nana-Sinkam SP (2008). "MicroRNA-126 inhibits invasion in non-small cell lung carcinoma cell lines". Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 373 (4): 607–12. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.06.090. PMID 18602365. 
  12. ^ a b Oglesby IK, Bray IM, Chotirmall SH, Stallings RL, O'Neill SJ, McElvaney NG, Greene CM (2010). "miR-126 is downregulated in cystic fibrosis airway epithelial cells and regulates TOM1 expression". J Immunol. 184 (4): 1702–9. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.0902669. PMID 20083669. 
  13. ^ a b Zernecke A, Bidzhekov K, Noels H, Shagdarsuren E, Gan L, Denecke B, Hristov M, Köppel T, Jahantigh MN, Lutgens E, Wang S, Olson EN, Schober A, Weber C (2009). "Delivery of microRNA-126 by apoptotic bodies induces CXCL12-dependent vascular protection". Sci Signal. 2 (100): ra81. doi:10.1126/scisignal.2000610. PMID 19996457. 
  14. ^ a b Mattes J, Collison A, Plank M, Phipps S, Foster PS (2009). "Antagonism of microRNA-126 suppresses the effector function of TH2 cells and the development of allergic airways disease". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 106 (44): 18704–9. doi:10.1073/pnas.0905063106. PMC 2773983Freely accessible. PMID 19843690. 
  15. ^ a b Liu B, Peng XC, Zheng XL, Wang J, Qin YW (2009). "MiR-126 restoration down-regulate VEGF and inhibit the growth of lung cancer cell lines in vitro and in vivo". Lung Cancer. 66 (2): 169–75. doi:10.1016/j.lungcan.2009.01.010. PMID 19223090. 
  16. ^ a b Zhang J, Du YY, Lin YF, Chen YT, Yang L, Wang HJ, Ma D (2008). "The cell growth suppressor, mir-126, targets IRS-1". Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 377 (1): 136–40. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2008.09.089. PMID 18834857. 
  17. ^ Shen WF, Hu YL, Uttarwar L, Passegue E, Largman C (2008). "MicroRNA-126 regulates HOXA9 by binding to the homeobox". Mol Cell Biol. 28 (14): 4609–19. doi:10.1128/MCB.01652-07. PMC 2447122Freely accessible. PMID 18474618. 
  18. ^ Li Z, Chen J (2011). "In vitro functional study of miR-126 in leukemia". Methods Mol Biol. Methods in Molecular Biology. 676: 185–95. doi:10.1007/978-1-60761-863-8_13. ISBN 978-1-60761-862-1. PMID 20931398. 
  19. ^ Li XM, Wang AM, Zhang J, Yi H (2010). "Down-regulation of miR-126 expression in colorectal cancer and its clinical significance". Med Oncol. 28 (4): 1054–7. doi:10.1007/s12032-010-9637-6. PMID 20680522. 
  20. ^ Png, K. J.; Halberg, N.; Yoshida, M.; Tavazoie, S. F. (2011). "A microRNA regulon that mediates endothelial recruitment and metastasis by cancer cells". Nature. 481 (7380): 190–194. doi:10.1038/nature10661. PMID 22170610. 
  21. ^ Hanke M, Hoefig K, Merz H, Feller AC, Kausch I, Jocham D, Warnecke JM, Sczakiel G (2009). "A robust methodology to study urine microRNA as tumor marker: microRNA-126 and microRNA-182 are related to urinary bladder cancer". Urol Oncol. 28 (6): 655–61. doi:10.1016/j.urolonc.2009.01.027. PMID 19375957. 
  22. ^ a b c Zampetaki A, Kiechl S, Drozdov I, Willeit P, Mayr U, Prokopi M, Mayr A, Weger S, Oberhollenzer F, Bonora E, Shah A, Willeit J, Mayr M (2010). "Plasma microRNA profiling reveals loss of endothelial miR-126 and other microRNAs in type 2 diabetes". Circ Res. 107 (6): 810–7. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.110.226357. PMID 20651284. 

Further reading[edit]

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