Stromal Derived Factor 1 (SDF1 or CXCL12), is a chemokine known to be critical for the migration of cells in several tissue systems including the homing of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) to its niche in the bone marrow. A comparative analysis of miRNA expression profiles of two stromal cell lines, distinguishable by function and by CXCL12 expression (CXCL12+ and CXCL12-), revealed that the CXCL12- cells expressed >40 fold more miR-886-3p than the CXCL12+ cells. Screening studies showed that when miR-886-3p was transfected into the CXCL12+ stromal cells, the expression of CXCL12 was downregulated by as much as 85% when compared to appropriate controls, and results in the loss of CXCL12-directed chemotaxis. Similar reductions in CXCL12 were obtained with the transfection of miR-886-3p into primary stromal cell cultures. Additional studies showed that miR-886-3p specifically targeted the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of CXCL12 mRNA. These data suggest a role for miRNA in modulating the expression of CXCL12, a gene product with a critical role in hematopoietic regulation.
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