MicroRNA-7 facilitates the degradation of alpha-synuclein and its aggregates by promoting autophagy

Doo Chul Choi, Myungsik Yoo, Savan Kabaria, Eunsung Junn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Alpha-Synuclein (α-Syn) is an important protein in the pathogenesis of Parkinson disease (PD) as it accumulates as fibrillar inclusions in affected brain regions including dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra. Elevated levels of α-Syn seem to be crucial in mediating its toxicity. Thus, detailed information regarding the regulatory mechanism of α-Syn expression in several layers such as transcription, post-transcription and post-translation is needed in order to devise therapeutic interventions for PD. Previously, we reported that expression of α-Syn is repressed by microRNA-7 (miR-7) through its effect on the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of α-Syn mRNA. Here, we show that miR-7 also accelerates the clearance of α-Syn and its aggregates by promoting autophagy in differentiated ReNcell VM cells. Further, miR-7 facilitates the degradation of pre-formed fibrils of α-Syn transported from outside the cells. This additional mechanism for reducing α-Syn levels show miR-7 to be an important molecular target for PD and other alpha-synucleinopathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
StatePublished - Jun 21 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)


  • Alpha-Synuclein
  • Autophagy
  • MicroRNA-7
  • Parkinson disease


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