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The Journal of biological chemistry

Menin is required for optimal processing of the microRNA let-7a.


PMID 24563463

Abstract

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN1) is an inherited syndrome that includes susceptibility to pancreatic islet hyperplasia. This syndrome results from mutations in the MEN1 gene, which encodes menin protein. Menin interacts with several transcription factors, including JunD, and inhibits their activities. However, the precise mechanism by which menin suppresses gene expression is not well understood. Here, we show that menin interacts with arsenite-resistant protein 2 (ARS2), a component of the nuclear RNA CAP-binding complex that is crucial for biogenesis of certain miRNAs including let-7a. The levels of primary-let-7a (pri-let-7a) are not affected by menin; however, the levels of mature let-7a are substantially decreased upon Men1 excision. Let-7a targets, including Insr and Irs2, pro-proliferative genes that are crucial for insulin-mediated signaling, are up-regulated in Men1-excised cells. Inhibition of let-7a using anti-miRNA in wild type cells is sufficient to enhance the expression of insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) to levels observed in Men1-excised cells. Depletion of menin does not affect the expression of Drosha and CBP80, but substantially impairs the processing of pri-miRNA to pre-miRNA. Ars2 knockdown decreased let-7a processing in menin-expressing cells but had little impact on let-7a levels in menin-excised cells. As IRS2 is known to mediate insulin signaling and insulin/mitogen-induced cell proliferation, these findings collectively unravel a novel mechanism whereby menin suppresses cell proliferation, at least partly by promoting the processing of certain miRNAs, including let-7a, leading to suppression of Irs2 expression and insulin signaling.