miRNome expression profiling was performed in a mouse model of propionic acidemia (PA) and in patients' plasma samples to investigate the role of miRNAs in the pathophysiology of the disease and to identify novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets. PA is a potentially lethal neurometabolic disease with patients developing neurological deficits and cardiomyopathy in the long-Term, among other complications. In the PA mouse liver we identified 14 significantly dysregulated miRNAs. Three selected miRNAs, miR-34a-5p, miR-338-3p and miR-350, were found upregulated in brain and heart tissues. Predicted targets involved in apoptosis, stress-signaling and mitochondrial function, were inversely found down-regulated. Functional analysis with miRNA mimics in cellular models confirmed these findings. miRNA profiling in plasma samples from neonatal PA patients and age-matched control individuals identified a set of differentially expressed miRNAs, several were coincident with those identified in the PA mouse, among them miR-34a-5p and miR-338-3p. These two miRNAs were also found dysregulated in childhood and adult PA patients' cohorts. Taken together, the results reveal miRNA signatures in PA useful to identify potential biomarkers, to refine the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of this rare disease and, eventually, to improve the management of patients.
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