Genes & Genomics

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 567–572 | Cite as

The seed sequence is necessary but insufficient for downregulation of target genes by miR-608

  • Gangtae Lee
  • Young-Chul Choi
  • Yuree Byun
  • Sena Yoon
  • Yongsu Jeong
  • Jaeseung Yoon
  • Kwanghee BaekEmail author
Research Article


MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that inhibit gene expression posttranscriptionally through interaction with the 3′ untranslated region (3′ UTR) of target mRNAs. The most important factor for downregulation of target genes by miRNA is the “seed region,” which encompasses nucleotides 2–7 at the 5′ end of the miRNA. In this study, sequence determinants for efficient downregulation of target genes were investigated by employing growth-suppressive miR-608 and miR-4651, which shares the seed sequence with miR-608. Cell growth experiments revealed that miR-4651 and miR-608-scram in which the seed sequences were mutated did not inhibit the growth of A549 cells in contrast to wild-type miR-608, which significantly inhibited cell growth. When similarity to miR-608 was increased by replacing sequences of miR-4651 with that of miR-608, cell growth was gradually more inhibited. Similar results were obtained from a luciferase reporter assay using a reporter plasmid containing the 3′ UTR of BCL2L1 and from western blot analysis of BCL2L1, CCND3, and phosphoinositide 3-kinase regulatory subunit 2. Moreover, microarray analyses revealed that overexpression of miR-4651 and miR-608-scram resulted in inefficient downregulation of target genes, and the number of downregulated genes was increased when transfected with MT-3 mimic, which differs from miR-608 by four nucleotides located in the central region. Together, our findings provide a basis for understanding the mechanism underlying target recognition and/or downregulation of target genes by miR-608 and indicate that in addition to seed sequence, central and 3′ parts of miR-608 play an important role in mediating efficient downregulation of target genes.


MicroRNA-608 Seed sequence Central sequence 3′ Sequence Silencing efficiency 



This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology [2011-0007189].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical guidelines

The present study was conducted in accordance with the ethical guidelines of Kyung Hee University.


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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea and Springer-Science and Media 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gangtae Lee
    • 1
  • Young-Chul Choi
    • 1
  • Yuree Byun
    • 1
  • Sena Yoon
    • 1
  • Yongsu Jeong
    • 1
  • Jaeseung Yoon
    • 1
  • Kwanghee Baek
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Graduate School of BiotechnologyKyung Hee UniversityYonginRepublic of Korea

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