The role of deregulated micrornas in age-related macular degeneration pathology

Hanan Elshelmani, Michael A. Wride, Tahira Saad, Sweta Rani, David J. Kelly, David Keegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We previously identified three microRNAs (miRNAs) with significantly increased expression in the serum of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) compared with healthy controls. Our objective was to identify potential functional roles of these upregulated miRNAs (miR-19a, miR-126, and miR-410) in AMD, using computational tools for miRNAs prediction and identification, and to demonstrate the miRNAs target genes and signaling pathways. We also aim to demonstrate the pathologic role of isolated sera-derived exosomes from patients with AMD and controls using in vitro models. Methods: miR-19a, miR-126, and miR-410 were investigated using bioinformatic approaches, including DIANA-mirPath and miR TarBase. Data on the resulting target genes and signaling pathways were incorporated with the differentially expressed miRNAs in AMD. Apoptosis markers, human apoptosis miRNAs polymerase chain reaction arrays and angiogenesis/vasculogenesis assays were performed by adding serum-isolated AMD patient or control patient derived exosomes into an in vitro human angiogenesis model and ARPE-19 cell lines. Results: A number of pathways known to be involved in AMD development and progression were predicted, including the vascular endothelial growth factor signal-ing, apoptosis, and neurodegenerative pathways. The study also provides supporting evidence for the involvement of serum-isolated AMD-derived exosomes in the pathol-ogy of AMD, via apoptosis and/or angiogenesis. Conclusions: miR-19a, miR-126, miR-410 and their target genes had a significant correlation with AMD pathogenesis. As such, they could be potential new targets as predictive biomarkers or therapies for patients with AMD. Translational Relevance: The functional analysis and the pathologic role of altered miRNA expression in AMD may be applicable in developing new therapies for AMD through the disruption of individual or multiple pathophysiologic pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Biomarkers
  • MicroRNAs
  • Pathology


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