MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key players in the regulation of neuronal processes by targeting a large network of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). However, the identity and function of mRNAs targeted by miRNAs in specific cells of the brain are largely unknown. Here, we established an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV)-based neuron-specific Argonaute2:GFP-RNA immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing to analyse the regulatory role of miRNAs in mouse hippocampal neurons. Using this approach, we identified more than two thousand miRNA targets in hippocampal neurons, regulating essential neuronal features such as cell signalling, transcription and axon guidance. Furthermore, we found that stable inhibition of the highly expressed miR-124 and miR-125 in hippocampal neurons led to significant but distinct changes in the AGO2 binding of target mRNAs, resulting in subsequent upregulation of numerous miRNA target genes. These findings greatly enhance our understanding of the miRNA targetome in hippocampal neurons.
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