MicroRNA miR-132 is complementary to the 3'UTR of long MECP2 transcripts (>10 kb), which are predominantly expressed in the brain. Based on studies in mice and rats, miR-132 reduces both mRNA and protein levels of MECP2 and was confirmed to be specific for MECP2 mRNA by the 3'UTR-luciferase reporter gene assay (Klein et al. 2007, Su et al. 2015).
miR-132 levels increase in response to BDNF signaling in a CREB-dependent way (Vo et al. 2005, Klein et al. 2007, Lyu et al. 2016). In patients with major depressive disorder, miR-132 levels are increased while MECP2 and BDNF levels are decreased (Su et al. 2015).