Figure 2. p38 is predicted to be a putative target of miR-124 by TargetScan. (A) Pairing of hsa-miR-124 and mmu-miR-124 with the 3’-untranslated region (UTR) of p38 gene from human and mouse, respectively. (B) A conserved 8-mer target seed region (gray) of the miR-124 binding site was found within the 3’-UTR of p38 among different mammalian species. (C) The original miR-124 binding site and mutated binding site in 3’-UTR of p38. The seven bases of binding sequence (GUGCCUU) for miR-124 on p38 mRNA were mutated to CACGGAA. (D) Two types of recombinant luciferase reporter vectors were constructed by replacing the original luciferase mRNA 3’-UTR with the wild-type or mutated 3’-UTR of p38. (E) The relative luciferase activity in foam cells detected by dual luciferase reporter assay. NC, negative control of miR-124 mimics; iNC, negative control of miR-124 inhibitor; 3’UTR, 3’-untranslated region; WT, wild type; MT, mutant. ** P < 0.01 compared with control group.