SF2/ASF is a prototypical SR protein, with important roles in splicing and other aspects of mRNA metabolism. SFRS1 (SF2/ASF) is a potent proto-oncogene with abnormal expression in many tumors. We found that SF2/ASF negatively autoregulates its expression to maintain homeostatic levels. We characterized six SF2/ASF alternatively spliced mRNA isoforms: the major isoform encodes full-length protein, whereas the others are either retained in the nucleus or degraded by NMD. Unproductive splicing accounts for only part of the autoregulation, which occurs primarily at the translational level. The effect is specific to SF2/ASF and requires RRM2. The ultraconserved 3′UTR is necessary and sufficient for downregulation. SF2/ASF overexpression shifts the distribution of target mRNA towards mono-ribosomes, and translational repression is partly independent of Dicer and a 5′ cap. Thus, multiple post-transcriptional and translational mechanisms are involved in fine-tuning the expression of SF2/ASF.
Interleukin 17 (IL-17) promotes expression of chemokines and cytokines via induction of gene transcription and post-transcriptional stabilization of mRNA. We show that IL-17 enhanced the stability of CXCL1 and other mRNAs through a pathway that involves Act1, TRAF2 or TRAF5 and the splicing factor SF2/ASF. TRAF2/TRAF5 were necessary for IL-17 to signal CXCL1 mRNA stabilization. Furthermore, IL-17 promoted formation of complexes between TRAF5/TRAF2, Act1 and SF2/ASF. Overexpression of SF2/ASF shortened while depletion of SF2/ASF prolonged CXCL1 mRNA half-life. SF2/ASF bound chemokine mRNA in unstimulated cells while the SF2/ASF-mRNA interaction was markedly diminished following stimulation with IL-17. These findings define an IL-17-induced signaling pathway that links to the stabilization of selected mRNAs through Act1, TRAF2/5 and the RNA binding protein SF2/ASF.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) gene expression is regulated in concert with the epithelial differentiation program. In particular, expression of the virus capsid proteins L1 and L2 is tightly restricted to differentiated epithelial cells. For HPV16, the capsid proteins are encoded by 13 structurally different mRNAs that are produced by extensive alternative splicing. Previously, we demonstrated that upon epithelial differentiation, HPV16 infection upregulates hnRNP A1 and SF2/ASF, both key factors in alternative splicing regulation. Here we cloned a 1-kb region upstream of and including the transcriptional start site of the SF2ASF gene and used it in in vivo transcription assays to demonstrate that the HPV16 E2 transcription factor transactivates the SF2/ASF promoter. The transactivation domain but not the DNA binding domain of the protein is necessary for this. Active E2 association with the promoter was demonstrated using chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays indicated that E2 interacted with a region 482 to 684 bp upstream of the transcription initiation site in vitro. This is the first time that HPV16 E2 has been shown to regulate cellular gene expression and the first report of viral regulation of expression of an RNA processing factor. Such E2-mediated control during differentiation of infected epithelial cells may facilitate late capsid protein expression and completion of the virus life cycle.
Cyclin T1 is a regulatory subunit of a general RNA polymerase II elongation factor known as P-TEFb. Cyclin T1 is also required for Tat transactivation of HIV-1 LTR-directed gene expression. Translation of Cyclin T1 mRNA has been shown to be repressed in human monocytes, and this repression is relieved when cells differentiate to macrophages. We identified miR-198 as a microRNA (miRNA) that is strongly down-regulated when monocytes are induced to differentiate. Ectopic expression of miR-198 in tissue culture cells reduced Cyclin T1 protein expression, and plasmid reporter assays verified miR-198 target sequences in the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of Cyclin T1 mRNA. Cyclin T1 protein levels increased when an inhibitor of miR-198 was transfected into primary monocytes, and overexpression of miR-198 in primary monocytes repressed the normal up-regulation of Cyclin T1 during differentiation. Expression of an HIV-1 proviral plasmid and HIV-1 replication were repressed in a monocytic cell line upon overexpression of miR-198. Our data indicate that miR-198 functions to restrict HIV-1 replication in monocytes, and its mechanism of action appears to involve repression of Cyclin T1 expression.
Monocytes do not support HIV-1 replication, in part because they do not express adequate levels of essential cellular cofactors that mediate steps in the viral replication cycle. Monocytes become permissive for viral replication upon differentiation to macrophages, indicating that cellular cofactors are induced during the differentiation process. One such cofactor is Cyclin T1, which is not expressed in monocytes and is expressed at high levels following macrophage differentiation. Cyclin T1 functions to greatly stimulate the amount of HIV-1 produced in the infected cell. We identified a microRNA (miRNA) named miR-198 that represses the expression of Cyclin T1 in monocytes. miRNAs block expression of proteins by binding to messenger RNAs and preventing their translation by ribosomes. The expression levels of miR-198 are greatly reduced in macrophages, and this appears to allow translation of Cyclin T1 mRNA and expression of Cyclin T1 protein. Our study indicates that this miRNA restricts HIV-1 replication in monocytes. We think that it is possible, if not likely, that additional miRNAs in monocytes also restrict HIV-1 replication by repressing other essential cellular cofactors.
Mature microRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded RNAs of 18–24 nucleotides that repress post-transcriptional gene expression. However, it is unknown whether the functions of mature miRNAs can be regulated. Here we report that expression of versican 3′UTR induces organ adhesion in transgenic mice by modulating miR-199a* activities. The study was initiated by the hypothesis that the non-coding 3′UTR plays a role in the regulation of miRNA function. Transgenic mice expressing a construct harboring the 3′UTR of versican exhibits the adhesion of organs. Computational analysis indicated that a large number of microRNAs could bind to this fragment potentially including miR-199a*. Expression of versican and fibronectin, two targets of miR-199a*, are up-regulated in transgenic mice, suggesting that the 3′UTR binds and modulates miR-199a* activities, freeing mRNAs of versican and fibronectin from being repressed by miR-199a*. Confirmation of the binding was performed by PCR using mature miR-199a* as a primer and the targeting was performed by luciferase assays. Enhanced adhesion by expression of the 3′UTR was confirmed by in vitro assays. Our results demonstrated that upon arrival in cytoplasm, miRNA activities can be modulated locally by the 3′UTR. Our assay may be developed as sophisticated approaches for studying the mutual regulation of miRNAs and mRNAs in vitro and in vivo. We anticipate that expression of the 3′UTR may be an approach in the development of gene therapy.
Our results presented here demonstrate that the most abundant human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) mRNAs expressing the viral oncogenes E6 and E7 are regulated by cellular ASF/SF2, itself defined as a proto-oncogene and overexpressed in cervical cancer cells. We show that the most frequently used 3′-splice site on the HPV-16 genome, site SA3358, which is used to produce primarily E4, E6, and E7 mRNAs, is regulated by ASF/SF2. Splice site SA3358 is immediately followed by 15 potential binding sites for the splicing factor ASF/SF2. Recombinant ASF/SF2 binds to the cluster of ASF/SF2 sites. Mutational inactivation of all 15 sites abolished splicing to SA3358 and redirected splicing to the downstream-located, late 3′-splice site SA5639. Overexpression of a mutant ASF/SF2 protein that lacks the RS domain, also totally inhibited the usage of SA3358 and redirected splicing to the late 3′-splice site SA5639. The 15 ASF/SF2 binding sites could be replaced by an ASF/SF2-dependent, HIV-1-derived splicing enhancer named GAR. This enhancer was also inhibited by the mutant ASF/SF2 protein that lacks the RS domain. Finally, silencer RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of ASF/SF2 caused a reduction in spliced HPV-16 mRNA levels. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the major HPV-16 3′-splice site SA3358 is dependent on ASF/SF2. SA3358 is used by the most abundantly expressed HPV-16 mRNAs, including those encoding E6 and E7. High levels of ASF/SF2 may therefore be a requirement for progression to cervical cancer. This is supported by our earlier findings that ASF/SF2 is overexpressed in high-grade cervical lesions and cervical cancer.
Although the immune response is predominantly controlled at the transcriptional level, microRNA-mediated RNA interference is emerging as an important regulatory mechanism that operates at the translation level. Specifically, recent studies indicate that those miRNAs that are selectively and/or highly expressed in immune cells including the miR-17–92 cluster, miR-150, miR-155, miR-181 and miR-223 have a ‘permissive’ function in the maturation, proliferation and differentiation of myeloid and lymphoid cells. Importantly, these actions of miRNAs often involve interactions with transcription factors. In contrast, the rapid and transient induction of miR-9, miR-146a and miR-155 has been speculated to negatively regulate the acute responses following activation of innate immune through down-regulation of proteins involved in the receptor-induced signalling pathways.
Tolerance represents a critical component of addiction. The large conductance calcium-and voltage-activated potassium channel (BK) is a well-established alcohol target, and an important element in behavioral and molecular alcohol tolerance. We tested whether microRNA, a newly-discovered class of gene expression regulators, plays a role in the development of tolerance. We show that in adult mammalian brain alcohol upregulates microRNA (miR-9) and mediates post-transcriptional reorganization in BK mRNA splice variants by miR-9-dependent destabilization of BK mRNAs containing 3’UTRs with a miR-9 Recognition Element (MRE). Different splice variants encode BK isoforms with different alcohol sensitivities. Computational modeling indicates that this miR-9 dependent mechanism contributes to alcohol tolerance. Moreover, this mechanism can be extended to regulation of additional miR-9 targets relevant to alcohol abuse. Our results describe a novel mechanism of multiplex regulation of stability of alternatively spliced mRNA by miRNA in drug adaptation and neuronal plasticity.
Upregulated by atheroprotective flow, the transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) is crucial for maintaining endothelial function. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding small RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. We examined the role of miRNAs, particularly miR-92a, in the atheroprotective flow-regulated KLF2.
Methods and Results
Dicer knockdown increased the level of KLF2 mRNA in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), suggesting that KLF2 is regulated by miRNA. In silico analysis predicted that miR-92a could bind to the 3’ untranslated region (3’UTR) of KLF2 mRNA. Overexpression of miR-92a precursor (pre-92a) decreased the expression of KLF2 and the KLF2-regulated endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and thrombomodulin (TM) at mRNA and protein levels. A complementary finding is that miR-92a inhibitor (anti-92a) increased the mRNA and protein expression of KLF2, eNOS, and TM. Subsequent studies revealed that atheroprotective laminar flow downregulated the level of miR-92a to induce KLF2 and the level of this flow-induced KLF2 was reduced by pre-92a. Furthermore, miR-92a level was lower in HUVECs exposed to the atheroprotective pulsatile shear flow (PS) than under atheroprone oscillatory shear flow. Anti-Ago1/2 immunopreciptation coupled with RT-PCR revealed that PS decreased the functional targeting of miR-92a/KLF2 mRNA in HUVECs. Consistent with these findings, mouse carotid arteries receiving pre-92a exhibited impaired vasodilatory response to flow.
Atheroprotective flow patterns decrease the level of miR-92a, which in turn increases KLF2 expression to maintain endothelial homeostasis.
shear stress; microRNAs; KLF2; vasodilation; endothelial cells
Expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is under stringent regulation at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Disturbance at either level could cause dysregulation of miRNAs. Here we show that MLL fusion proteins negatively regulate production of miR-150, an miRNA widely repressed in acute leukemia, by blocking miR-150 precursors from being processed to mature miRNAs through MYC/LIN28 functional axis. Forced expression of miR-150 dramatically inhibited leukemic cell growth and delayed MLL-fusion-mediated leukemogenesis, likely through targeting FLT3 and MYB and thereby interfering with the HOXA9/MEIS1/FLT3/MYB signaling network, which in turn caused downregulation of MYC/LIN28. Collectively, we revealed a MLL-fusion/MYC/LIN28⊣miR-150⊣FLT3/MYB/HOXA9/MEIS1 signaling circuit underlying the pathogenesis of leukemia, where miR-150 functions as a pivotal gatekeeper and its repression is required for leukemogenesis.
miR-150; MLL-associated leukemia; MYC; LIN28; FLT3; MYB; HOXA9; MEIS1; microRNA maturation; signaling axis; leukemogenesis
Expression of cytoplasmic mRNA from most adenovirus transcription units is subjected to a temporal regulation at the level of alternative pre-mRNA splicing. The general tendency is that splice site selection changes from proximal to distal late after infection. Interestingly, ASF/SF2, which is a prototypical member of the SR family of splicing factors, has the opposite effect on splice site selection, inducing an increase in proximal splice site usage. We have previously shown that SR proteins late during an adenovirus infection become partially inactivated as splicing regulatory proteins. A prediction from these results is that overexpression of an SR protein, such as ASF/SF2, during virus growth will interfere with virus replication by disturbing the balance of functional and nonfunctional ASF/SF2 in the infected cell. To test this hypothesis, we reconstructed a recombinant adenovirus expressing ASF/SF2 under the transcriptional control of a regulated promoter. The results show that, as predicted, induction of ASF/SF2 during lytic virus growth prevents the early to late shift in mRNA expression from both early (E1A and E1B) and late (L1) transcription units. Furthermore, ASF/SF2 overexpression blocks viral DNA replication and reduces selectively cytoplasmic accumulation of major late mRNA, resulting in a lower virus yield. Collectively, our results provide additional support for the hypothesis that viral control of SR protein function is important for the proper expression of viral proteins during lytic virus growth.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) attenuate gene expression by pairing to the 3′UTR of target transcripts inducing RNA cleavage or translational inhibition. Overexpression of microRNA-155 (miR-155), measured either at the primary (BIC gene) or mature transcript level, was recently described in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL). However, these studies have been limited in size and have not attempt to link miR-155 expression to that of putative target genes. To start to address these issues we examined a collection of 22 well-characterized DLBCL cell lines. The expression of miR-155 is heterogeneous in these cell lines and associates with NF-κB activity. Importantly, we found that the expression of the primary miR-155 transcript reliably reflects that of the functional mature miR-155. Since many gene array platforms include probe sets for the primary miR-155 sequences, these findings allowed us to confidently examine large array-based expression datasets of primary DLBCLs in the context of miR-155 levels. Our investigation revealed that that miR-155 expression segregates with specific molecular subgroups of DLBCL and it is highest in the Activated B-cell (ABC)-type lymphomas. These findings were particularly relevant because these tumors are characterized by constitutive activation of NF-κB signals supporting the data derived from our cell lines. More importantly, using supervised learning algorithms, we identified a robust gene signature driven by the differential expression of miR-155. These profiles contained several gene markers, including predicted targets, consistently downregulated in tumors expressing the high levels of miR-155. Our data start to unveil the genome wide effects of miR-155 expression in DLBCL and indicate the utility of this strategy in the identification and validation of miRNA target genes.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short 20–22 nucleotide RNA molecules that act as negative regulators of gene expression via translational repression: they have been shown to play a role in development, proliferation, stress response, and apoptosis. The transcriptional regulator LRF (Leukemia/lymphoma Related Factor) has been shown to prevent p19ARF transcription and consequently to inhibit senescence in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF). Here we report, for the first time, that LRF is post-transcriptionally regulated by miR-20a. Using a gene reporter assay, direct interaction of miR-20a with the LRF 3′UTR is demonstrated. To validate the interaction miR-20a/3′UTR LRF miR-20a was over-expressed, either by transient transfection or retroviral infection, in wild type mouse embryo fibroblasts and in LRF-null MEF derived from LRF knock-out mice. We observed LRF decrease, p19ARF increase, inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of senescence. The comparison of miR-20a activity in wt and LRF-null MEF indicates that LRF is the main mediator of the miR-20a-induced senescence and that other targets are cooperating. As LRF down-regulation/p19ARF induction is always accompanied by E2F1 down-regulation and increase of p16, we propose that all these events act in synergy to accomplish miR-20a-induced senescence in MEF. Senescence has been recently revaluated as a tumor suppressor mechanism, alternative to apoptosis; from this point of view the discovery of new physiological “senescence inducer” appears to be promising as this molecule could be used as anticancer drug.
MicroRNAs (miRNA) are small RNAs that attenuate protein expression by complementary binding to the 3′UTR of a target mRNA. Currently, very little is known about miRNA after cerebral ischemia. In particular, miR-21 is a strong antiapoptotic factor in some biological systems. We investigated the role of miR-21 after stroke in rat. We employed in situ hybridization (ISH) and laser capture microdissection (LCM) in combination with real-time RT-PCR to investigate the expression of miR-21 after stroke. ISH revealed that miR-21 expression was upregulated in neurons of the ischemic boundary zone (IBZ), and quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed that stroke increased mature miR-21 levels by ~3 fold in neurons isolated from the IBZ by LCM compared to homologous contralateral neurons 2 (n=4; P<0.05) and 7(n=3; P<0.05) days after stroke. In vitro, overexpression of miR-21 in cultured cortical neurons substantially suppressed oxygen and glucose deprivation (OGD)-induced apoptotic cell death, whereas attenuation of endogenous miR-21 by antisense inhibition exacerbated cell death after OGD. Moreover, overexpression of miR-21 in neurons significantly reduced Faslg protein levels and introduction of a miR-21 mimic into 293-HEK cells substantially reduced luciferase activity in a reporter system containing the 3′ untranslated region of Faslg. Our data indicate that overexpression of miR-21 protects against ischemic neuronal death and that downregulation of Faslg, a TNFα family member and an important cell death inducing ligand, targeted by miR-21 likely mediates the neuroprotective effect. These novel findings suggest that miR-21 may be an attractive therapeutic molecule for treament of stroke.
MicroRNAs constitute a large family of small non-coding RNAs that have emerged as key post-transcriptional regulators in a wide variety of organisms. Because any one miRNA can potentially regulate expression of a distinct set of genes, differential miRNA expression can shape the repertoire of proteins that are actually expressed during development, differentiation or disease. Here, we have used mast cells as a model to investigate the role of miRNAs in differentiated innate immune cells, and found that miR-221-222 are significantly up-regulated upon mast cell activation. Using both bioinformatics and experimental approaches, we identified some signaling pathways, transcription factors and potential cis-regulatory regions that control miR-221-222 transcription. Overexpression of miR-221-222 in a model mast cell-line perturbed cell morphology and cell cycle regulation without altering viability. While in stimulated cells miR-221-222 partially counteracted expression of the cell-cycle inhibitor p27kip1, we found that in the mouse alternative splicing results in two p27kip1 mRNA isoforms that differ in their 3′ UTR, only one of which is subject to miR-221-222 regulation. In addition, transgenic expression of miR-221-222 from BAC clones in embryonic stem cells dramatically reduced cell-proliferation and severely impaired their accumulation. Our study provides further insights on miR-221-222 transcriptional regulation as well as evidences that miR-221-222 regulates cell-cycle checkpoints in mast cells in response to acute activation stimuli.
cell cycle; mast cells; microRNAs; transcription; proliferation
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in modulating a variety of cellular processes through repression of mRNAs target. The functional relevance of microRNAs has been proven in normal and malignant hematopoiesis. While analyzing miRNAs expression profile in unilineage serum-free liquid suspension unilineage cultures of peripheral blood CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) through the erythroid, megakaryocytic, granulocytic and monocytic pathways, we identified miR-486-3p as mainly expressed within the erythroid lineage. We showed that miR-486-3p regulates BCL11A expression by binding to the extra-long isoform of BCL11A 3′UTR. Overexpression of miR-486-3p in erythroid cells resulted in reduced BCL11A protein levels, associated to increased expression of γ-globin gene, whereas inhibition of physiological miR-486-3p levels increased BCL11A and, consequently, reduced γ-globin expression. Thus, miR-486-3p regulating BCL11A expression might contributes to fetal hemoglobin (HbF) modulation and arise the question as to what extent this miRNA might contribute to different HbF levels observed among β-thalassemia patients. Erythroid cells, differentiated from PB CD34+ cells of a small cohort of patients affected by major or intermedia β-thalassemia, showed miR-486-3p levels significantly higher than those observed in normal counterpart. Importantly, in these patients, miR-486-3p expression correlates with increased HbF synthesis. Thus, our data indicate that miR-486-3p might contribute to different HbF levels observed among thalassemic patients and, possibly, to the clinical severity of the disease.
Expression levels of SF2/ASF are controlled by Sam68 mediated activation of splicing-induced mRNA decay.
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its reversal (MET) are crucial cell plasticity programs that act during development and tumor metastasis. We have previously shown that the splicing factor and proto-oncogene SF2/ASF impacts EMT/MET through production of a constitutively active splice variant of the Ron proto-oncogene. Using an in vitro model, we now show that SF2/ASF is also regulated during EMT/MET by alternative splicing associated with the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway (AS-NMD). Overexpression and small interfering RNA experiments implicate the splicing regulator Sam68 in AS-NMD of SF2/ASF transcripts and in the choice between EMT/MET programs. Moreover, Sam68 modulation of SF2/ASF splicing appears to be controlled by epithelial cell–derived soluble factors that act through the ERK1/2 signaling pathway to regulate Sam68 phosphorylation. Collectively, our results reveal a hierarchy of splicing factors that integrate splicing decisions into EMT/MET programs in response to extracellular stimuli.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous short non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression by repressing translation or cleaving RNA transcripts in a sequence-specific manner. A growing body of evidence suggests that miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in many human cancers and that they play significant roles in the initiation, development and metastasis of human cancers. Genome-wide miRNA expression signatures provide information on the aberrant expression of miRNAs in cancers rapidly and precisely. Recently, studies from our group and others revealed that microRNA-1 (miR-1), microRNA-133a (miR-133a), microRNA-133b (miR-133b) and microRNA-206 (miR-206) are frequently downregulated in various types of cancers. Interestingly, miR-1-1/miR-133a-2, miR-1-2/miR-133a-1, and miR-206/miR-133b form homologous clusters in three different chromosomal regions of the human genome – 20q13.33, 18q11.2 and 6p12.2, respectively. Here we review recent findings on the aberrant expression and functional significance of the miR-1/miR-133a and miR-206/miR-133b clusters in human cancers.
cancer; miRNA; miR-1; miR-133a; miR-133b; miR-206
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small fragments of single-stranded RNA containing 18-24 nucleotides, and are generated from endogenous transcripts. MicroRNAs function in post-transcriptional gene silencing by targeting the 3′-untranslated region (UTR) of mRNAs, resulting in translational repression. We have developed a system to study the role of miRNAs in cell differentiation. We have found that one of the miRNAs tested in our system (miR-378, also called miR-378*) plays a role in modulating nephronectin-mediated differentiation in the osteoblastic cell line, MC3T3-E1. Nephronectin is an extracellular matrix protein, and we have demonstrated that its over-expression enhanced osteoblast differentiation and bone nodule formation. Furthermore, we found that the nephronectin 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR) contains a binding site for miR-378. Stable transfection of MC3T3-E1 cells with miR-378 inhibited cell differentiation. MC3T3-E1 cells stably transfected with nephronectin exhibited higher rates of differentiation and nodule formation as compared with cells transfected with nephronectin containing the 3′UTR in the early stages of development, suggesting that endogenous miR-378 is present and active. However, in the later stages of MC3T3-E1 development, the differentiation rates were opposite, with higher rates of differentiation and nodule formation in the cells over-expressing the 3′UTR of nephronectin. This appeared to be the consequence of competition between nephronectin and UDP-N-acetyl-alpha-D-galactosamine:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 7 (GalNAc-T7 or GalNT7) for miR-378 binding, resulting in increased GalNT7 activity, which in turn lead to increased nephronectin glycosylation and product secretion, thereby resulting in a higher rate of osteoblast differentiation.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 21–22 nucleotide regulatory small RNAs that repress message translation via base-pairing with complementary sequences in the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of targeted transcripts. To date, it is still difficult to find a true miRNA target due to lack of a clear understanding of how miRNAs functionally interact with their targeted transcripts for efficient repression. Previous studies have shown that nucleotides 2 to 7 at the 5′-end of a mature miRNA, the ‘seed sequence’, can nucleate miRNA/target interactions. In the current study, we have validated that the RhoB mRNA is a bona fide miR-223 target. We have analyzed the functional activities of two miR223-binding sites within the RhoB 3′UTR. We find that the two miR-223 target sites in the RhoB 3′UTR contribute differentially to the total repression of RhoB translation. Moreover, we demonstrate that some AU-rich motifs located upstream of the distal miRNA-binding site enhance miRNA function, independent of the miRNA target sequences being tested. We also demonstrate that the AU-rich sequence elements are polar, and do not affect the activities of miRNAs whose sites lie upstream of these elements. These studies provide further support for the role of sequences outside of miRNA target region influencing miRNA function.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as critical regulators of gene expression through translational inhibition and RNA decay, and have been implicated in the regulation of cellular differentiation, proliferation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. In this study, we use global bioinformatics analysis of miRNA and mRNA microarrays to predict novel miRNA-mRNA interactions in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In particular, we demonstrate a regulatory feedback loop between the miR-302 cluster and two transcription factors, NR2F2 and OCT4. Our data show high expression of miR-302 and OCT4 in pluripotent cells, while NR2F2 is expressed exclusively in differentiated cells. Target analysis predicts that NR2F2 is a direct target of the miR-302, which we experimentally confirm by reporter luciferase assays and real-time PCR. We also demonstrate that NR2F2 directly inhibits the activity of the OCT4 promoter and thus diminishes the positive feedback loop between OCT4 and the miR-302. Importantly, higher reprogramming efficiencies were obtained when we reprogrammed human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) into iPSCs using four factors (KLF4, C-MYC, OCT4, and SOX2) plus miR-302 (this reprogramming cocktail is hereafter referred to as “KMOS3”) when compared to using four factors (“KMOS”). Furthermore, shRNA knockdown of NR2F2 mimics the over-expression of miR-302 by also enhancing reprogramming efficiency. Interestingly, we were unable to generate iPSCs from miR-302a/b/c/d alone, which is in contrast to previous publications that have reported that miR-302 by itself can reprogram human skin cancer cells and human hair follicle cells. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that miR-302 inhibits NR2F2 and promotes pluripotency through indirect positive regulation of OCT4. This feedback loop represents an important new mechanism for understanding and inducing pluripotency in somatic cells.
microRNA; reprogramming; induced pluripotent stem cells; OCT4
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) pair with target sequences in the 3’UTR of mRNAs to post-transcriptionally repress gene expression. Here we report that TNF-mediated induction of endothelial adhesion molecules can be regulated by miRNAs that are induced by TNF. Specifically, E-selectin and ICAM-1 are targets of TNF-induced miRNAs miR-31 and miR-17-3p, respectively. Specific antagonism of these TNF-induced miRNAs increased neutrophil adhesion to cultured ECs. Conversely, transfections with mimics of these miRNAs decreased neutrophil adhesion to ECs. These data suggest that miRNAs provide negative feedback control of inflammation.
HUVECs; endothelial cell activation; neutrophils; adhesion molecules
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can influence lineage choice or affect critical developmental checkpoints during hematopoiesis. To search for a role of the recently described p53-induced microRNA, miR-34a, in hematopoiesis, we performed gain-of-function analysis in murine bone marrow. Constitutive expression of miR-34a led to a block in B cell development at the pro-B cell to pre-B cell transition, leading to a reduction in mature B cells. This block appeared to be mediated primarily by inhibited expression of the Forkhead transcription factor, Foxp1. We demonstrated that Foxp1 was a direct target of miR-34a in a 3′-untranslated region (UTR)-dependent fashion. Knockdown of Foxp1 by siRNA recapitulated the B cell developmental phenotype induced by miR-34a, whereas co-transduction of Foxp1 lacking its 3′UTR with miR-34a rescued B cell maturation. Lastly, knockdown of miR-34a resulted in increased amounts of Foxp1 and mature B cells. These findings identify a role for miR-34a in connecting the p53 network with suppression of Foxp1, a known B cell oncogene.
The c-myb proto-oncogene is the founding member of a family of transcription factors involved principally in haematopoiesis, in diverse organisms, from zebrafish to mammals. Its deregulation has been implicated in human leukaemogenesis and other cancers. The expression of c-myb is tightly regulated by post-transcriptional mechanisms involving microRNAs. MicroRNAs are small, highly conserved non-coding RNAs that inhibit translation and decrease mRNA stability by binding to regulatory motifs mostly located in the 3'UTR of target mRNAs conserved throughout evolution. MYB is an evolutionarily conserved miR-150 target experimentally validated in mice, humans and zebrafish. However, the functional miR-150 sites of humans and mice are orthologous, whereas that of zebrafish is different.
We identified the avian mature miRNA-150-5P, Gallus gallus gga-miR-150 from chicken leukocyte small-RNA libraries and showed that, as expected, the gga-miR-150 sequence was highly conserved, including the seed region sequence present in the other miR-150 sequences listed in miRBase. Reporter assays showed that gga-miR-150 acted on the avian MYB 3'UTR and identified the avian MYB target site involved in gga-miR-150 binding. A comparative in silico analysis of the miR-150 target sites of MYB 3'UTRs from different species led to the identification of a single set of putative target sites in amphibians and zebrafish, whereas two sets of putative target sites were identified in chicken and mammals. However, only the target site present in the chicken MYB 3'UTR that was identical to that in zebrafish was functional, despite the additional presence of mammalian target sites in chicken. This specific miR-150 site usage was not cell-type specific and persisted when the chicken c-myb 3'UTR was used in the cell system to identify mammalian target sites, showing that this miR-150 target site usage was intrinsic to the chicken c-myb 3'UTR.
Our study of the avian MYB/gga-miR-150 interaction shows a conservation of miR-150 target site functionality between chicken and zebrafish that does not extend to mammals.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are prevalent and important endogenous gene regulators in eukaryotes. MiR159 and miR319 are highly conserved miRNAs essential for plant development and fertility. Despite high similarity in conservation pattern and mature miRNA sequences, miR159 and miR319 have distinct expression patterns, targets and functions. In addition, both MIR319 and MIR159 precursors produce multiple miRNAs in a phased loop-to-base manner. Thus, MIR159 and MIR319 appear to be related in origin and considerably diverged. However the phylogeny of MIR159 and MIR319 genes and why such unusual style of miRNA production has been conserved during evolution is not well understood.
We reconstructed the phylogeny of MIR159/319 genes and analyzed their mature miRNA expression. The inferred phylogeny suggests that the MIR159/319 genes may have formed at least ten extant early-branching clades through gene duplication and loss. A series of duplications occurred in the common ancestor of seed plants leading to the original split of flowering plant MIR159 and MIR319. The results also indicate that the expression of MIR159/319 is regulated at post-transcriptional level to switch on the expression of alternative miRNAs during development in a highly spatio-temporal specific manner, and to selectively respond to the disruption of defensive siRNA pathways. Such intra-stem-loop regulation appears diverged across the early-branching clades of MIR159/319 genes.
Our results support that the MIR159 and MIR319 genes evolve from a common ancestor, which is likely to be a phased stem-loop small RNA. Through duplication and loss of genes this miRNA gene family formed clades specific to moss, lycopods, gymnosperms and angiosperms including the two major clades of flowering plants containing the founding members of MIR319 and MIR159 genes in A.thaliana. Our analyses also suggest that some MIR159/319 have evolved into unusual miRNA genes that are regulated at post-transcriptional level to express multiple mature products with variable proportions under different circumstances. Moreover, our analyses reveal conserved regulatory link of MIR159/319 genes to siRNA pathway through post-transcriptional regulation.