PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (1006909)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  miR-199a-5p Is Upregulated during Fibrogenic Response to Tissue Injury and Mediates TGFbeta-Induced Lung Fibroblast Activation by Targeting Caveolin-1 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(2):e1003291.
As miRNAs are associated with normal cellular processes, deregulation of miRNAs is thought to play a causative role in many complex diseases. Nevertheless, the precise contribution of miRNAs in fibrotic lung diseases, especially the idiopathic form (IPF), remains poorly understood. Given the poor response rate of IPF patients to current therapy, new insights into the pathogenic mechanisms controlling lung fibroblasts activation, the key cell type driving the fibrogenic process, are essential to develop new therapeutic strategies for this devastating disease. To identify miRNAs with potential roles in lung fibrogenesis, we performed a genome-wide assessment of miRNA expression in lungs from two different mouse strains known for their distinct susceptibility to develop lung fibrosis after bleomycin exposure. This led to the identification of miR-199a-5p as the best miRNA candidate associated with bleomycin response. Importantly, miR-199a-5p pulmonary expression was also significantly increased in IPF patients (94 IPF versus 83 controls). In particular, levels of miR-199a-5p were selectively increased in myofibroblasts from injured mouse lungs and fibroblastic foci, a histologic feature associated with IPF. Therefore, miR-199a-5p profibrotic effects were further investigated in cultured lung fibroblasts: miR-199a-5p expression was induced upon TGFβ exposure, and ectopic expression of miR-199a-5p was sufficient to promote the pathogenic activation of pulmonary fibroblasts including proliferation, migration, invasion, and differentiation into myofibroblasts. In addition, we demonstrated that miR-199a-5p is a key effector of TGFβ signaling in lung fibroblasts by regulating CAV1, a critical mediator of pulmonary fibrosis. Remarkably, aberrant expression of miR-199a-5p was also found in unilateral ureteral obstruction mouse model of kidney fibrosis, as well as in both bile duct ligation and CCl4-induced mouse models of liver fibrosis, suggesting that dysregulation of miR-199a-5p represents a general mechanism contributing to the fibrotic process. MiR-199a-5p thus behaves as a major regulator of tissue fibrosis with therapeutic potency to treat fibroproliferative diseases.
Author Summary
Fibrosis is the final common pathway in virtually all forms of chronic organ failure, including lung, liver, and kidney, and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Fibrosis results from the excessive activity of fibroblasts, in particular a differentiated form known as myofibroblast that is responsible for the excessive and persistent accumulation of scar tissue and ultimately organ failure. Idiopathic Lung Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic and often rapidly fatal pulmonary disorder of unknown origin characterized by fibrosis of the supporting framework (interstitium) of the lungs. Given the poor prognosis of IPF patients, new insights into the biology of (myo)fibroblasts is of major interest to develop new therapeutics aimed at reducing (myo)fibroblast activity to slow or even reverse disease progression, thereby preserving organ function and prolonging life. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of non-coding RNA recently identified, are associated with normal cellular processes; and deregulation of miRNAs plays a causative role in a vast array of complex diseases. In this study, we identified a particular miRNA: miR-199a-5p that governs lung fibroblast activation and ultimately lung fibrosis. Overall we showed that miR-199a-5p is a major regulator of fibrosis with strong therapeutic potency to treat fibroproliferative diseases such as IPF.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003291
PMCID: PMC3573122  PMID: 23459460
2.  microRNA-122 as a regulator of mitochondrial metabolic gene network in hepatocellular carcinoma 
A moderate loss of miR-122 function correlates with up-regulation of seed-matched genes and down-regulation of mitochondrially localized genes in both human hepatocellular carcinoma and in normal mice treated with anti-miR-122 antagomir.Putative direct targets up-regulated with loss of miR-122 and secondary targets down-regulated with loss of miR-122 are conserved between human beings and mice and are rapidly regulated in vitro in response to miR-122 over- and under-expression.Loss of miR-122 secondary target expression in either tumorous or adjacent non-tumorous tissue predicts poor survival of heptatocellular carcinoma patients.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most aggressive human malignancies, common in Asia, Africa, and in areas with endemic infections of hepatitis-B or -C viruses (HBV or HCV) (But et al, 2008). Globally, the 5-year survival rate of HCC is <5% and about 600 000 HCC patients die each year. The high mortality associated with this disease is mainly attributed to the failure to diagnose HCC patients at an early stage and a lack of effective therapies for patients with advanced stage HCC. Understanding the relationships between phenotypic and molecular changes in HCC is, therefore, of paramount importance for the development of improved HCC diagnosis and treatment methods.
In this study, we examined mRNA and microRNA (miRNA)-expression profiles of tumor and adjacent non-tumor liver tissue from HCC patients. The patient population was selected from a region of endemic HBV infection, and HBV infection appears to contribute to the etiology of HCC in these patients. A total of 96 HCC patients were included in the study, of which about 88% tested positive for HBV antigen; patients testing positive for HCV antigen were excluded. Among the 220 miRNAs profiled, miR-122 was the most highly expressed miRNA in liver, and its expression was decreased almost two-fold in HCC tissue relative to adjacent non-tumor tissue, confirming earlier observations (Lagos-Quintana et al, 2002; Kutay et al, 2006; Budhu et al, 2008).
Over 1000 transcripts were correlated and over 1000 transcripts were anti-correlated with miR-122 expression. Consistent with the idea that transcripts anti-correlated with miR-122 are potential miR-122 targets, the most highly anti-correlated transcripts were highly enriched for the presence of the miR-122 central seed hexamer, CACTCC, in the 3′UTR. Although the complete set of negatively correlated genes was enriched for cell-cycle genes, the subset of seed-matched genes had no significant KEGG Pathway annotation, suggesting that miR-122 is unlikely to directly regulate the cell cycle in these patients. In contrast, transcripts positively correlated with miR-122 were not enriched for 3′UTR seed matches to miR-122. Interestingly, these 1042 transcripts were enriched for genes coding for mitochondrially localized proteins and for metabolic functions.
To analyze the impact of loss of miR-122 in vivo, silencing of miR-122 was performed by antisense inhibition (anti-miR-122) in wild-type mice (Figure 3). As with the genes negatively correlated with miR-122 in HCC patients, no significant biological annotation was associated with the seed-matched genes up-regulated by anti-miR-122 in mouse livers. The most significantly enriched biological annotation for anti-miR-122 down-regulated genes, as for positively correlated genes in HCC, was mitochondrial localization; the down-regulated mitochondrial genes were enriched for metabolic functions. Putative direct and downstream targets with orthologs on both the human and mouse microarrays showed significant overlap for regulations in the same direction. These overlaps defined sets of putative miR-122 primary and secondary targets. The results were further extended in the analysis of a separate dataset from 180 HCC, 40 cirrhotic, and 6 normal liver tissue samples (Figure 4), showing anti-correlation of proposed primary and secondary targets in non-healthy tissues.
To validate the direct correlation between miR-122 and some of the primary and secondary targets, we determined the expression of putative targets after transfection of miR-122 mimetic into PLC/PRF/5 HCC cells, including the putative direct targets SMARCD1 and MAP3K3 (MEKK3), a target described in the literature, CAT-1 (SLC7A1), and three putative secondary targets, PPARGC1A (PGC-1α) and succinate dehydrogenase subunits A and B. As expected, the putative direct targets showed reduced expression, whereas the putative secondary target genes showed increased expression in cells over-expressing miR-122 (Figure 4).
Functional classification of genes using the total ancestry method (Yu et al, 2007) identified PPARGC1A (PGC-1α) as the most connected secondary target. PPARGC1A has been proposed to function as a master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis (Ventura-Clapier et al, 2008), suggesting that loss of PPARGC1A expression may contribute to the loss of mitochondrial gene expression correlated with loss of miR-122 expression. To further validate the link of miR-122 and PGC-1α protein, we transfected PLC/PRF/5 cells with miR-122-expression vector, and observed an increase in PGC-1α protein levels. Importantly, transfection of both miR-122 mimetic and miR-122-expression vector significantly reduced the lactate content of PLC/PRF/5 cells, whereas anti-miR-122 treatment increased lactate production. Together, the data support the function of miR-122 in mitochondrial metabolic functions.
Patient survival was not directly associated with miR-122-expression levels. However, miR-122 secondary targets were expressed at significantly higher levels in both tumor and adjacent non-tumor tissues among survivors as compared with deceased patients, providing supporting evidence for the potential relevance of loss of miR-122 function in HCC patient morbidity and mortality.
Overall, our findings reveal potentially new biological functions for miR-122 in liver physiology. We observed decreased expression of miR-122, a liver-specific miRNA, in HBV-associated HCC, and loss of miR-122 seemed to correlate with the decrease of mitochondrion-related metabolic pathway gene expression in HCC and in non-tumor liver tissues, a result that is consistent with the outcome of treatment of mice with anti-miR-122 and is of prognostic significance for HCC patients. Further investigation will be conducted to dissect the regulatory function of miR-122 on mitochondrial metabolism in HCC and to test whether increasing miR-122 expression can improve mitochondrial function in liver and perhaps in liver tumor tissues. Moreover, these results support the idea that primary targets of a given miRNA may be distributed over a variety of functional categories while resulting in a coordinated secondary response, potentially through synergistic action (Linsley et al, 2007).
Tumorigenesis involves multistep genetic alterations. To elucidate the microRNA (miRNA)–gene interaction network in carcinogenesis, we examined their genome-wide expression profiles in 96 pairs of tumor/non-tumor tissues from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Comprehensive analysis of the coordinate expression of miRNAs and mRNAs reveals that miR-122 is under-expressed in HCC and that increased expression of miR-122 seed-matched genes leads to a loss of mitochondrial metabolic function. Furthermore, the miR-122 secondary targets, which decrease in expression, are good prognostic markers for HCC. Transcriptome profiling data from additional 180 HCC and 40 liver cirrhotic patients in the same cohort were used to confirm the anti-correlation of miR-122 primary and secondary target gene sets. The HCC findings can be recapitulated in mouse liver by silencing miR-122 with antagomir treatment followed by gene-expression microarray analysis. In vitro miR-122 data further provided a direct link between induction of miR-122-controlled genes and impairment of mitochondrial metabolism. In conclusion, miR-122 regulates mitochondrial metabolism and its loss may be detrimental to sustaining critical liver function and contribute to morbidity and mortality of liver cancer patients.
doi:10.1038/msb.2010.58
PMCID: PMC2950084  PMID: 20739924
hepatocellular carcinoma; microarray; miR-122; mitochondrial; survival
3.  Epigenetic Regulation of miR-17∼92 Contributes to the Pathogenesis of Pulmonary Fibrosis 
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease of progressive lung fibrosis with a high mortality rate. In organ repair and remodeling, epigenetic events are important. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally and can target epigenetic molecules important in DNA methylation. The miR-17∼92 miRNA cluster is critical for lung development and lung epithelial cell homeostasis and is predicted to target fibrotic genes and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT)-1 expression.
Objectives: We investigated the miR-17∼92 cluster expression and its role in regulating DNA methylation events in IPF lung tissue.
Methods: Expression and DNA methylation patterns of miR-17∼92 were determined in human IPF lung tissue and fibroblasts and fibrotic mouse lung tissue. The relationship between the miR-17∼92 cluster and DNMT-1 expression was examined in vitro. Using a murine model of pulmonary fibrosis, we examined the therapeutic potential of the demethylating agent, 5′-aza-2′-deoxycytidine.
Measurements and Main Results: Compared with control samples, miR-17∼92 expression was reduced in lung biopsies and lung fibroblasts from patients with IPF, whereas DNMT-1 expression and methylation of the miR-17∼92 promoter was increased. Several miRNAs from the miR-17∼92 cluster targeted DNMT-1 expression resulting in a negative feedback loop. Similarly, miR-17∼92 expression was reduced in the lungs of bleomycin-treated mice. Treatment with 5′-aza-2′-deoxycytidine in a murine bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis model reduced fibrotic gene and DNMT-1 expression, enhanced miR-17∼92 cluster expression, and attenuated pulmonary fibrosis.
Conclusions: This study provides insight into the pathobiology of IPF and identifies a novel epigenetic feedback loop between miR-17∼92 and DNMT-1 in lung fibrosis.
doi:10.1164/rccm.201205-0888OC
PMCID: PMC3603596  PMID: 23306545
microRNA; miR-17∼92; pulmonary fibrosis; DNA methylation; DNMT-1
4.  miR-21 mediates fibrogenic activation of pulmonary fibroblasts and lung fibrosis 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2010;207(8):1589-1597.
Uncontrolled extracellular matrix production by fibroblasts in response to tissue injury contributes to fibrotic diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a progressive and ultimately fatal process that currently has no cure. Although dysregulation of miRNAs is known to be involved in a variety of pathophysiologic processes, the role of miRNAs in fibrotic lung diseases is unclear. In this study, we found up-regulation of miR-21 in the lungs of mice with bleomycin-induced fibrosis and also in the lungs of patients with IPF. Increased miR-21 expression was primarily localized to myofibroblasts. Administration of miR-21 antisense probes diminished the severity of experimental lung fibrosis in mice, even when treatment was started 5–7 d after initiation of pulmonary injury. TGF-β1, a central pathological mediator of fibrotic diseases, enhanced miR-21 expression in primary pulmonary fibroblasts. Increasing miR-21 levels promoted, whereas knocking down miR-21 attenuated, the pro-fibrogenic activity of TGF-β1 in fibroblasts. A potential mechanism for the role of miR-21 in fibrosis is through regulating the expression of an inhibitory Smad, Smad7. These experiments demonstrate an important role for miR-21 in fibrotic lung diseases and also suggest a novel approach using miRNA therapeutics in treating clinically refractory fibrotic diseases, such as IPF.
doi:10.1084/jem.20100035
PMCID: PMC2916139  PMID: 20643828
5.  A microRNA network functioning in the regulation of radiobiological effects 
Journal of Radiation Research  2014;55(Suppl 1):i57-i58.
MicroRNA (miRNA), a small non-coding RNA molecule, is vital in genetic regulation, and miRNA pathway, which regulates gene expression through degradation or translational suppression of their target transcripts, is highly conservative in evolution.
Although profiles of miRNAs are different in various cell types and tissues, miRNAs have been considered as a crucial class of regulators in cellular response to ionizing radiation (IR). By carrying out a series of experiments, we have found that altered transcriptional regulation network composed of radiation-mediated miRNAs regulates the expression of their downstream target genes in most biological processes to control cell growth, cell cycle and apoptosis. For example, the newly identified miR-3928 negatively regulates the expression of Dicer, which has been validated by the luciferase assay and western blotting. Dicer is not only a key participant in responding to radiation, but also a critical factor for the maturation of miRNAs, suggesting that miR-3928 affects on the expression of other miRNAs through regulating Dicer. Among the miRNAs controlled by the Dicer, we reveal that miR-185 and miR-663 can efficiently suppress ATR and TGF-β1 expression, which are both important responders in the process of radiobiological effects. Further experiments reveal that the expression of Dicer is suppressed by miR-3928 induced by IR and consequently, the maturation of other miRNAs including miR-185 and miR-663 is inhibited, resulting in the abundantly enhanced expression of ATR and TGF-β1 respectively. This mechanism to hammer at fixing DNA damage or promote cells to apoptosis caused by IR has important implications in the decision of cell fates.
Moreover, it has been shown that the expression of BTG1 is characterized in response to factors that induce growth arrest and subsequent differentiation both in vivo and in vitro, affecting cellular physiological progresses of angiogenesis, follicular development and myoblast and B cell differentiation, through regulating cell growth, migration, cell cycle, apoptosis and differentiation. BTG1 gene is phylogenetically highly conserved in its coding and 3′-untranslated region (UTR), which is considered as a decisive element involved in regulation of BTG1 expression. We present evidence that BTG1 can be induced by IR and confirm that miR-454-3p, whose gene locates in the intron of Ska2 gene, can regulate BTG1 expression through directly binding to the 3′-UTR of BTG1 mRNA. These results point out that increased expression of BTG1 caused by the down-regulation of miR-454-3p in case that IR modulates endogenous activity of PRMT1, a BTG1-binding partner, which can methylate endogenous transcription factors to change gene expression pattern and reply radiostilumation. An inverse relationship between the levels of expression of BTG1 and miR-454-3p reveals that there exists a new pathway in response to IR stimulation. Furthermore, cell growth will be transiently increased by the knockdown of BTG1 by transfecting BTG1 siRNA or miR-454-3p mimic. However, the apoptotic state of cells can be tested after 2 days. Down-regulation of BTG1 by miR-454-3p increases the sensitivity of human renal cell carcinoma 786-O cells to IR-induced apoptosis, suggesting that BTG1 could serve as a terget for sensitizing renal carcinoma to standard radiotherapy.
Taken together, all these data indicate that alteration of miRNA expression is evident in the cellular response to IR. MiR-3928, miR-185, miR-663 and miR-454-3p may constitute a complex network contributing to the regulation of radiobiological effects. It is apparent that the study of radiation-related miRNAs is beneficial to qualitatively and quantitatively modulating radiobiological effects, and also in favor of the advanced research of miRNA functions.
doi:10.1093/jrr/rrt157
PMCID: PMC3941529
microRNA; network; Dicer; BTG1; ionizing radiation
6.  MicroRNA profiling implicates the insulin-like growth factor pathway in bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice 
Background
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a disease characterized by alveolar epithelial cell injury, inflammatory cell infiltration and deposition of extracellular matrix in lung tissue. As mouse models of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis display many of the same phenotypes observed in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, they have been used to study various aspects of the disease, including altered expression of microRNAs.
Results
In this work, microRNA expression profiling of the lungs from treated C57BL/6J mice, relative to that of untreated controls, was undertaken to determine which alterations in microRNAs could in part regulate the fibrosis phenotype induced by bleomycin delivered through mini-osmotic pumps. We identified 11 microRNAs, including miR-21 and miR-34a, to be significantly differentially expressed (P < 0.01) in lungs of bleomycin treated mice and confirmed these data with real time PCR measurements. In situ hybridization of both miR-21 and miR-34a indicated that they were expressed in alveolar macrophages. Using a previously reported gene expression profile, we identified 195 genes to be both predicted targets of the 11 microRNAs and of altered expression in bleomycin-induced lung disease of C57BL/6J mice. Pathway analysis with these 195 genes indicated that altered microRNA expression may be associated with hepatocyte growth factor signaling, cholecystokinin/gastrin-mediated signaling, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) signaling, among others, in fibrotic lung disease. The relevance of the IGF-1 pathway in this model was then demonstrated by showing lung tissue of bleomycin treated C57BL/6J mice had increased expression of Igf1 and that increased numbers of Igf-1 positive cells, predominantly in macrophages, were detected in the lungs.
Conclusions
We conclude that altered microRNA expression in macrophages is a feature which putatively influences the insulin-like growth factor signaling component of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis.
doi:10.1186/1755-1536-6-16
PMCID: PMC3766165  PMID: 23987664
Pulmonary fibrosis; microRNA; Bleomycin; Insulin-like growth factor; Pathway analysis; Mouse model
7.  Integrated analyses identify the involvement of microRNA-26a in epithelial–mesenchymal transition during idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis 
Liang, H | Gu, Y | Li, T | Zhang, Y | Huangfu, L | Hu, M | Zhao, D | Chen, Y | Liu, S | Dong, Y | Li, X | Lu, Y | Yang, B | Shan, H
Cell Death & Disease  2014;5(5):e1238-.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive, and highly lethal fibrotic lung disease with poor treatment and unknown etiology. Emerging evidence suggests that epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) has an important role in repair and scar formation following epithelial injury during pulmonary fibrosis. Although some miRNAs have been shown to be dysregulated in the pathophysiological processes of IPF, limited studies have payed attention on the participation of miRNAs in EMT in lung fibrosis. In our study, we identified and constructed a regulation network of differentially expressed IPF miRNAs and EMT genes. Additionally, we found the downregulation of miR-26a in mice with experimental pulmonary fibrosis. Further studies showed that miR-26a regulated HMGA2, which is a key factor in the process of EMT and had the maximum number of regulating miRNAs in the regulation network. More importantly, inhibition of miR-26a resulted in lung epithelial cells transforming into myofibroblasts in vitro and in vivo, whereas forced expression of miR-26a alleviated TGF-β1- and BLM-induced EMT in A549 cells and in mice, respectively. Taken together, our study deciphered the essential role of miR-26a in the pathogenesis of EMT in pulmonary fibrosis, and suggests that miR-26a may be a potential therapeutic target for IPF.
doi:10.1038/cddis.2014.207
PMCID: PMC4047861  PMID: 24853416
microRNA-26a; HMGA2; EMT; Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
8.  MicroRNA-34a modulates genes involved in cellular motility and oxidative phosphorylation in neural precursors derived from human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells 
BMC Medical Genomics  2011;4:65.
Background
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) found in bone marrow (BM-MSCs) and the Wharton's jelly matrix of human umbilical cord (WJ-MSCs) are able to transdifferentiate into neuronal lineage cells both in vitro and in vivo and therefore hold the potential to treat neural disorders such as stroke or Parkinson's disease. In bone marrow MSCs, miR-130a and miR-206 have been show to regulate the synthesis of neurotransmitter substance P in human mesenchymal stem cell-derived neuronal cells. However, how neuronal differentiation is controlled in WJ-MSC remains unclear.
Methods
WJ-MSCs were isolated from human umbilical cords. We subjected WJ-MSCs into neurogenesis by a published protocol, and the miRNome patterns of WJ-MSCs and their neuronal progenitors (day 9 after differentiation) were analyzed by the Agilent microRNA microarray.
Results
Five miRNAs were enriched in WJ-MSCs, including miR-345, miR-106a, miR-17-5p, miR-20a and miR-20b. Another 11 miRNAs (miR-206, miR-34a, miR-374, miR-424, miR-100, miR-101, miR-323, miR-368, miR-137, miR-138 and miR-377) were abundantly expressed in transdifferentiated neuronal progenitors. Among these miRNAs, miR-34a and miR-206 were the only 2 miRNAs been linked to BM-MSC neurogenesis. Overexpressing miR-34a in cells suppressed the expression of 136 neuronal progenitor genes, which all possess putative miR-34a binding sites. Gene enrichment analysis according to the Gene Ontology database showed that those 136 genes were associated with cell motility, energy production (including those with oxidative phosphorylation, electron transport and ATP synthesis) and actin cytoskeleton organization, indicating that miR-34a plays a critical role in precursor cell migration. Knocking down endogenous miR-34a expression in WJ-MSCs resulted in the augment of WJ-MSC motility.
Conclusions
Our data suggest a critical role of miRNAs in MSC neuronal differentiation, and miR-34a contributes in neuronal precursor motility, which may be crucial for stem cells to home to the target sites they should be.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-4-65
PMCID: PMC3195087  PMID: 21923954
9.  Transforming growth factor-β1 selectively inhibits hepatocyte growth factor expression via a micro-RNA-199–dependent posttranscriptional mechanism 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(13):2088-2097.
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a multipotent endogenous repair factor. The profibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 inhibits HGF expression by a micro-RNA-199 (miR-199)-dependent posttranscriptional mechanism. In contrast, NK2, a truncated isoform of HGF that inhibits normal repair, is protected from TGF-β1–induced downregulation by miR-199.
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a multipotent endogenous repair factor secreted primarily by mesenchymal cells with effects on cells expressing its receptor, Met. HGF promotes normal tissue regeneration and inhibits fibrotic remodeling in part by promoting proliferation and migration of endothelial and epithelial cells and protecting these cells from apoptosis. HGF also inhibits myofibroblast proliferation. The profibrotic cytokine transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) suppresses HGF expression but not the expression of NK2, an HGF splice variant that antagonizes HGF-induced proliferation. We investigated the mechanism for differential regulation of HGF and NK2 by TGF-β1. TGF-β1 down-regulated HGF in primary human adult pulmonary fibroblasts (HLFb) and increased the expression of miR-199a-3p, a microRNA (miRNA) associated with fibrotic remodeling. HGF and NK2 contain completely different 3′ untranslated regions (UTRs), and we determined that miR-199a-3p targeted HGF mRNA for suppression but not NK2. A pre–miR-199 mimic inhibited the expression of a luciferase reporter harboring the HGF 3′ UTR but not a pmirGLO reporter containing the NK2 3′ UTR. In contrast, an anti-miRNA inhibitor specific for miR-199a-3p prevented TGF-β1–induced reduction of both HGF mRNA and HGF protein secretion. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that HGF is distinctly regulated at the posttranscriptional level from its antagonist NK2.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E13-01-0017
PMCID: PMC3694793  PMID: 23657814
10.  Conjunctival MicroRNA Expression in Inflammatory Trachomatous Scarring 
Purpose
Trachoma is a fibrotic disease of the conjunctiva initiated by Chlamydia trachomatis infection. This blinding disease affects over 40 million people worldwide yet the mechanisms underlying its pathogenesis remain poorly understood. We have investigated host microRNA (miR) expression in health (N) and disease (conjunctival scarring with (TSI) and without (TS) inflammation) to determine if these epigenetic differences are associated with pathology.
Methods
We collected two independent samples of human conjunctival swab specimens from individuals living in The Gambia (n = 63 & 194). miR was extracted, and we investigated the expression of 754 miR in the first sample of 63 specimens (23 N, 17 TS, 23 TSI) using Taqman qPCR array human miRNA genecards. Network and pathway analysis was performed on this dataset. Seven miR that were significantly differentially expressed between different phenotypic groups were then selected for validation by qPCR in the second sample of 194 specimens (93 N, 74 TS, 22 TSI).
Results
Array screening revealed differential expression of 82 miR between N, TS and TSI phenotypes (fold change >3, p<0.05). Predicted mRNA targets of these miR were enriched in pathways involved in fibrosis and epithelial cell differentiation. Two miR were confirmed as being differentially expressed upon validation by qPCR. miR-147b is significantly up-regulated in TSI versus N (fold change = 2.3, p = 0.03) and miR-1285 is up-regulated in TSI versus TS (fold change = 4.6, p = 0.005), which was consistent with the results of the qPCR array.
Conclusions
miR-147b and miR-1285 are up-regulated in inflammatory trachomatous scarring. Further investigation of the function of these miR will aid our understanding of the pathogenesis of trachoma.
Author Summary
Trachoma is a debilitating disease that affects 40 million people worldwide. It can cause progressive fibrosis of the upper eyelid and blindness, yet the mechanism is poorly understood. We have investigated the expression of short sequences of genetic material (microRNA) that regulate gene expression. We screened for the expression of 754 microRNA sequences (miR) in genetic material isolated from conjunctival swab samples from individuals in trachoma-endemic communities in The Gambia. This sample included healthy controls, individuals with trachomatous scarring and individuals with trachomatous scarring in the presence of clinically significant inflammation. We found 82 miR that were differentially expressed. Computer simulations predict that these miR regulate genes in epithelial cell differentiation, inflammation and fibrosis pathways, all of which are involved in the scarring process. We then validated the expression of seven of these differentially expressed miR in a second larger biological sample set from The Gambia. We confirmed that miR-147b and miR-1285 have increased expression in individuals with trachomatous scarring in the presence of clinically significant inflammation. Further investigation into the functions of these miR will aid our understanding of this disease and present opportunities to develop treatments for ocular fibrotic diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002117
PMCID: PMC3597489  PMID: 23516655
11.  A component of the mir-17-92 polycistronic oncomir promotes oncogene-dependent apoptosis 
eLife  2013;2:e00822.
mir-17-92, a potent polycistronic oncomir, encodes six mature miRNAs with complex modes of interactions. In the Eμ-myc Burkitt’s lymphoma model, mir-17-92 exhibits potent oncogenic activity by repressing c-Myc-induced apoptosis, primarily through its miR-19 components. Surprisingly, mir-17-92 also encodes the miR-92 component that negatively regulates its oncogenic cooperation with c-Myc. This miR-92 effect is, at least in part, mediated by its direct repression of Fbw7, which promotes the proteosomal degradation of c-Myc. Thus, overexpressing miR-92 leads to aberrant c-Myc increase, imposing a strong coupling between excessive proliferation and p53-dependent apoptosis. Interestingly, miR-92 antagonizes the oncogenic miR-19 miRNAs; and such functional interaction coordinates proliferation and apoptosis during c-Myc-induced oncogenesis. This miR-19:miR-92 antagonism is disrupted in B-lymphoma cells that favor a greater increase of miR-19 over miR-92. Altogether, we suggest a new paradigm whereby the unique gene structure of a polycistronic oncomir confers an intricate balance between oncogene and tumor suppressor crosstalk.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00822.001
eLife digest
The role of genes, in very simple terms, is to be transcribed into messenger RNA molecules, which are then translated into strings of amino acids that fold into proteins. Each of these steps is extremely complex, and a wide range of other molecules can speed up, slow down, stop or otherwise disrupt the expression of genes as protein products. Genes can also code for nucleic acids that are not translated into proteins, such as microRNAs. These are small RNA molecules that can reduce the production of proteins by repressing the translation step and/or by partially degrading the messenger RNA molecules.
mir-17-92 is a gene that exemplifies much of this complexity. It codes for six different microRNAs in a single primary transcript, and has been implicated in a number of cancers, including lung cancer, Burkitt’s lymphoma and other forms of lymphomas and leukemia. One of six microRNAs has a longer evolutionary history than the remaining five: mir-92 is found in vertebrates, chordates and invertebrates, whereas the other five are only found in vertebrates. However, it is not known how or why the mir-17-92 gene evolved to code for multiple different microRNAs.
Olive et al. have studied how these mir-17-92 microRNAs functionally interact in mice with Burkitt’s lymphoma, a form of cancer that is associated with a gene called c-Myc being over-activated. Mutations in this gene promote the proliferation of cells, and in cooperation with other genetic lesions, this ultimately leads to cancer. mir-17-92 is implicated in this cancer because it represses the process of programmed cell death (which is induced by the protein c-Myc) that the body employs to stop tumors growing.
Olive et al. found that deleting one of the six microRNAs, miR-92, increased the tendency of the mir-17-92 gene to promote Burkitt’s lymphoma. By repressing an enzyme called Fbw7, miR-92 causes high levels of c-Myc to be produced. While this leads to the uncontrolled proliferation of cells that promotes cancer, it also increases programmed cell death, at least in part, by activating the p53 pathway, a well-known tumor suppression pathway. The experiments also revealed that the action of miR-92 and that of one of the other microRNAs, miR-19, were often opposed to each other. These findings have revealed an unexpected interaction among different components within a single microRNA gene, which acts to maintain an intricate balance between pathways that promote and suppress cancer.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00822.002
doi:10.7554/eLife.00822
PMCID: PMC3796314  PMID: 24137534
microRNAs; c-Myc; Eμ-myc lymphoma; apoptosis; p53; Mouse
12.  miR-300 inhibits epithelial to mesenchymal transition and metastasis by targeting Twist in human epithelial cancer 
Molecular Cancer  2014;13:121.
Background
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key step of the progression of tumor cell metastasis. Recent work has demonstrated some miRNAs play critical roles in EMT. In this study, we focused on the roles of miR-300 in regulating EMT.
Methods
The expression levels of miR-300 were examined in epithelial carcinoma cells that underwent an EMT using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR. The role of miR-300 in EMT was investigated by transfection of the miR-300 mimic or inhibitor in natural epithelial-mesenchymal phenotype cell line pairs and in transforming growth factor (TGF) beta-induced EMT cell models. A luciferase reporter assay and a rescue experiment were conducted to confirm the target gene of miR-300. The efficacy of miR-300 against tumor invasion and metastasis was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. Correlation analysis between miR-300 expression and the expression levels of its target gene, as well as tumor metastasis was performed in specimens from patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
Results
MiR-300 was found down-regulated in the HNSCC cells and breast cancer cells that underwent EMT. Ectopic expression of miR-300 effectively blocked TGF-beta-induced EMT and reversed the phenotype of EMT in HN-12 and MDA-MB-231 cells, but inhibition of miR-300 in the epithelial phenotype cells, HN-4 and MCF-7 cells, could induce EMT. The luciferase reporter assay and the rescue assay results showed that miR-300 directly targets the 3′UTR of Twist. Enforced miR-300 expression suppressed cell invasion in vitro and experimental metastasis in vivo. Clinically, miR-300 expression was found inversely correlated with Twist expression and reduced miR-300 was associated with metastasis in patient specimens.
Conclusions
Down-regulation of miR-300 is required for EMT initiation and maintenance. MiR-300 may negatively regulate EMT by direct targeting Twist and therefore inhibit cancer cell invasion and metastasis, which implicates miR-300 as an attractive candidate for cancer therapy.
doi:10.1186/1476-4598-13-121
PMCID: PMC4040483  PMID: 24885626
microRNA; EMT; Metastasis
13.  Identification of deregulated miRNAs and their targets in hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma 
AIM: To identify the differentially expressed miRNAs and their targets in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: Six hundred and sixty seven human miRNAs were quantitatively analyzed by Taqman low-density miRNA array (TLDA) in HBV-HCC tissues. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses were used to analyze the significant function and pathway of the differentially expressed miRNAs in HBV-HCC. TargetScan software was used to predict the targets of deregulated miRNAs. Western blotting and luciferase assay were performed to verify the targets of these miRNAs.
RESULTS: Ten up-regulated miRNAs (miR-217, miR-518b, miR-517c, miR-520g, miR-519a, miR-522, miR-518e, miR-525-3p, miR-512-3p, and miR-518a-3p) and 11 down-regulated miRNAs (miR-138, miR-214, miR-214#, miR-199a-5p, miR-433, miR-511, miR-592, miR-483-3p, miR-483-5p, miR-708 and miR-1275) were identified by Taqman miRNAs array and confirmed quantitatively by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in HCC and adjacent non-tumor tissues. GO and KEGG pathway analysis revealed that “regulation of actin cytoskeleton” and “pathway in cancer” are most likely to play critical roles in HCC tumorigenesis. MiR-519a and ribosomal protein S6 kinase polypeptide 3 (RPS6KA3) were predicted as the most significant candidates by miRNA-mRNA network. In addition, cyclin D3 (CCND3) and clathrin heavy chain (CHC), usually up-regulated in HCC tissues, were validated as the direct target of miR-138 and miR-199a-5p, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest an importance of miR-138 and miR-199a-5p as well as their targets CCND3 and CHC in HCC tumorigenesis, and may provide more evidence for reliability of integrative bioinformatics analysis.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v18.i38.5442
PMCID: PMC3471114  PMID: 23082062
Hepatocellular carcinoma; miR-138; miR-199a-5p; Cyclin D3; Clathrin heavy chain; Bioinformatics; Taqman array
14.  Identification of Keratinocyte Growth Factor as a Target of microRNA-155 in Lung Fibroblasts: Implication in Epithelial-Mesenchymal Interactions 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(8):e6718.
Background
Epithelial-mesenchymal interactions are critical in regulating many aspects of vertebrate embryo development, and for the maintenance of homeostatic equilibrium in adult tissues. The interactions between epithelium and mesenchyme are believed to be mediated by paracrine signals such as cytokines and extracellular matrix components secreted from fibroblasts that affect adjacent epithelia. In this study, we sought to identify the repertoire of microRNAs (miRNAs) in normal lung human fibroblasts and their potential regulation by the cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β and TGF-β.
Methodology/Principal Findings
MiR-155 was significantly induced by inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β while it was down-regulated by TGF-β. Ectopic expression of miR-155 in human fibroblasts induced modulation of a large set of genes related to “cell to cell signalling”, “cell morphology” and “cellular movement”. This was consistent with an induction of caspase-3 activity and with an increase in cell migration in fibroblasts tranfected with miR-155. Using different miRNA bioinformatic target prediction tools, we found a specific enrichment for miR-155 predicted targets among the population of down-regulated transcripts. Among fibroblast-selective targets, one interesting hit was keratinocyte growth factor (KGF, FGF-7), a member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, which owns two potential binding sites for miR-155 in its 3′-UTR. Luciferase assays experimentally validated that miR-155 can efficiently target KGF 3′-UTR. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that only one out of the 2 potential sites was truly functional. Functional in vitro assays experimentally validated that miR-155 can efficiently target KGF 3′-UTR. Furthermore, in vivo experiments using a mouse model of lung fibrosis showed that miR-155 expression level was correlated with the degree of lung fibrosis.
Conclusions/Significance
Our results strongly suggest a physiological function of miR-155 in lung fibroblasts. Altogether, this study implicates this miRNA in the regulation by mesenchymal cells of surrounding lung epithelium, making it a potential key player during tissue injury.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006718
PMCID: PMC2726943  PMID: 19701459
15.  Identification of a set of miRNAs differentially expressed in transiently TIA-depleted HeLa cells by genome-wide profiling 
Background
T-cell intracellular antigen (TIA) proteins function as regulators of cell homeostasis. These proteins control gene expression globally at multiple levels in response to dynamic regulatory changes and environmental stresses. Herein we identified a micro(mi)RNA signature associated to transiently TIA-depleted HeLa cells and analyzed the potential role of miRNAs combining genome-wide analysis data on mRNA and miRNA profiles.
Results
Using high-throughput miRNA expression profiling, transient depletion of TIA-proteins in HeLa cells was observed to promote significant and reproducible changes affecting to a pool of up-regulated miRNAs involving miR-30b-3p, miR125a-3p, miR-193a-5p, miR-197-3p, miR-203a, miR-210, miR-371-5p, miR-373-5p, miR-483-5p, miR-492, miR-498, miR-503-5p, miR-572, miR-586, miR-612, miR-615-3p, miR-623, miR-625-5p, miR-629-5p, miR-638, miR-658, miR-663a, miR-671-5p, miR-769-3p and miR-744-5p. Some up-regulated and unchanged miRNAs were validated and previous results confirmed by reverse transcription and real time PCR. By target prediction of the miRNAs and combined analysis of the genome-wide expression profiles identified in TIA-depleted HeLa cells, we detected connections between up-regulated miRNAs and potential target genes. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database analysis suggest that target genes are related with biological processes associated to the regulation of DNA-dependent transcription, signal transduction and multicellular organismal development as well as with the enrichment of pathways involved in cancer, focal adhesion, regulation of actin cytoskeleton, endocytosis and MAPK and Wnt signaling pathways, respectively. When the collection of experimentally defined differentially expressed genes in TIA-depleted HeLa cells was intersected with potential target genes only 7 out of 68 (10%) up- and 71 out of 328 (22%) down-regulated genes were shared. GO and KEGG database analyses showed that the enrichment categories of biological processes and cellular pathways were related with innate immune response, signal transduction, response to interleukin-1, glomerular basement membrane development as well as neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, endocytosis, lysosomes and apoptosis, respectively.
Conclusion
All this considered, these observations suggest that individual miRNAs could act as potential mediators of the epigenetic switch linking transcriptomic dynamics and cell phenotypes mediated by TIA proteins.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-14-4
PMCID: PMC3600012  PMID: 23387986
TIA1; TIAR; miRNAs; Gene regulatory networks
16.  MicroRNA 16 Modulates Epithelial Sodium Channel in Human Alveolar Epithelial Cells 
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a devastating disease characterized by pulmonary edema. Removal of edema from the air spaces is a critical function of the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) in ALI. The molecular mechanisms behind resolution of pulmonary edema are incompletely understood. MicroRNA’s (miRNA) are crucial gene regulators and are dysregulated in various diseases including ALI. Recent studies suggest that microRNA-16 (miR-16) targets serotonin transporter (SERT) involved in the serotonin (5-HT) transmitter system. Alterations in serotonin levels have been reported in various pulmonary diseases. However, the role of miR-16 on its target SERT, and ENaC, a key ion channel involved in the resolution of pulmonary edema, have not been studied. In the present study, the expression patterns of miR-16, SERT, ENaC and serotonin were investigated in mice exposed to room air and hyperoxia. The effects of miR-16 overexpression on ENaC, SERT, TGF-β and Nedd4 in human alveolar epithelial cells were analyzed. miR-16 and ENaC were downregulated in mice exposed to hyperoxia. miR-16 downregulation in mouse lung was correlated with an increase in SERT expression and pulmonary edema. Overexpression of miR-16 in human alveolar epithelial cells (A549) suppressed SERT and increased ENaCβ levels when compared to control-vector transfected cells. In addition, miR-16 over expression suppressed TGFβ release, a critical inhibitor of ENaC. Interestingly Nedd4, a negative regulator of ENaC remained unaltered in miR-16 over expressed A549 cells when compared to controls. Taken together, our data suggests that miR-16 upregulates ENaC, a major sodium channel involved in resolution of pulmonary edema in ALI.
doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.08.063
PMCID: PMC3536022  PMID: 22940131
Acute lung injury; Hyperoxia; Pulmonary edema; Ion transport; Ion channels
17.  miR-200a Prevents Renal Fibrogenesis Through Repression of TGF-β2 Expression 
Diabetes  2010;60(1):280-287.
OBJECTIVE
Progressive fibrosis in the diabetic kidney is driven and sustained by a diverse range of profibrotic factors. This study examines the critical role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the regulation of the key fibrotic mediators, TGF-β1 and TGF-β2.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Rat proximal-tubular epithelial cells (NRK52E) were treated with TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 for 3 days, and expression of markers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and fibrogenesis were assessed by RT-PCR and Western blotting. The expression of miR-141 and miR-200a was also assessed, as was their role as translational repressors of TGF-β signaling. Finally, these pathways were explored in two different mouse models, representing early and advanced diabetic nephropathy.
RESULTS
Both TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 induced EMT and fibrogenesis in NRK52E cells. TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 also downregulated expression of miR-200a. The importance of these changes was demonstrated by the finding that ectopic expression miR-200a downregulated smad-3 activity and the expression of matrix proteins and prevented TGF-β–dependent EMT. miR-200a also downregulated the expression of TGF-β2, via direct interaction with the 3′ untranslated region of TGF-β2. The renal expression of miR-141 and miR-200a was also reduced in mouse models representing early and advanced kidney disease.
CONCLUSIONS
miR-200a and miR-141 significantly impact on the development and progression of TGF-β–dependent EMT and fibrosis in vitro and in vivo. These miRNAs appear to be intricately involved in fibrogenesis, both as downstream mediators of TGF-β signaling and as components of feedback regulation, and as such represent important new targets for the prevention of progressive kidney disease in the context of diabetes.
doi:10.2337/db10-0892
PMCID: PMC3012183  PMID: 20952520
18.  Modulation of the Osteosarcoma Expression Phenotype by MicroRNAs 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e48086.
Background
Osteosarcomas are the most common primary malignant tumors of bone and show multiple and complex genomic aberrations. miRNAs are non-coding RNAs capable of regulating gene expression at the post transcriptional level, and miRNAs and their target genes may represent novel therapeutic targets or biomarkers for osteosarcoma. In order to investigate the involvement of miRNAs in osteosarcoma development, global microarray analyses of a panel of 19 human osteosarcoma cell lines was performed.
Principal findings
We identified 177 miRNAs that were differentially expressed in osteosarcoma cell lines relative to normal bone. Among these, miR-126/miR-126*, miR-142-3p, miR-150, miR-223, miR-486-5p and members of the miR-1/miR-133a, miR-144/miR-451, miR-195/miR-497 and miR-206/miR-133b clusters were found to be downregulated in osteosarcoma cell lines. All miRNAs in the paralogous clusters miR-17-92, miR-106b-25 and miR-106a-92 were overexpressed. Furthermore, the upregulated miRNAs included miR-9/miR-9*, miR-21*, miR-31/miR-31*, miR-196a/miR-196b, miR-374a and members of the miR-29 and miR-130/301 families. The most interesting inversely correlated miRNA/mRNA pairs in osteosarcoma cell lines included miR-9/TGFBR2 and miR-29/p85α regulatory subunit of PI3K. PTEN mRNA correlated inversely with miR-92a and members of the miR-17 and miR-130/301 families. Expression profiles of selected miRNAs were confirmed in clinical samples. A set of miRNAs, miR-1, miR-18a, miR-18b, miR-19b, miR-31, miR-126, miR-142-3p, miR-133b, miR-144, miR-195, miR-223, miR-451 and miR-497 was identified with an intermediate expression level in osteosarcoma clinical samples compared to osteoblasts and bone, which may reflect the differentiation level of osteosarcoma relative to the undifferentiated osteoblast and fully differentiated normal bone. Significance: This study provides an integrated analysis of miRNA and mRNA in osteosarcoma, and gives new insight into the complex genetic mechanisms of osteosarcoma development and progression.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048086
PMCID: PMC3485010  PMID: 23133552
19.  Hepatitis C Virus Induced miR200c Down Modulates FAP-1, a Negative Regulator of Src Signaling and Promotes Hepatic Fibrosis 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70744.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) induced liver disease is the leading indication for liver transplantation (LTx). Reinfection and accelerated development of fibrosis is a universal phenomenon following LTx. The molecular events that lead to fibrosis following HCV infection still remains poorly defined. In this study, we determined microRNA (miRNA) and mRNA expression profiles in livers from chronic HCV patients and normals using microarrays. Using Genego software and pathway finder we performed an interactive analysis to identify target genes that are modulated by miRNAs. 22 miRNAs were up regulated (>2 fold) and 35 miRNAs were down regulated (>2fold) compared to controls. Liver from HCV patients demonstrated increased expression of 306 genes (>3 fold) and reduced expression of 133 genes (>3 fold). Combinatorial analysis of the networks modulated by the miRNAs identified regulation of the phospholipase C pathway (miR200c, miR20b, and miR31through cellular proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src (cSrc)), response to growth factors and hormones (miR141, miR107 and miR200c through peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha and extracellular-signal-regulated kinases, and regulation of cellular proliferation (miR20b, miR10b, and miR141 through cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1 or CDK-interacting protein 1 p21). Real time PCR (RT-PCR) validation of the miRNA in HCV infected livers demonstrated a 3.3 ±0.9 fold increase in miR200c. In vitro transfection of fibroblasts with miR200c resulted in a 2.2 fold reduction in expression of tyrosine-protein phosphatase non-receptor type 13 or FAS associated phosphatase 1 (FAP-1) and 2.3 fold increase in expression of cSrc. miR200c transfection resulted in significant increases in expression of collagen and fibroblast growth factor (2.8 and 3.4 fold, p<0.05). Therefore, we propose that HCV induced increased expression of miR200c can down modulate the expression of FAP1, a critical regulator of Src and MAP kinase pathway that play an important role in the production of fibrogenic growth factors and development of fibrosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070744
PMCID: PMC3741284  PMID: 23950995
20.  MicroRNA signatures associate with pathogenesis and progression of osteosarcoma 
Cancer Research  2012;72(7):1865-1877.
Osteosarcoma remains a leading cause of cancer death in adolescents. Treatment paradigms and survival rates have not improved in two decades. Driving the lack of therapeutic inroads, the molecular etiology of osteosarcoma remains elusive. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have demonstrated far-reaching effects on the cellular biology of development and cancer. Their role in osteosarcomagenesis remains largely unexplored. Here we identify for the first time an miRNA signature reflecting the pathogenesis of osteosarcoma from surgically procured samples from human patients. The signature includes high expression of miR-181a, miR-181b, and miR-181c as well as reduced expression of miR-16, miR-29b, and miR-142-5p. We also demonstrate that miR-181b and miR-29b exhibit restricted expression to distinct cell populations in the tumor tissue. Further, higher expression of miR-27a and miR-181c* in pre-treatment biopsy samples characterized patients who developed clinical metastatic disease. In addition, higher expression of miR-451 and miR-15b in pre-treatment samples correlated with subsequent positive response to chemotherapy. In vitro and in vivo functional validation in osteosarcoma cell lines confirmed the tumor suppressive role of miR-16 and the pro-metastatic role of miR-27a. Furthermore, predicted target genes for miR-16 and miR-27a were confirmed as down-regulated by real-time PCR. Affymetrix array profiling of cDNAs from the osteosarcoma specimens and controls were interrogated according to predicted targets of miR-16, miR142-5p, miR-29b, miR-181a/b, and miR-27a. This analysis revealed positive and negative correlations highlighting pathways of known importance to osteosarcoma, as well as novel genes. Thus, our findings establish a miRNA signature associated with pathogenesis of osteosarcoma as well as critical pre-treatment biomarkers of metastasis and responsiveness to therapy.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-2663
PMCID: PMC3328547  PMID: 22350417
osteosarcoma; microRNA; chemotherapy; metastasis-related miRs; gene array
21.  Loss of post-transcriptional regulation of DNMT3b by microRNAs: A possible molecular mechanism for the hypermethylation defect observed in a subset of breast cancer cell lines 
International Journal of Oncology  2012;41(2):721-732.
A hypermethylation defect associated with DNMT hyperactivity and DNMT3b overexpression characterizes a subset of breast cancers and breast cancer cell lines. We analyzed breast cancer cell lines for differential expression of regulatory miRs to determine if loss of miR-mediated post-transcriptional regulation of DNMT3b represents the molecular mechanism that governs the overexpression of DNMT3b that drives the hypermethylation defect in breast cancer. MicroRNAs (miRs) that regulate (miR-29a, miR-29b, miR-29c, miR-148a, miR-148b) or are predicted (miR-26a, miR-26b, miR-203, miR-222) to regulate DNMT3b were examined among 10 hypermethylator and 6 non-hypermethylator breast cancer cell lines. Hypermethylator cell lines express diminished levels of miR-29c, miR-148a, miR-148b, miR-26a, miR-26b, and miR-203 compared to non-hypermethylator cell lines. miR expression patterns correlate inversely with methylation-sensitive gene expression (r=−0.66, p=0.0056) and directly with the methylation status of these genes (r=0.72, p=0.002). To determine the mechanistic role of specific miRs in the dysregulation of DNMT3b among breast cancer cell lines, miR levels were modulated by transfection of pre-miR precursors for miR-148b, miR-26b, and miR-29c into hypermethylator cell lines (Hs578T, HCC1937, SUM185) and transfection of antagomirs directed against miR-148b, miR-26b, and miR-29c into non-hypermethylator cell lines (BT20, MDA-MB-415, MDA-MB-468). Antagomir-mediated knock-down of miR-148b, miR-29c, and miR-26b significantly increased DNMT3b mRNA in non-hypermethylator cell lines, and re-expression of miR-148b, miR-29c, and miR-26b following transfection of pre-miR precursors significantly reduced DNMT3b mRNA in hypermethylator cell lines. These findings strongly suggest that: i) post-transcriptional regulation of DNMT3b is combinatorial, ii) diminished expression of regulatory miRs contributes to DNMT3b overexpression, iii) re-expression of regulatory miRs reduces DNMT3b mRNA levels in hypermethylator breast cancer cell lines, and iv) down-regulation of regulatory miRs increases DNMT3b mRNA levels in non-hypermethylator breast cancer cell lines. In conlcusion, the molecular mechanism governing the DNMT3b-mediated hypermethylation defect in breast cancer cell lines involves the loss of post-transcriptional regulation of DNMT3b by regulatory miRs.
doi:10.3892/ijo.2012.1505
PMCID: PMC3982716  PMID: 22664488
hypermethylator phenotype; DNMT3b; microRNAs; breast cancer
22.  TGFβR2 is a major target of miR-93 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma aggressiveness 
Molecular Cancer  2014;13:51.
Background
MiR-17-92 cluster and its paralogues have emerged as crucial regulators of many oncogenes and tumor suppressors. Transforming growth factor-β receptor II (TGFβR2), as an important tumor suppressor, is involved in various cancer types. However, it is in cancer that only two miRNAs of this cluster and its paralogues have been reported so far to regulate TGFβR2. MiR-93 is oncogenic, but its targetome in cancer has not been fully defined. The role of miR-93 in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) still remains largely unknown.
Methods
We firstly evaluated the clinical signature of TGFβR2 down-regulation in clinical samples, and next used a miRNA expression profiling analysis followed by multi-validations, including Luciferase reporter assay, to identify miRNAs targeting TGFβR2 in NPC. In vitro and in vivo studies were performed to further investigate the effects of miRNA-mediated TGFβR2 down-regulation on NPC aggressiveness. Finally, mechanism studies were conducted to explore the associated pathway and genes influenced by this miRNA-mediated TGFβR2 down-regulation.
Results
TGFβR2 was down-regulated in more than 50% of NPC patients. It is an unfavorable prognosis factor contributing to clinical NPC aggressiveness. A cluster set of 4 TGFβR2-associated miRNAs was identified; they are all from miR-17-92 cluster and its paralogues, of which miR-93 was one of the most significant miRNAs, directly targeting TGFβR2, promoting cell proliferation, invasion and metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, miR-93 resulted in the attenuation of Smad-dependent TGF-β signaling and the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway by suppressing TGFβR2, further promoting NPC cell uncontrolled growth, invasion, metastasis and EMT-like process. Impressively, the knockdown of TGFβR2 by siRNA displayed a consentaneous phenocopy with the effect of miR-93 in NPC cells, supporting TGFβR2 is a major target of miR-93. Our findings were also substantiated by investigation of the clinical signatures of miR-93 and TGFβR2 in NPC.
Conclusion
The present study reports an involvement of miR-93-mediated TGFβR2 down-regulation in NPC aggressiveness, thus giving extended insights into molecular mechanisms underlying cancer aggressiveness. Approaches aimed at blocking miR-93 may serve as a promising therapeutic strategy for treating NPC patients.
doi:10.1186/1476-4598-13-51
PMCID: PMC4016586  PMID: 24606633
miR-93; TGFβR2; Aggressiveness; PI3K/Akt; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
23.  microRNA-30b/c inhibits non-small cell lung cancer cell proliferation by targeting Rab18 
BMC Cancer  2014;14(1):703.
Background
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that post-transcriptional regulate gene expression in a variety of cancers. Increasing evidences indicate that miR-30 expression is down-regulated in numerous human cancers including non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) which hypothesizes that miR-30 may play an important role in tumorigenesis. The aim of this study was to investigate the target gene of miR-30 and its roles in tumor growth of NSCLC.
Methods
Luciferase reporter assays were employed to validate regulation of a putative target of miR-30. The effect of miR-30 on endogenous levels of this target were subsequently confirmed via Western blot (WB). Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was performed to determine the expression level of miR-30 in NSCLC specimens and adjacent non-tumor tissues. MTT assays were conducted to explore the impact of miR-30 overexpression on the proliferation of human NSCLC cells.
Results
Both miR-30b and miR-30c (miR-30b/c) were found having target site in same region of Rab18 mRNA. Luciferase assays using a reporter carrying a putative miR-30b/c target site in the coding DNA sequence (CDS) region of Rab18 revealed that miR-30b/c directly targeted Rab18. Overexpression of miR-30b/c led to down-regulation of Rab18 in A549 and H23 cells at protein levels but not mRNA levels. Down-regulation of miR-30b/c and up-regulation of Rab18 protein levels were detected in NSCLC specimens compared with adjacent non-tumor tissues. Overexpression of miR-30b/c suppressed NSCLC cells growth. Knockdown of Rab18 by siRNA significantly inhibited the proliferation of NSCLC cells.
Conclusions
We demonstrated that miR-30b/c was down-regulated in NSCLC specimens compared with adjacent non-tumor tissues. miR-30b/c directly targeted and down-regulated Rab18 expression and inhibited NSCLC cells proliferation. These data indicated that miR-30b/c could serve as a tumor suppressor gene involved in NSCLC pathogenesis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-703
PMCID: PMC4180967  PMID: 25249344
miR-30b; miR-30c; Proliferation; Rab18; NSCLC
24.  MicroRNA and mRNA expression profiling in rat acute respiratory distress syndrome 
BMC Medical Genomics  2014;7:46.
Background
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by pulmonary epithelial injury and extensive inflammation of the pulmonary parenchyma. Systematic analyses of microRNA (miRNA) and mRNA expression profiling in ARDS provide insights into understanding of molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of ARDS. The objective of this study was to identify miRNA and mRNA interactions in a rat model of ARDS by combining miRNA and mRNA microarray analyses.
Methods
Rat model of ARDS was induced by saline lavage and mechanical ventilation. The expression profiles of both mRNAs and miRNAs in rat ARDS model were performed by microarray analyses. Microarray data were further verified by quantitative RT-PCR. Functional annotation on dys-regulated mRNAs and miRNAs was carried out by bioinformatics analysis.
Results
The expression of 27 miRNAs and 37 mRNAs were found to be significantly changed. The selected miRNAs and genes were further verified by quantitative real-time PCR. The down-regulated miRNAs included miR-24, miR-26a, miR-126, and Let-7a, b, c, f. The up-regulated miRNAs were composed of miR-344, miR-346, miR-99a, miR-127, miR-128b, miR-135b, and miR-30a/b. Gene ontology and functional annotation analyses indicated that up-regulated mRNAs, such as Apc, Timp1, and Sod2, were involved in the regulation of apoptosis. Bioinformatics analysis showed the inverse correlation of altered miRNAs with the expression of their predicted target mRNAs. While Sod2 was inversely correlated with Let-7a, b, c, f., Ebf1 and Apc were inversely correlated with miR-24 and miR-26a, respectively. miR-26a, miR-346, miR-135b, miR-30a/b, miR-344, and miR-18a targeted multiple altered mRNAs. Gabrb1, Sod2, Eif2ak1, Fbln5, and Tspan8 were targeted by multiple altered miRNAs.
Conclusion
The expressions of miRNAs and mRNAs were altered in a rat model of ARDS. The identified miRNA-mRNA pairs may play critical roles in the pathogenesis of ARDS.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-7-46
PMCID: PMC4128536  PMID: 25070658
MicroRNA; mRNA; Microarray; ARDS
25.  MicroRNA-196a promotes non-small cell lung cancer cell proliferation and invasion through targeting HOXA5 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:348.
Background
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, non-coding RNAs (~22 nt) that play important roles in the pathogenesis of human diseases by negatively regulating gene expression. Although miR-196a has been implicated in several other cancers, its role in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is unknown. The aim of the present study was to examine the expression pattern of miR-196a in NSCLC and its clinical significance, as well as its biological role in tumor progression.
Methods
Expression of miR-196a was analyzed in 34 NSCLC tissues and five NSCLC cell lines by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The effect of DNA methylation on miR-196a expression was investigated by 5-aza-2-deoxy-cytidine treatment and bisulfite sequencing. The effect of miR-196a on proliferation was evaluated by MTT and colony formation assays, and cell migration and invasion were evaluated by transwell assays. Analysis of target protein expression was determined by western blotting. Luciferase reporter plasmids were constructed to confirm the action of miR-196a on downstream target genes, including HOXA5. Differences between the results were tested for significance using Student’s t-test (two-tailed).
Results
miR-196a was highly expressed both in NSCLC samples and cell lines compared with their corresponding normal counterparts, and the expression of miR-196a may be affected by DNA demethylation. Higher expression of miR-196a in NSCLC tissues was associated with a higher clinical stage, and also correlated with NSCLC lymph-node metastasis. In vitro functional assays demonstrated that modulation of miR-196a expression affected NSCLC cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Our analysis showed that miR-196a suppressed the expression of HOXA5 both at the mRNA and protein levels, and luciferase assays confirmed that miR-196a directly bound to the 3’untranslated region of HOXA5. Knockdown of HOXA5 expression in A549 cells using RNAi was shown to promote NSCLC cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Finally, we observed an inverse correlation between HOXA5 and miR-196a expression in NSCLC tissues.
Conclusions
Our findings indicate that miR-196a is significantly up-regulated in NSCLC tissues, and regulates NSCLC cell proliferation, migration and invasion, partially via the down-regulation of HOXA5. Thus, miR-196a may represent a potential therapeutic target for NSCLC intervention.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-348
PMCID: PMC3503718  PMID: 22876840
Non-small cell lung cancer; miR-196a; Proliferation; Invasion; HOXA5

Results 1-25 (1006909)