It has recently become clear that several pathogenic DNA viruses express virally encoded microRNAs in infected cells. In particular, numerous microRNAs have been identified in a range of human and animal herpesviruses, and individual microRNAs have also been identified in members of the polyoma- and adenovirus families. Although their functions remain largely unknown, it seems likely that these viral microRNAs play an important role in viral replication in vivo. Here we present an analysis of the microRNAs expressed in human cells during the latent and productive phases of the human papillomavirus genotype 31 (HPV31) replication cycle. Although over 500 cellular microRNAs were cloned and identified, not a single HPV31-specific microRNA was obtained. We therefore concluded that HPV31, and possibly human papillomaviruses in general, does not express viral microRNAs.
MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression via degradation or translational repression of their targeted mRNAs. It is known that aberrant microRNA expression can play important roles in cancer, but the role of microRNAs in autoimmune diseases is only beginning to emerge. In this study, the expression of selected microRNAs is examined in rheumatoid arthritis.
Total RNA was isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and healthy and disease control individuals, and the expression of miR-146a, miR-155, miR-132, miR-16, and microRNA let-7a was analyzed using quantitative real-time PCR.
Rheumatoid arthritis peripheral blood mononuclear cells exhibited between 1.8-fold and 2.6-fold increases in miR-146a, miR-155, miR-132, and miR-16 expression, whereas let-7a expression was not significantly different compared with healthy control individuals. In addition, two targets of miR-146a, namely tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) and IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK-1), were similarly expressed between rheumatoid arthritis patients and control individuals, despite increased expression of miR-146a in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Repression of TRAF6 and/or IRAK-1 in THP-1 cells resulted in up to an 86% reduction in tumor necrosis factor-α production, implicating that normal miR-146a function is critical for the regulation of tumor necrosis factor-α production.
Recent studies have shown that synovial tissue and synovial fibroblasts from patients with rheumatoid arthritis exhibit increased expression of certain microRNAs. Our data thus demonstrate that microRNA expression in rheumatoid arthritis peripheral blood mononuclear cells mimics that of synovial tissue/fibroblasts. The increased microRNA expression in rheumatoid arthritis patients is potentially useful as a marker for disease diagnosis, progression, or treatment efficacy, but this will require confirmation using a large and well defined cohort. Our data also suggest a possible mechanism contributing to rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis, whereby miR-146a expression is increased but unable to properly function, leading to prolonged tumor necrosis factor-α production in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Using microRNA array analyses of in vitro HIV-1-infected CD4+ cells, we find that several host microRNAs are significantly up- or downregulated around the time HIV-1 infection peaks in vitro. While microRNA-223 levels were significantly enriched in HIV-1-infected CD4+CD8− PBMCs, microRNA-29a/b, microRNA-155 and microRNA-21 levels were significantly reduced. Based on the potential for microRNA binding sites in a conserved sequence of the Nef-3′-LTR, several host microRNAs potentially could affect HIV-1 gene expression. Among those microRNAs, the microRNA-29 family has seed complementarity in the HIV-1 3′-UTR, but the potential suppressive effect of microRNA-29 on HIV-1 is severely blocked by the secondary structure of the target region. Our data support a possible regulatory circuit at the peak of HIV-1 replication which involves downregulation of microRNA-29, expression of Nef, the apoptosis of host CD4 cells and upregulation of microRNA-223.
Activation of the angiogenic program in endothelial cells is vital for normal embryonic development and for physiological angiogenesis in the adult. In addition, angiogenesis is an important therapeutic target: Formation of new blood vessels is desirable for regenerative purposes, such as during tissue healing or transplantation, but can be pathological, as in diabetic retinopathy and cancer. The response of the vascular endothelium to angiogenic stimuli is modulated by noncoding RNAs called microRNAs. The endothelial cell–specific microRNA microRNA-126 (miR-126) promotes angiogenesis in response to angiogenic growth factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor or basic fibroblast growth factor, by repressing negative regulators of signal transduction pathways. Additional microRNAs have been implicated in the regulation of various aspects of angiogenesis. Thus, targeting the expression of microRNAs may be a novel therapeutic approach for diseases involving excess or insufficient vasculature.
Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell disorder that is characterised by clonal proliferation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow, monoclonal paraprotein in the blood or urine and associated organ dysfunction. It accounts for approximately 1% of cancers and 13% of haematological cancers. Myeloma arises from an asymptomatic proliferation of monoclonal plasma cells termed monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS).
MicroRNA expression profiling of serum samples was performed on three patient groups as well as normal controls. Validation of the nine microRNAs detected as promising biomarkers was carried out using TaqMan quantitative reverse transcription PCR. MicroRNA levels in serum were normalised using standard curves to determine the numbers of microRNAs per μl of serum.
Three serum microRNAs, miR-720, miR-1308 and miR-1246, were found to have potential as diagnostic biomarkers in myeloma. Use of miR-720 and miR-1308 together provides a powerful diagnostic tool for distinguishing normal healthy controls, as well as patients with unrelated illnesses, from pre-cancerous myeloma and myeloma patients. In addition, the combination of miR-1246 and miR-1308 can distinguish MGUS from myeloma patients.
We have developed a biomarker signature using microRNAs extracted from serum, which has potential as a diagnostic and prognostic tool for multiple myeloma.
myeloma; microRNAs; biomarkers; diagnostics; cleaved tRNA; serum miRNAs
MicroRNAs are ~22nt-long small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate protein expression through mRNA degradation or translational repression in eukaryotic cells. Based upon their importance in regulating development and terminal differentiation in model systems, erythrocyte microRNA profiles were examined at birth and in adults to determine if changes in their abundance coincide with the developmental phenomenon of hemoglobin switching.
Expression profiling of microRNA was performed using total RNA from four adult peripheral blood samples compared to four cord blood samples after depletion of plasma, platelets, and nucleated cells. Labeled RNAs were hybridized to custom spotted arrays containing 474 human microRNA species (miRBase release 9.1). Total RNA from Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines provided a hybridization reference for all samples to generate microRNA abundance profile for each sample.
Among 206 detected miRNAs, 79% of the microRNAs were present at equivalent levels in both cord and adult cells. By comparison, 37 microRNAs were up-regulated and 4 microRNAs were down-regulated in adult erythroid cells (fold change > 2; p < 0.01). Among the up-regulated subset, the let-7 miRNA family consistently demonstrated increased abundance in the adult samples by array-based analyses that were confirmed by quantitative PCR (4.5 to 18.4 fold increases in 6 of 8 let-7 miRNA). Profiling studies of messenger RNA (mRNA) in these cells additionally demonstrated down-regulation of ten let-7 target genes in the adult cells.
These data suggest that a consistent pattern of up-regulation among let-7 miRNA in circulating erythroid cells occurs in association with hemoglobin switching during the fetal-to-adult developmental transition in humans.
Common blood disorders include hematopoietic cell malignancies or leukemias and plasma cell dyscrasia, all of which have associated microRNA abnormalities. In this paper, we discuss several leukemias including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and identify altered microRNAs and their targets. Immune disorders with altered blood levels of antibodies include autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with associated anti-self-autoantibodies and immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) also have related microRNA abnormalities. The alterations in microRNAs may serve as therapeutic targets in these blood disorders.
Kawasaki disease is an acute, self-limited vasculitis of childhood that can result in structural damage to the coronary arteries. Previous studies have implicated the TGF-β pathway in disease pathogenesis and generation of myofibroblasts in the arterial wall. microRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that modulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level and can be transported between cells in extracellular vesicles. To understand the role that microRNAs play in modifying gene expression in Kawasaki disease, we studied microRNAs from whole blood during the acute and convalescent stages of the illness.
RNA isolated from the matched whole blood of 12 patients with acute and convalescent Kawasaki disease were analyzed by sequencing of small RNA. This analysis revealed six microRNAs (miRs-143, -199b-5p, -618, -223, -145 and -145* (complementary strand)) whose levels were significantly elevated during the acute phase of Kawasaki disease. The result was validated using targeted qRT-PCR using an independent cohort (n = 16). miR-145, which plays a critical role in the differentiation of neutrophils and vascular smooth muscle cells, was expressed at high levels in blood samples from acute Kawasaki disease but not adenovirus-infected control patients (p = 0.005). miR-145 was also detected in small extracellular vesicles isolated from acute Kawasaki disease plasma samples. Pathway analysis of the predicted targets of the 6 differentially expressed microRNAs identified the TGF-β pathway as the top pathway regulated by microRNAs in Kawasaki disease.
Sequencing of small RNA species allowed discovery of microRNAs that may participate in Kawasaki disease pathogenesis. miR-145 may participate, along with other differentially expressed microRNAs, in regulating expression of genes in the TGF-β pathway during the acute illness. If the predicted target genes are confirmed, our findings suggest a model of Kawasaki disease pathogenesis whereby miR-145 modulates TGF-β signaling in the arterial wall.
MicroRNAs are endogenous non-coding RNAs, approximately 22 nucleotides in length. They regulate gene expression and are important in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. MicroRNA expression is tightly regulated during hematopoiesis and lymphoid cell differentiation and disruption of the entire microRNA network or selected microRNAs may lead to dysregulated immune responses. Abnormalities in microRNA expression related to inflammatory cytokines, Th-17 and regulatory T cells as well as B cells have been described in several autoimmune diseases. Sjögren’s syndrome is characterized by features of systemic autoimmunity and chronic inflammation and dysfunction in exocrine organs. Its clinical characteristics along with the relatively easy access to the target tissue and its product makes Sjögren’s syndrome appealing to study many aspects of microRNAs in a systemic autoimmune disease, such as their potential as diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers and their role in pathogenesis of autoimmunity, inflammation or organ dysfunction. Encouraging preliminary data from pilot studies in Sjögren’s syndrome demonstrate the potential of microRNAs as putative diagnostic and prognostic biomarker candidates which should be tested in larger more definite studies. Combining the comparison of microRNA expression profiles between various clinical subsets of Sjögren’s syndrome with bioinformatic modeling tools may predict formerly unsuspected pathways which may contribute to the disease process and lead to the generation of testable novel hypothesis of pathogenesis.
biomarker; autoimmunity; epigenetics; exocrine dysfunction; pathogenesis
MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNA gene products that play diversified roles from species to species. The explosive growth of microRNA researches in recent years proves the importance of microRNAs in the biological system and it is believed that microRNAs have valuable therapeutic potentials in human diseases. Continual efforts are therefore required to locate and verify the unknown microRNAs in various genomes. As many miRNAs are found to be arranged in clusters, meaning that they are in close proximity with their neighboring miRNAs, we are interested in utilizing the concept of microRNA clustering and applying it in microRNA computational prediction.
We first validate the microRNA clustering phenomenon in the human, mouse and rat genomes. There are 45.45%, 51.86% and 48.67% of the total miRNAs that are clustered in the three genomes, respectively. We then conduct sequence and secondary structure similarity analyses among clustered miRNAs, non-clustered miRNAs, neighboring sequences of clustered miRNAs and random sequences, and find that clustered miRNAs are structurally more similar to one another, and the RNAdistance score can be used to assess the structural similarity between two sequences. We therefore design a clustering-based approach which utilizes this observation to filter false positives from a list of candidates generated by a selected microRNA prediction program, and successfully raise the positive predictive value by a considerable amount ranging from 15.23% to 23.19% in the human, mouse and rat genomes, while keeping a reasonably high sensitivity.
Our clustering-based approach is able to increase the effectiveness of currently available microRNA prediction program by raising the positive predictive value while maintaining a high sensitivity, and hence can serve as a filtering step. We believe that it is worthwhile to carry out further experiments and tests with our approach using data from other genomes and other prediction software tools. Better results may be achieved with fine-tuning of parameters.
Human uterine leiomyomas (ULM) are characterized by dysregulation of a large number of genes and non-coding regulatory microRNAs. In order to identify microRNA::mRNA associations relevant to ULM pathogenesis, we examined global correlation patterns between the altered microRNA expression and the predicted target genes in ULMs and matched myometria.
Patterns of inverse association of microRNA with mRNA expression in ULMs revealed an involvement of multiple candidate pathways, including extensive transcriptional reprogramming, cell proliferation control, MAP kinase, TGF-β, WNT, JAK/STAT signaling, remodeling of cell adhesion, and cell-cell and cell-matrix contacts. We further examined the correlation between the expression of the selected target gene protein products and microRNAs in thirty-six paired sets of leiomyomas and matched myometria. We found that a number of dysregulated microRNAs were inversely correlated with their targets at the protein level. The comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) in eight ULM patients revealed that partially shared deletions of two distinct chromosomal regions might be responsible for loss of cancer–associated microRNA expression and could thus contribute to the ULM pathogenesis via deregulation of target mRNAs. Last, we functionally tested the repressor effects of selected cancer-related microRNAs on their predicted target genes in vitro.
We found that some but not all of the predicted and inversely correlated target genes in ULMs can be directly regulated by microRNAs in vitro. Our findings provide a broad overview of molecular events underlying the tumorigenesis of uterine ULMs and identify select genetic and regulatory events that alter microRNA expression and may play important roles in ULM pathobiology by positively regulating tumor growth while maintaining the non-invasive character of ULMs.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a human epithelial malignancy consistently associated with the Epstein-Barr virus. The viral genome is contained in the nuclei of all malignant cells with abundant transcription of a family of viral microRNAs called BART miRNAs. MicroRNAs are well known intra-cellular regulatory elements of gene expression. In addition, they are often exported in the extra-cellular space and sometimes transferred in recipient cells distinct from the producer cells. Extra-cellular transport of the microRNAs is facilitated by various processes including association with protective proteins and packaging in secreted nanovesicles called exosomes. Presence of microRNAS produced by malignant cells has been reported in the blood and saliva of tumor-bearing patients, especially patients diagnosed with glioblastoma or ovarian carcinoma. In this context, it was decided to investigate extra-cellular release of BART miRNAs by NPC cells and their possible detection in the blood of NPC patients. To address this question, we investigated by quantitative RT-PCR the status of 5 microRNAs from the BART family in exosomes released by NPC cells in vitro as well as in plasma samples from NPC xenografted nude mice and NPC patients.
We report that the BART miRNAs are released in the extra-cellular space by NPC cells being associated, at least to a large extent, with secreted exosomes. They are detected with a good selectivity in plasma samples from NPC xenografted nude mice as well as NPC patients.
Viral BART miRNAs are secreted by NPC cells in vitro and in vivo. They have enough stability to diffuse from the tumor site to the peripheral blood. This study provides a basis to explore their potential as a source of novel tumor biomarkers and their possible role in communications between malignant and non-malignant cells.
MicroRNAs are short (∼22 nt) non-coding regulatory RNAs that control gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Here the functional impact of microRNAs on cell cycle arrest during neuronal lineage differentiation of unrestricted somatic stem cells from human cord blood (USSC) was analyzed.
Expression profiling revealed downregulation of microRNAs miR-17, -20a, and -106b in USSC differentiated into neuronal lineage but not in USSC differentiated into osteogenic lineage. Transfection experiments followed by Ki67 immunostainings demonstrated that each of these microRNAs was able to promote proliferation of native USSC and to prevent in part cell cycle arrest during neuronal lineage differentiation of USSC. Bioinformatic target gene predictions followed by experimental target gene validations revealed that miR-17, -20a, and -106b act in a common manner by downregulating an overlapping set of target genes mostly involved in regulation and execution of G1/S transition. Pro-proliferative target genes cyclinD1 (CCND1) and E2F1 as well as anti-proliferative targets CDKN1A (p21), PTEN, RB1, RBL1 (p107), RBL2 (p130) were shown as common targets for miR-17, -20a, and -106b. Furthermore, these microRNAs also downregulate WEE1 which is involved in G2/M transition. Most strikingly, miR-17, -20a, and -106b were found to promote cell proliferation by increasing the intracellular activity of E2F transcription factors, despite the fact that miR-17, -20a, and -106b directly target the transcripts that encode for this protein family.
Mir-17, -20a, and -106b downregulate a common set of pro- and anti-proliferative target genes to impact cell cycle progression of USSC and increase intracellular activity of E2F transcription factors to govern G1/S transition.
Since mature erythrocytes are terminally differentiated cells without nuclei and organelles, it is commonly thought that they do not contain nucleic acids. In this study, we have re-examined this issue by analyzing the transcriptome of a purified population of human mature erythrocytes from individuals with normal hemoglobin (HbAA) and homozygous sickle cell disease (HbSS).
Methods and Findings
Using a combination of microarray analysis, real-time RT-PCR and Northern blots, we found that mature erythrocytes, while lacking ribosomal and large-sized RNAs, contain abundant and diverse microRNAs. MicroRNA expression of erythrocytes was different from that of reticulocytes and leukocytes, and contributed the majority of the microRNA expression in whole blood. When we used microRNA microarrays to analyze erythrocytes from HbAA and HbSS individuals, we noted a dramatic difference in their microRNA expression pattern. We found that miR-320 played an important role for the down-regulation of its target gene, CD71 during reticulocyte terminal differentiation. Further investigation revealed that poor expression of miR-320 in HbSS cells was associated with their defective downregulation CD71 during terminal differentiation.
In summary, we have discovered significant microRNA expression in human mature erythrocytes, which is dramatically altered in HbSS erythrocytes and their defect in terminal differentiation. Thus, the global analysis of microRNA expression in circulating erythrocytes can provide mechanistic insights into the disease phenotypes of erythrocyte diseases.
Disturbances in microRNA expression by epigenetic alterations and mutations may
promote not only tumorigenesis but also tumor aggressiveness, invasion,
metastasis, and resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Several studies
have profiled microRNA expression in normal and tumorigenic tissues,
demonstrating a unique microRNA signature, which can be used as a marker for
cancer diagnosis and prognosis. This review discusses the importance of
microRNAs as regulatory biomolecules involved in cancer, focusing on microRNAs
related to cancer invasion, metastasis, epigenetic alterations, chemoresistance,
and radioresistance. The identification of both differentially expressed
microRNAs in tumors and their target genes provides new tools for gene therapy;
the re-expression of microRNAs silenced by cancer development or the silencing
of oncogenic microRNAs can be effective in the blockade of cancer-related cell
MicroRNA; epigenetic modifications; metastasis; chemotherapy; radiotherapy
microRNAs are small noncoding genes that regulate the protein production of genes by binding to partially complementary sites in the mRNAs of targeted genes. Here, using our algorithm PicTar, we exploit cross-species comparisons to predict, on average, 54 targeted genes per microRNA above noise in Drosophila melanogaster. Analysis of the functional annotation of target genes furthermore suggests specific biological functions for many microRNAs. We also predict combinatorial targets for clustered microRNAs and find that some clustered microRNAs are likely to coordinately regulate target genes. Furthermore, we compare microRNA regulation between insects and vertebrates. We find that the widespread extent of gene regulation by microRNAs is comparable between flies and mammals but that certain microRNAs may function in clade-specific modes of gene regulation. One of these microRNAs (miR-210) is predicted to contribute to the regulation of fly oogenesis. We also list specific regulatory relationships that appear to be conserved between flies and mammals. Our findings provide the most extensive microRNA target predictions in Drosophila to date, suggest specific functional roles for most microRNAs, indicate the existence of coordinate gene regulation executed by clustered microRNAs, and shed light on the evolution of microRNA function across large evolutionary distances. All predictions are freely accessible at our searchable Web site http://pictar.bio.nyu.edu.
MicroRNA genes are a recently discovered large class of small noncoding genes. These genes have been shown to regulate the expression of target genes by binding to partially complementary sites in the mRNAs of the targets. To understand microRNA function it is thus important to identify their targets. Here, the authors use their bioinformatic method, PicTar, and cross-species comparisons of several newly sequenced fly species to predict, genome wide, targets of microRNAs in Drosophila. They find that known fly microRNAs control at least 15% of all genes in D. melanogaster. They also show that genomic clusters of microRNAs are likely to coordinately regulate target genes. Analysis of the functional annotation of target genes furthermore suggests specific biological functions for many microRNAs. All predictions are freely accessible at http://pictar.bio.nyu.edu. Finally, Grün et al. compare the function of microRNAs across flies and mammals. They find that (a) the overall extent of microRNA gene regulation is comparable between both clades, (b) the number of targets for a conserved microRNA in flies correlates with the number of targets in mammals, (c) some conserved microRNAs may function in clade-specific modes of gene regulation, and (d) some specific microRNA–target regulatory relationships may be conserved between both clades.
The microRNA-based gene-silencing machinery has been recognized as a promising approach to control viral replication and used for improving safety for the live attenuated virus vaccines. The effective host microRNA response elements (MREs) have been incorporated into a virus sequence mainly based on the experimental trials for identifying both microRNA binding sites and effective mutations. The design of MREs for viral genomes or with multiple host microRNAs of interest, then, will be time and cost consuming.
In this paper, we introduced a computational flow that could be used to design MREs of human microRNAs within Influenza A H1N1 virus gene segments. The main steps of the flow includes locating possible binding sites; MREs, of human microRNAs within the viral sequences using a miRNA target prediction tool (miranda), performing various mutations among mismatched binding positions, calculating the binding energy, score, identity, and the effects of changed physical properties of amino acids according to the changed bases in RNA level, and prioritizing the mutated binding sites. The top ranked MREs of human microRNA hsa-miR-93 is consistent with previous literature while other results waited to be experimentally verified. To make the computational flow easily accessible by virologists, we also developed MicroLive, a web server version of the MRE design flow together with the database of miranda-predicted MREs within gene sequences of seven RNA viruses including Influenza A, dengue, hepatitis C, measles, mumps, poliovirus, and rabies. Users may design MREs of specific human microRNAs for their input viral sequences using MRE design tool or optimize the miranda-predicted MREs of seven viruses available on the system. Also, users could design varied number of MREs for multiple human microRNAs to modulate the degree of live vaccine attenuation and reduce the likelihood of escape mutants.
The computational design of MREs helps reduce time and cost for experimental trials. While the flow was demonstrated using human microRNAs and Influenza A H1N1 virus, it could be flexibly applied to other hosts (e.g., animals) and viruses of interest for constructing host-specific live attenuated vaccines. Also, it could be deployed for engineering tissue-specific oncolytic viruses in cancer virotherapeutics. The MicroLive web server is freely accessible at http://www.biotec.or.th/isl/microlive.
MicroRNAs are tiny non-coding RNA molecules which play important roles in the epigenetic control of cellular processes by preventing the translation of proteins from messenger RNAs (mRNAs). A single microRNA can target different mRNAs, and an mRNA can be targeted by multiple microRNAs. Such complex interplays underlie many molecular pathways in cells, and specific roles for many microRNAs in physiological as well as pathological phenomena have been identified. Changes in expression of microRNAs have been associated with a wide variety of disease conditions, and microRNA-based biomarkers are being developed for the identification and monitoring of such states. This review provides a general overview of the current state of knowledge about the biology of microRNAs, and specific information about microRNAs with regard to the diagnosis and prognosis of lung cancer.
Carcinogenesis; gene expression; microRNA; lung cancer
MicroRNA.org (http://www.microrna.org) is a comprehensive resource of microRNA target predictions and expression profiles. Target predictions are based on a development of the miRanda algorithm which incorporates current biological knowledge on target rules and on the use of an up-to-date compendium of mammalian microRNAs. MicroRNA expression profiles are derived from a comprehensive sequencing project of a large set of mammalian tissues and cell lines of normal and disease origin. Using an improved graphical interface, a user can explore (i) the set of genes that are potentially regulated by a particular microRNA, (ii) the implied cooperativity of multiple microRNAs on a particular mRNA and (iii) microRNA expression profiles in various tissues. To facilitate future updates and development, the microRNA.org database structure and software architecture is flexibly designed to incorporate new expression and target discoveries. The web resource provides users with functional information about the growing number of microRNAs and their interaction with target genes in many species and facilitates novel discoveries in microRNA gene regulation.
A microarray technology suitable for analyzing the expression of microRNAs and of other small RNAs was used to determine the microRNA expression profile during mouse-brain development and observed a temporal wave of gene expression of sequential classes of microRNAs.
MicroRNAs are a large new class of tiny regulatory RNAs found in nematodes, plants, insects and mammals. MicroRNAs are thought to act as post-transcriptional modulators of gene expression. In invertebrates microRNAs have been implicated as regulators of developmental timing, neuronal differentiation, cell proliferation, programmed cell death and fat metabolism. Little is known about the roles of microRNAs in mammals.
We isolated 18-26 nucleotide RNAs from developing rat and monkey brains. From the sequences of these RNAs and the sequences of the rat and human genomes we determined which of these small RNAs are likely to have derived from stem-loop precursors typical of microRNAs. Next, we developed a microarray technology suitable for detecting microRNAs and printed a microRNA microarray representing 138 mammalian microRNAs corresponding to the sequences of the microRNAs we cloned as well as to other known microRNAs. We used this microarray to determine the profile of microRNAs expressed in the developing mouse brain. We observed a temporal wave of expression of microRNAs, suggesting that microRNAs play important roles in the development of the mammalian brain.
We describe a microarray technology that can be used to analyze the expression of microRNAs and of other small RNAs. MicroRNA microarrays offer a new tool that should facilitate studies of the biological roles of microRNAs. We used this method to determine the microRNA expression profile during mouse brain development and observed a temporal wave of gene expression of sequential classes of microRNAs.
MicroRNA expression is altered in cancer cells, and microRNAs could serve as diagnostic/prognostic biomarker for cancer patients. Our study was designed to analyze circulating serum microRNAs in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
We first explored microRNA expression profiles in tissue and serum using TaqMan Low Density Arrays in each six malignant and benign samples: Although 109 microRNAs were circulating at higher levels in cancer patients' serum, we identified only 36 microRNAs with up-regulation in RCC tissue and serum of RCC patients. Seven candidate microRNAs were selected for verification based on the finding of up-regulation in serum and tissue of RCC patients: miR-7-1*, miR-93, miR-106b*, miR-210, miR-320b, miR-1233 and miR-1290 levels in serum of healthy controls (n = 30) and RCC (n = 33) patients were determined using quantitative real-time PCR (TaqMan MicroRNA Assays). miR-1233 was increased in RCC patients, and thus validated in a multicentre cohort of 84 RCC patients and 93 healthy controls using quantitative real-time PCR (sensitivity 77.4%, specificity 37.6%, AUC 0.588). We also studied 13 samples of patients with angiomyolipoma or oncocytoma, whose serum miR-1233 levels were similar to RCC patients. Circulating microRNAs were not correlated with clinical-pathological parameters.
MicroRNA levels are distinctly increased in cancer patients, although only a small subset of circulating microRNAs has a tumor-specific origin. We identify circulating miR-1233 as a potential biomarker for RCC patients. Larger-scaled studies are warranted to fully explore the role of circulating microRNAs in RCC.
Playing a central role in the maintenance of hemostasis as well as in thrombotic disorders, platelets contain a relatively diverse messenger RNA (mRNA) transcriptome as well as functional mRNA-regulatory microRNAs, suggesting that platelet mRNAs may be regulated by microRNAs. Here, we elucidated the complete repertoire and features of human platelet microRNAs by high-throughput sequencing. More than 492 different mature microRNAs were detected in human platelets, whereas the list of known human microRNAs was expanded further by the discovery of 40 novel microRNA sequences. As in nucleated cells, platelet microRNAs bear signs of post-transcriptional modifications, mainly terminal adenylation and uridylation. In vitro enzymatic assays demonstrated the ability of human platelets to uridylate microRNAs, which correlated with the presence of the uridyltransferase enzyme TUT4. We also detected numerous microRNA isoforms (isomiRs) resulting from imprecise Drosha and/or Dicer processing, in some cases more frequently than the reference microRNA sequence, including 5′ shifted isomiRs with redirected mRNA targeting abilities. This study unveils the existence of a relatively diverse and complex microRNA repertoire in human platelets, and represents a mandatory step towards elucidating the intraplatelet and extraplatelet role, function and importance of platelet microRNAs.
MicroRNAs are believed to play an important role in gene expression regulation. They have been shown to be involved in cell cycle regulation and cancer. MicroRNA expression profiling became available owing to recent technology advancement. In some studies, both microRNA expression and mRNA expression are measured, which allows an integrated analysis of microRNA and mRNA expression.
We demonstrated three aspects of an integrated analysis of microRNA and mRNA expression, through a case study of human cancer data. We showed that (1) microRNA expression efficiently sorts tumors from normal tissues regardless of tumor type, while gene expression does not; (2) many microRNAs are down-regulated in tumors and these microRNAs can be clustered in two ways: microRNAs similarly affected by cancer and microRNAs similarly interacting with genes; (3) taking let-7f as an example, targets genes can be identified and they can be clustered based on their relationship with let-7f expression.
Our findings in this paper were made using novel applications of existing statistical methods: hierarchical clustering was applied with a new distance measure—the co-clustering frequency—to identify sample clusters that are stable; microRNA-gene correlation profiles were subject to hierarchical clustering to identify microRNAs that similarly interact with genes and hence are likely functionally related; the clustering of regression models method was applied to identify microRNAs similarly related to cancer while adjusting for tissue type and genes similarly related to microRNA while adjusting for disease status. These analytic methods are applicable to interrogate multiple types of -omics data in general.
clustering; expression; microarray; microRNA
microRNAs have been shown to be involved in different human cancers. We therefore have performed expression profiles on a panel of pediatric tumors to identify cancer-specific microRNAs. We also investigated if microRNAs are co-regulated with their host gene.
We performed parallel microRNAs and mRNA expression profiling on 57 tumor xenografts and cell lines representing 10 different pediatric solid tumors using microarrays. For those microRNAs that map to their host mRNA, we calculated correlations between them.
We found that the majority of cancer types clustered together based on their global microRNA expression profiles by unsupervised hierarchical clustering. Fourteen microRNAs were significantly differentially expressed between rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroblastoma, and 8 of them were validated in independent patient tumor samples. Exploration of the expression of microRNAs in relationship with their host genes demonstrated that the expression for 43 (63%) of 68 microRNAs located inside known coding genes were significantly correlated with that of their host genes. Among these 43 microRNAs, 5 out of 7 microRNAs in the OncomiR-1 cluster correlated significantly with their host gene MIRHG1 (P<0.01). In addition, high expression of MIRHG1 was significantly associated with high stage and MYCN-amplification in neuroblastoma tumors; and the expression level of MIRHG1 could predict the outcome of neuroblastoma patients independently from the current neuroblastoma risk-stratification in two independent patient cohorts.
Pediatric cancers express cancer-specific microRNAs. The high expression of the OncomiR-1 host gene MIRHG1 correlates with poor outcome for patients with neuroblastoma, indicating important oncogenic functions of this microRNA cluster in neuroblastoma biology.
microRNA; gene expression profiling; microarray; pediatric cancer; neuroblastoma; cancer classification; OncomiR-1; MIRHG1; prognosis
MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that function to control gene expression. These small RNAs have been shown to contribute to the control of cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis, important features related to cancer development and progression. In fact, recent studies have shown the utility of microRNAs as cancer-related biomarkers. This is due to the finding that microRNAs display altered expression profiles in cancers versus normal tissue. In addition, microRNAs have been associated with cancer progression. In this review, the mechanisms to alter microRNA expression and their relation to cancer will be addressed. Moreover, the potential application of microRNAs in clinical settings will also be highlighted. Finally, the challenges regarding the translation of research involving microRNAs to the clinical realm will be discussed.