The RNase III enzyme Drosha initiates microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis in the nucleus by cleaving primary miRNA transcripts into shorter precursor molecules that are subsequently exported into the cytoplasm for further processing. While numerous disease states appear to be associated with aberrant expression of Drosha, the molecular mechanisms that regulate its protein levels are largely unknown. Here, we report that ubiquitination and acetylation regulate Drosha protein levels oppositely. Deacetylase inhibitors trichostatin A (TSA) and nicotinamide (NIA) increase Drosha protein level as measured by western blot but have no effects on its mRNA level in HEK293T cells. TSA increases miRNA-143 production in a miRNA sensor assay and in a qPCR analysis in HEK293T cells. Treatment of AGS and HEK293T cells with proteasome inhibitors MG132 or Omuralide increases Drosha protein levels. Furthermore, the N-terminal, but not the C-terminal Drosha can be acetylated by multiple acetyl transferases including p300, CBP and GCN5. Acetylation of Drosha competes with its ubquitination, inhibiting the degradation induced by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, thereby increasing Drosha protein levels. Infection of the gastric mucosa AGS cells by H. pylori, the gastric cancer associated carcinogen, leads to the ubiquitination and reduction of Drosha protein levels. H. pylori infection of AGS cells has no significant effects on Drosha mRNA levels. Our findings establish a central mechanism of protein homeostasis as playing a critical role in miRNA biogenesis.
Cervical tissue based organ cultures have been used successfully to evaluate microbicides for toxicity and antiviral activity. The antimicrobial peptide retrocyclin RC-101 has been shown to have potent anti-HIV activity in cell culture.
To evaluate RC-101 in organ culture for toxicity and its ability to block HIV-1 transmission across cervical mucosa.
A Cervical tissue based organ culture was used to measure antiviral activity of RC101. Cytotoxicity in tissues was determined by immunostaining of cellular proteins and by measuring inflammatory cytokines using realtime RTPCR and luminex technology.
RC-101 blocked transmission of both R5 and X4 HIV-1 across cervical mucosa in this organ culture model. Furthermore, film-formulated RC-101 exhibited potent antiviral activity in organ culture. Such antiviral activity of RC-101 was retained in the presence of semen and vaginal fluid. RC-101 showed no cytotoxicity in cervical tissue. Furthermore, RC-101 did not induce proinflammatory cytokine response in tissues. RC-101 also did not have any effect on NK activity, cell proliferation of CD4 and CD8 cells, and did not show chemotactic activity.
Therefore, because of strong antiviral activity and low cytotoxicity in cervical tissues, RC-101 should be considered as an excellent microbicide candidate against HIV-1.
retrocyclin; HIV; organ culture; microbicide
MicroRNA (miRNA) are a class of non-coding RNA that suppress gene expression by degradation or translational inhibition of target RNA. Several miRNA have been shown to target oncogenes and recently miRNA-125b was shown to translationally and transcriptionally inhibit the p53 gene. Here, we show that an additional isomer of miRNA-125 (miRNA-125a) translationally arrests mRNA of the p53 tumor suppressor gene. The basis of this activity is the high degree of sequence homology between the seed sequence of miR-125a and the 3′-UTR of p53. Our findings add miRNA-125a to the growing list of miRNA with oncogenic targets.
MicroRNA; p53; RNA interference; Tumor suppressor; Apoptosis; DNA damage
An urgent need exists for HIV-1 microbicides. Here, we describe the in vivo testing of lactic acid bacteria bioengineered to secrete cyanovirin-N. We fed pigtail macaques a yogurt formulation that used bioengineered strains as a starter culture. Cyanovirin-N expression could be detected in the rectal vault during and immediately after feeding. Ex vivo viral challenge of rectal tissue biopsies revealed that peak viral burden was significantly lower in tissue obtained from experimental animals compared to control animals. Formulation of candidate compounds in lactic acid bacteria and their oral administration appears to be a feasible strategy for mucosal delivery of microbicides.
HIV-1; cyanovirin-N; C V-N; lactic acid bacteria; microbicide; pigtail macaque
MicroRNA profiling of diseased/non-diseased tissue has identified expression signatures associated with a wide range of pathogenic conditions including malignancy. For example, colon cancer is associated with the under expression of miRNA-143 yet the molecular etiology of under expression is unknown. The K-Ras oncogene is a target of miRNA-143. Here, we show that the ecotropic viral integration site 1 oncoprotein (Evi1) is a transcriptional suppressor of the miRNA-143 gene. We find an indirect relationship between miRNA-143 and Evi1 expression. A complex molecular axis linking Evi1, miRNA-143 is operational in human colon cancer.
microRNA; Evi1; colon cancer; RNA interference
Interest has been generated in the capacity of cellular-derived microvesicles to alter the fate of different target cells. Lung, liver, heart and brain-derived vesicles can alter the genetic phenotype of murine marrow cells; however, the stability of such changes and the mechanism of these changes remain unclear. In the present work, we show that lung-derived microvesicles (LDMV) alter the transcriptome and proteome of target marrow cells initially by mRNA and regulator(s) of transcription transfer, but that long term phenotype change is due solely to transfer of a transcriptional regulator with target cell.
In vivo studies: Whole bone marrow cells (WBM) were co-cultured with LDMV (both isolated from male C57BL/6 mice) or cultured alone (control). One week later, cultured WBM was transplanted into lethally-irradiated female C57BL/6 mice. Recipient mice were sacrificed 6 weeks later and WBM, spleens and livers were examined for the presence of lung-specific gene expression, including surfactants A, B, C and D, aquaporin-5, and clara cell specific protein, via real-time RT-PCR. Immunohistochemistry was also performed on lungs to determine the number of transplanted marrow-derived (Y chromosome+) type II pneumocytes (prosurfactant C+). Mice transplanted with LDMV co-cultured WBM expressed pulmonary epithelial cell genes in the cells of their bone marrow, livers and spleens and over fivefold more transplanted marrow-derived Y+/prosurfactant C+cells could be found in their lungs (vs. control mice). In vitro studies: WBM (from mice or rats) was cultured with or without LDMV (from mice or rats) for 1 week then washed and cultured alone. WBM was harvested at 2-week intervals for real-time RT-PCR analysis, using species-specific surfactant primers, and for Western Blot analysis. Proteomic and microRNA microarray analyses were also performed on cells. LDMV co-cultured WBM maintained expression of pulmonary epithelial cell genes and proteins for up to 12 weeks in culture. Surfactant produced at later time points was specific only to the species of the marrow cell in culture indicating de novo mRNA transcription. These findings, in addition to the altered protein and microRNA profiles of LDMV co-cultured WBM, support a stable transcriptional mechanism for these changes.
These data indicate that microvesicle alteration of cell fate is robust and long-term and represents an important new aspect of cellular biology.
bone marrow cells; lung; microvesicles; bone marrow transplant; transcription factor
The canonical microRNA (miRNA) pathway commences with the enzymatic cleavage of the primary gene transcript (pri-miRNA) by the RNAase III enzyme Drosha in the nucleus into shorter pre-miRNA species that are subsequently exported to the cytoplasm for further processing into shorter, mature miRNA molecules. Using a series of reporter constructs, we have previously demonstrated that phosphorylation of Drosha at Ser 300 and 302 was required for its nuclear localization. Here, we identify GSK3β as the culprit kinase. We demonstrate that Drosha is unable to selectively localize to the nucleus in cells deficient in GSK3β. These findings expand the substrate base of GSK3β to include a central component of the miRNA biogenesis pathway.
Microvesicles have been shown to mediate intercellular communication. Previously, we have correlated entry of murine lung-derived microvesicles into murine bone marrow cells with expression of pulmonary epithelial cell-specific mRNA in these marrow cells. The present studies establish that entry of lung-derived microvesicles into marrow cells is a prerequisite for marrow expression of pulmonary epithelial cell-derived mRNA.
Murine bone marrow cells co-cultured with rat lung, but separated from them using a cell-impermeable membrane (0.4 micron pore size), were analyzed using species-specific primers (for rat or mouse). These studies revealed that surfactant B and C mRNA produced by murine marrow cells were of both rat and mouse origin. Similar results were obtained using murine lung co-cultured with rat bone marrow cells or when bone marrow cells were analyzed for the presence of species-specific albumin mRNA after co-culture with rat or murine liver. These studies show that microvesicles both deliver mRNA to marrow cells and also mediate marrow cell transcription of tissue-specific mRNA. The latter likely underlies the longer term stable change in genetic phenotype which has been observed. We have also observed microRNA in lung-derived microvesicles and studies with RNase-treated microvesicles indicate that microRNA negatively modulates pulmonary epithelial cell-specific mRNA levels in co-cultured marrow cells. In addition, we have also observed tissue-specific expression of brain, heart and liver mRNA in co-cultured marrow cells suggesting that microvesicle-mediated cellular phenotype change is a universal phenomena.
These studies suggest that cellular systems are more phenotypically labile then previously considered.
Adult stem cells; Stem cell-microenvironment interactions; Microvesicles
RC-101 is a congener of the antiretroviral peptide retrocyclin, which we and others have reported is active against clinical HIV-1 isolates from all major clades, does not hemagglutinate, and is non-toxic and non-inflammatory in cervicovaginal cell culture. Herein, film-formulated RC-101 was assessed for its antiviral activity in vitro, safety in vivo, retention in the cervix and vagina, and ability to remain active against HIV-1 and SHIV after intravaginal application in macaques.
RC-101 was formulated as a quick-dissolving film (2000 µg/film), retained complete activity in vitro as compared to unformulated peptide, and was applied intravaginally in six pigtailed macaques daily for four days. At one and four days following the final application, the presence of RC-101 was assessed in peripheral blood, cervicovaginal lavage, cytobrushed cervicovaginal cells, and biopsied cervical and vaginal tissues by quantitative western blots. One day following the last film application, cervical biopsies from RC-101-exposed and placebo-controlled macaques were collected and were subjected to challenge with RT-SHIV in an ex vivo organ culture model. RC-101 peptide was detected primarily in the cytobrush and biopsied cervical and vaginal tissues, with little to no peptide detected in lavage samples, suggesting that the peptide was associated with the cervicovaginal epithelia. RC-101 remained in the tissues and cytobrush samples up to four days post-application, yet was not detected in any sera or plasma samples. RC-101, extracted from cytobrushes obtained one day post-application, remained active against HIV-1 BaL. Importantly, cervical biopsies from RC-101-treated animals reduced RT-SHIV replication in ex vivo organ culture as compared to placebo-treated animals.
Formulated RC-101 was stable in vivo and was retained in the mucosa. The presence of antivirally active RC-101 after five days in vivo suggests that RC-101 would be an important molecule to develop further as a topical microbicide to prevent HIV-1 transmission.
Commercial HIV-1 genotypic resistance assays are very expensive, particularly for use in resource-constrained settings like India. Hence a cost effective in-house assay for drug resistance was validated against the standard ViroSeq™ HIV-1 Genotyping System 2.0 (Celera Diagnostics, CA, USA). A total of 50 samples were used for this evaluation (21 proficiency panels and 29 clinical isolates). Known resistance positions within HIV-1 protease (PR) region (1–99 codons) and HIV-1 reverse-transcriptase (RT) region (1–240 codons) were included. The results were analysed for each codon as follows: (i) concordant; (ii) partially concordant; (iii) indeterminate and (iv) discordant. A total of 2750 codons (55 codons per patient sample × 50 samples) associated with drug resistance (1050 PR and 1700 RT) were analysed. For PR, 99% of the codon results were concordant and 1% were partially concordant. For RT, 99% of the codon results were concordant, 0.9% were partially concordant and 0.1% were discordant. No indeterminate results were observed and the results were reproducible. Overall, the in-house assay provided comparable results to those of US FDA approved ViroSeq™, which costs about a half of the commercial assay ($ 100 vs. $ 230), making it suitable for resource-limited settings.
ViroSeq™ HIV-1 genotyping; In-house HIV-1 drug resistance assay; Concordance; Mixtures; Indeterminate rate; HIV-1 genotyping evaluation
The RNaseIII enzyme Drosha plays a pivotal role in microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis by cleaving primary miRNA transcripts to generate precursor miRNA in the nucleus. The RNA binding and enzymatic domains of Drosha have been characterized and are on its C-terminus. Its N-terminus harbors a nuclear localization signal. Using a series of truncated Drosha constructs, we narrowed down the segment responsible for nuclear translocation to a domain between aa 270 and aa 390. We further identified two phosphorylation sites at Serine300 (S300) and Serine302 (S302) by mass spectrometric analysis. Double mutations of S→A at S300 and S302 completely disrupted nuclear localization. Single mutation of S→A at S300 or S302, however, had no effect on nuclear localization indicating that phosphorylation at either site is sufficient to locate Drosha to the nucleus. Furthermore, mimicking phosphorylation status by mutating S→E at S300 and/or S→D at S302 restored nuclear localization. Our findings add a further layer of complexity to the molecular anatomy of Drosha as it relates to miRNA biogenesis.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short (∼22 nt) RNAs that impact gene expression by sequence-specific interactions with messenger RNA or promoter sequences of genomic DNA. Ectopic expression of miRNAs can be accomplished by placing fragments of the corresponding miRNA precursor under the control of RNA polymerase II or III (RNAP II/III). Here, we report that, in the absence of exogenous promoters, DNA fragments incorporating miRNA precursors can be delivered directly into a variety of human cells and give rise to the corresponding mature miRNA. Notably, the transcription of these miRNA DNA fragments appears resistant to conventional inhibitors of RNAP I/II/III activity. Taken together, our findings suggest the existence of a previously unrecognized atypical transcription program for miRNA precursor sequences.
Viral entry may preferentially occur at the apical or the basolateral surfaces of polarized cells, and differences may impact pathogenesis, preventative strategies, and successful implementation of viral vectors for gene therapy. The objective of these studies was to examine the polarity of herpes simplex virus (HSV) entry using several different human epithelial cell lines. Human uterine (ECC-1), colonic (CaCo-2), and retinal pigment (ARPE-19) epithelial cells were grown on collagen-coated inserts, and the polarity was monitored by measuring the transepithelial cell resistance. Controls were CaSki cells, a human cervical cell line that does not polarize in vitro. The polarized cells, but not CaSki cells, were 16- to 50-fold more susceptible to HSV infection at the apical surface than at the basolateral surface. Disruption of the tight junctions by treatment with EGTA overcame the restriction on basolateral infection but had no impact on apical infection. No differences in binding at the two surfaces were observed. Confocal microscopy demonstrated that nectin-1, the major coreceptor for HSV entry, sorted preferentially to the apical surface, overlapping with adherens and tight junction proteins. Transfection with small interfering RNA specific for nectin-1 resulted in a significant reduction in susceptibility to HSV at the apical surface but had little impact on basolateral infection. Infection from the apical but not the basolateral surface triggered focal adhesion kinase phosphorylation and led to nuclear transport of viral capsids and viral gene expression. These studies indicate that access to nectin-1 contributes to preferential apical infection of these human epithelial cells by HSV.
Post-transcriptional inhibition of HIV-1 replication can be achieved by RNA interference (RNAi). The cellular expression of short interfering RNA (siRNA) or short hairpin RNA (shRNA) homologous to regions of the HIV-1 genome decreases viral replication by the selective degradation of targeted RNA. Here, we demonstrate that another class of noncoding regulatory RNA, termed microRNA (miRNA), can be used to deliver antiviral RNAi. By incorporating sequences encoding siRNA targeting the HIV-1 transactivator protein tat into a human miR-30 pre-microRNA (pre-miRNA) backbone, we were able to express tat siRNA in cells. The tat siRNA delivered as pre-miRNA precursor was 80% more effective in reducing HIV-1 p24 antigen production than tat siRNA expressed as conventional shRNA. Our results confirm the utility of expressing HIV-1 specific siRNA through a miR-30 precursor stem–loop structure and suggest that this strategy can be used to increase the antiviral potency of RNAi.
The degradation of a selected mRNA species by RNA interference requires a high degree of homology between the short interfering or short hairpin RNA (si or shRNA) and its target. Recent reports have demonstrated that the number and location of nucleotide mismatches affect the activity of si/shRNA. Here, we systematically examined the effect of single nucleotide mutations in all 21 positions of an effective shRNA that targets the gag gene of HIV-1. We found that all mutant shRNAs exerted RNAi activity but were less effective in gene silencing compared to the wild-type gag shRNA. The most pronounced reduction in function was observed with mutations in the central and 5′ regions of the shRNA. Our results demonstrate that optimal gene silencing requires perfect homology between shRNA and the chosen target, but that a variable degree of silencing occurs, depending upon the precise location of nucleotide mismatches.
Sequence-specific degradation of mRNA by short interfering RNA (siRNA) allows the selective inhibition of viral proteins that are critical for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication. The aim of this study was to characterize the potency and durability of virus-specific RNA interference (RNAi) in cell lines that stably express short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting the HIV-1 transactivator protein gene tat. We found that the antiviral activity of tat shRNA was abolished due to the emergence of viral quasispecies harboring a point mutation in the shRNA target region. Our results suggest that, in order for RNAi to durably suppress HIV-1 replication, it may be necessary to target highly conserved regions of the viral genome. Alternatively, similar to present antiviral drug therapy paradigms, DNA constructs expressing multiple siRNAs need to be developed that target different regions of the viral genome, thereby reducing the probability of generating escape mutants.
RNA interference (RNAi) is mediated by small interfering (si) RNAs that target and degrade mRNA in a sequence-specific manner. Cellular expression of siRNA can be achieved by the use of expression cassettes driven by RNA polymerase III (pol III) promoters. Here, we demonstrate that a modified tRNAmet-derived (MTD) promoter effectively drives the cellular expression of HIV-1-specific siRNA. We observed up to 56% greater inhibition of virus production when the MTD promoter was used to drive the expression of short hairpin (sh) RNA targeting the HIV-1 transactivator protein tat compared to cassettes containing other pol III promoters such as H1, U6+1 and U6+27. We conclude that the MTD promoter is ideally suited to drive intracellular expression of HIV-1 specific siRNA and may serve as an important component of future RNAi vector delivery systems.
The mechanism of CD4+ T cell depletion in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 infection remains controversial. Using deuterated glucose to label the DNA of proliferating cells in vivo, we studied T cell dynamics in four normal subjects and seven HIV-1–infected patients naive to antiretroviral drugs. The results were analyzed using a newly developed mathematical model to determine fractional rates of lymphocyte proliferation and death. In CD4+ T cells, mean proliferation and death rates were elevated by 6.3- and 2.9-fold, respectively, in infected patients compared with normal controls. In CD8+ T cells, the mean proliferation rate was 7.7-fold higher in HIV-1 infection, but the mean death rate was not significantly increased. Five of the infected patients underwent subsequent deuterated glucose labeling studies after initiating antiretroviral therapy. The lymphocyte proliferation and death rates in both CD4+ and CD8+ cell populations were substantially reduced by 5–11 weeks and nearly normal by one year. Taken together, these new findings strongly indicate that CD4+ lymphocyte depletion seen in AIDS is primarily a consequence of increased cellular destruction, not decreased cellular production.
deuterated glucose; longitudinal study; mathematical model; apoptosis; mechanisms of CD4+ T cell depletion
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected subjects treated early after infection have preserved HIV-1-specific CD4+ T-cell function. We studied the effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) on the frequency of HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cells in patients treated during early (n = 31) or chronic (n = 23) infection. The degree of viral suppression and time of initiation of treatment influenced the magnitude of the CD8+ T-cell response. HIV-1-specific CD8+ T cells can increase in number after HAART in subjects treated early after infection who have episodes of transient viremia.
Despite prolonged treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), infectious HIV-1 continues to replicate and to reside latently in resting memory CD4+ T lymphocytes, creating a major obstacle to HIV-1 eradication. It is therefore not surprising to observe a prompt viral rebound after discontinuation of HAART. The nature of the rebounding virus, however, remains undefined. We now report on the genetic characterization of rebounding viruses in eight patients in whom plasma viremia was undetectable throughout about 3 years of HAART. Taking advantage of the extensive length polymorphism in HIV-1 env, we found that in five patients who did not show HIV-1 replication during treatment, the rebound virus was identical to those isolated from the latent reservoir. In three other patients, two of whom had been free of plasma viremia but had showed some residual viral replication, the rebound virus was genetically different from the latent reservoir virus, corresponding instead to minor viral variants detected during the course of treatment in lymphoid tissues. We conclude that in cases with apparent complete HIV-1 suppression by HAART, viral rebound after cessation of therapy could have originated from the activation of virus from the latent reservoir. In patients with incomplete suppression by chemotherapy, however, the viral rebound is likely triggered by ongoing, low-level replication of HIV-1, perhaps occurring in lymphoid tissues.
To determine why residents present certain cases and not others at morning report (MR) in an institution that permits residents the free choice of cases.
Prospective survey of 10 second- and third-year residents assigned to the medical service.
A 241-bed teaching hospital with 55 categorical internal medicine residents.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Over a 4-week period, there were 194 admissions to the medical service on 18 call days preceding MR. Of these admissions, 30 (15%) were presented at MR. Cases were more likely to be presented if they were considered unusual or rare in presentation or incidence ( p = .001), involved significant management issues ( p = .001), or were associated with remarkable imaging studies or other visual material ( p = .006). Residents were more likely to present cases in which they disagreed with attending physicians on management plans ( p = .005). Overall, residents rated few admissions as having notable physical examination findings (29/194) or ethical or cost issues (6/194). Of the seven most common admitting diagnoses, representing 44% of admissions, residents did not present cases involving four of these diagnoses.
Residents presented cases at MR that they felt were unique or rare in presentation or incidence for purposes of discussing management issues. Complete resident freedom in choosing MR cases may narrow the scope of MR and exclude common diagnoses and other issues of import such as medical ethics or economics.
morning report; postgraduate education; internal medicine residency; educational conference