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1.  ROD1 Is a Seedless Target Gene of Hypoxia-Induced miR-210 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e44651.
Most metazoan microRNA (miRNA) target sites have perfect pairing to the “seed” sequence, a highly conserved region centering on miRNA nucleotides 2–7. Thus, complementarity to this region is a necessary requirement for target prediction algorithms. However, also non-canonical miRNA binding can confer target regulation. Here, we identified a seedless target of miR-210, a master miRNA of the hypoxic response. We analyzed 20 genes that were inversely correlated to miR-210 expression and did not display any complementarity with miR-210 seed sequence. We validated ROD1 (Regulator of Differentiation 1, also named PTBP3, Polypyrimidine Tract Binding protein 3) as a miR-210 seedless transcript enriched in miR-210-containing RNA-induced silencing complexes. ROD1 was not indirectly targeted by a miR-210-induced miRNA. Conversely, we identified a “centered” miR-210 binding site in ROD1 involving 10 consecutive bases in the central portion of miR-210. Reporter assays showed that miR-210 inhibited ROD1 by the direct binding to this sequence, demonstrating that ROD1 is a bona fide seedless target of miR-210. As expected, both ROD1 mRNA and protein were down-modulated upon hypoxia in a miR-210 dependent manner. ROD1 targeting by miR-210 was biologically significant: the rescue of ROD1 inhibition significantly increased hypoxia-induced cell death. These data highlight the importance of ROD1 regulation by miR-210 for cell homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC3443109  PMID: 23024754
2.  HMGB1 Attenuates Cardiac Remodelling in the Failing Heart via Enhanced Cardiac Regeneration and miR-206-Mediated Inhibition of TIMP-3 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e19845.
HMGB1 injection into the mouse heart, acutely after myocardial infarction (MI), improves left ventricular (LV) function and prevents remodeling. Here, we examined the effect of HMGB1 in chronically failing hearts.
Methods and Results
Adult C57 BL16 female mice underwent coronary artery ligation; three weeks later 200 ng HMGB1 or denatured HMGB1 (control) were injected in the peri-infarcted region of mouse failing hearts. Four weeks after treatment, both echocardiography and hemodynamics demonstrated a significant improvement in LV function in HMGB1-treated mice. Further, HMGB1-treated mice exhibited a ∼23% reduction in LV volume, a ∼48% increase in infarcted wall thickness and a ∼14% reduction in collagen deposition. HMGB1 induced cardiac regeneration and, within the infarcted region, it was found a ∼2-fold increase in c-kit+ cell number, a ∼13-fold increase in newly formed myocytes and a ∼2-fold increase in arteriole length density. HMGB1 also enhanced MMP2 and MMP9 activity and decreased TIMP-3 levels. Importantly, miR-206 expression 3 days after HMGB1 treatment was 4-5-fold higher than in control hearts and 20–25 fold higher that in sham operated hearts. HMGB1 ability to increase miR-206 was confirmed in vitro, in cardiac fibroblasts. TIMP3 was identified as a potential miR-206 target by TargetScan prediction analysis; further, in cultured cardiac fibroblasts, miR-206 gain- and loss-of-function studies and luciferase reporter assays showed that TIMP3 is a direct target of miR-206.
HMGB1 injected into chronically failing hearts enhanced LV function and attenuated LV remodelling; these effects were associated with cardiac regeneration, increased collagenolytic activity, miR-206 overexpression and miR-206 -mediated inhibition of TIMP-3.
PMCID: PMC3120764  PMID: 21731608
3.  Mutations in TMEM216 perturb ciliogenesis and cause Joubert, Meckel and related syndromes 
Nature genetics  2010;42(7):619-625.
Joubert syndrome (JBTS), related disorders (JSRD) and Meckel syndrome (MKS) are ciliopathies. We now report that MKS2 and JBTS2 loci are allelic and due to mutations in TMEM216, encoding an uncharacterized tetraspan transmembrane protein. JBTS2 patients displayed frequent nephronophthisis and polydactytly, and two cases conformed to the Oro-Facio-Digital type VI phenotype, whereas skeletal dysplasia was common in MKS fetuses. A single p.R73L mutation was identified in all patients of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (n=10). TMEM216 localized to the base of primary cilia, and loss of TMEM216 in patient fibroblasts or following siRNA knockdown caused defective ciliogenesis and centrosomal docking, with concomitant hyperactivation of RhoA and Dishevelled. TMEM216 complexed with Meckelin, encoded by a gene also mutated in JSRD and MKS. Abrogation of tmem216 expression in zebrafish led to gastrulation defects that overlap with other ciliary morphants. The data implicate a new family of proteins in the ciliopathies, and further support allelism between ciliopathy disorders.
PMCID: PMC2894012  PMID: 20512146
4.  Protein Phosphatase 2A Subunit PR70 Interacts with pRb and Mediates Its Dephosphorylation▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;28(2):873-882.
The retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (pRb) regulates cell proliferation and differentiation via phosphorylation-sensitive interactions with specific targets. While the role of cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase complexes in the modulation of pRb phosphorylation has been extensively studied, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms regulating phosphate removal by phosphatases. Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is constituted by a core dimer bearing catalytic activity and one variable B regulatory subunit conferring target specificity and subcellular localization. We previously demonstrated that PP2A core dimer binds pRb and dephosphorylates pRb upon oxidative stress. In the present study, we identified a specific PP2A-B subunit, PR70, that was associated with pRb both in vitro and in vivo. PR70 overexpression caused pRb dephosphorylation; conversely, PR70 knockdown prevented both pRb dephosphorylation and DNA synthesis inhibition induced by oxidative stress. Moreover, we found that intracellular Ca2+ mobilization was necessary and sufficient to trigger pRb dephosphorylation and PP2A phosphatase activity of PR70 was Ca2+ induced. These data underline the importance of PR70-Ca2+ interaction in the signal transduction mechanisms triggered by redox imbalance and leading to pRb dephosphorylation.
PMCID: PMC2223420  PMID: 17991896

Results 1-4 (4)