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author:("Wu, qingfu")
1.  Discovery of Replicating Circular RNAs by RNA-Seq and Computational Algorithms 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(12):e1004553.
Replicating circular RNAs are independent plant pathogens known as viroids, or act to modulate the pathogenesis of plant and animal viruses as their satellite RNAs. The rate of discovery of these subviral pathogens was low over the past 40 years because the classical approaches are technical demanding and time-consuming. We previously described an approach for homology-independent discovery of replicating circular RNAs by analysing the total small RNA populations from samples of diseased tissues with a computational program known as progressive filtering of overlapping small RNAs (PFOR). However, PFOR written in PERL language is extremely slow and is unable to discover those subviral pathogens that do not trigger in vivo accumulation of extensively overlapping small RNAs. Moreover, PFOR is yet to identify a new viroid capable of initiating independent infection. Here we report the development of PFOR2 that adopted parallel programming in the C++ language and was 3 to 8 times faster than PFOR. A new computational program was further developed and incorporated into PFOR2 to allow the identification of circular RNAs by deep sequencing of long RNAs instead of small RNAs. PFOR2 analysis of the small RNA libraries from grapevine and apple plants led to the discovery of Grapevine latent viroid (GLVd) and Apple hammerhead viroid-like RNA (AHVd-like RNA), respectively. GLVd was proposed as a new species in the genus Apscaviroid, because it contained the typical structural elements found in this group of viroids and initiated independent infection in grapevine seedlings. AHVd-like RNA encoded a biologically active hammerhead ribozyme in both polarities, and was not specifically associated with any of the viruses found in apple plants. We propose that these computational algorithms have the potential to discover novel circular RNAs in plants, invertebrates and vertebrates regardless of whether they replicate and/or induce the in vivo accumulation of small RNAs.
Author Summary
Viroids are a unique class of subviral pathogens found in plants, and they are difficult to identify since they are free circular non-coding RNAs and often replicate to low levels in host cells. We previously described the computational algorithm PFOR that discovers viroids by analyzing total small RNAs of the infected plants obtained by next-generation sequencing platforms. However, the algorithm written in PERL language is very slow, and viroid identification depends on the in vivo accumulation of extensively overlapping sets of small RNAs to target viroids. Here we report the development of PFOR2 that adopted parallel programming in the C++ language and was significantly faster than PFOR. We also describe a simple computational program that after incorporation into PFOR2 is capable of identifying viroids from deep sequencing of long RNAs instead of small RNAs. Moreover, we report the identification of Grapevine latent viroid (GLVd) and Apple hammerhead viroid-like RNA by the computational approach. Since our new algorithms do not depend on the analysis of viroid-derived small RNAs produced in vivo, it is possible to discover viroids in a wide range of host species including plants, invertebrates and vertebrates.
PMCID: PMC4263765  PMID: 25503469
2.  RNA-Based Immunity Terminates Viral Infection in Adult Drosophila in the Absence of Viral Suppression of RNA Interference: Characterization of Viral Small Interfering RNA Populations in Wild-Type and Mutant Flies▿‡ 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(24):13153-13163.
Replication of viral RNA genomes in fruit flies and mosquitoes induces the production of virus-derived small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to specifically reduce virus accumulation by RNA interference (RNAi). However, it is unknown whether the RNA-based antiviral immunity (RVI) is sufficiently potent to terminate infection in adult insects as occurs in cell culture. We show here that, in contrast to robust infection by Flock house virus (FHV), infection with an FHV mutant (FHVΔB2) unable to express its RNAi suppressor protein B2 was rapidly terminated in adult flies. FHVΔB2 replicated to high levels and induced high mortality rates in dicer-2 and argonaute-2 mutant flies that are RNAi defective, demonstrating that successful infection of adult Drosophila requires a virus-encoded activity to suppress RVI. Drosophila RVI may depend on the RNAi activity of viral siRNAs since efficient FHVΔB2 infection occurred in argonaute-2 and r2d2 mutant flies despite massive production of viral siRNAs. However, RVI appears to be insensitive to the relative abundance of viral siRNAs since FHVΔB2 infection was terminated in flies carrying a partial loss-of-function mutation in loquacious required for viral siRNA biogenesis. Deep sequencing revealed a low-abundance population of Dicer-2-dependent viral siRNAs accompanying FHVΔB2 infection arrest in RVI-competent flies that included an approximately equal ratio of positive and negative strands. Surprisingly, viral small RNAs became strongly biased for positive strands at later stages of infection in RVI-compromised flies due to genetic or viral suppression of RNAi. We propose that degradation of the asymmetrically produced viral positive-strand RNAs associated with abundant virus accumulation contributes to the positive-strand bias of viral small RNAs.
PMCID: PMC3233157  PMID: 21957285
3.  Viral suppressors of RNA-based viral immunity: Host targets 
Cell host & microbe  2010;8(1):12-15.
Discovery of diverse plant and animal viral proteins as suppressors of RNA silencing has provided strong support for an RNA-based viral immunity (RVI), which is now known to specifically destroy viral RNAs by RNA interference in fungi, plants and invertebrates. Here we review several recent studies that have revealed new mechanistic insights into plant and insect viral suppressors of RVI or suggested a role for RNA silencing suppression during mammalian viral infection.
PMCID: PMC2929401  PMID: 20638637
4.  siRNAs compete with miRNAs for methylation by HEN1 in Arabidopsis 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(17):5844-5850.
Plant microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) bear a 2′-O-methyl group on the 3′-terminal nucleotide. This methyl group is post-synthetically added by the methyltransferase protein HEN1 and protects small RNAs from enzymatic activities that target the 3′-OH. A mutagenesis screen for suppressors of the partial loss-of-function hen1-2 allele in Arabidopsis identified second-site mutations that restore miRNA methylation. These mutations affect two subunits of the DNA-dependent RNA polymerase IV (Pol IV), which is essential for the biogenesis of 24 nt endogenous siRNAs. A mutation in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 2, another essential gene for the biogenesis of endogenous 24-nt siRNAs, also rescued the defects in miRNA methylation of hen1-2, revealing a previously unsuspected, negative influence of siRNAs on HEN1-mediated miRNA methylation. In addition, our findings imply the existence of a negative modifier of HEN1 activity in the Columbia genetic background.
PMCID: PMC2943618  PMID: 20448024
5.  Mechanism of induction and suppression of antiviral immunity directed by small RNAs in Drosophila 
Cell host & microbe  2008;4(4):387-397.
The identity of the viral RNA recognized directly during infection by diverse host innate immune receptors has been under debate. Here we examined the population of virus-derived siRNAs (viRNAs) in Drosophila challenged by Flock house virus (FHV), which are processed from an unidentified viral precursor to guide specific viral immunity. The results show that replication of FHV positive-strand RNA genome produces an approximately 400-bp dsRNA from the 5′-terminus that serves as the major substrate of Dicer-2 for processing into viRNAs. ViRNAs are loaded in Argonaute-2 and the loaded viRNAs are methylated at their 3′-ends. Notably, FHV-encoded RNAi suppressor B2 protein interacts with both viral dsRNA and RNA replicase and inhibits production of the 5′-terminal viRNAs. Our findings therefore provide a cell biology model in which small RNA-directed viral immunity is induced during the initiation of viral progeny (+)RNA synthesis and is suppressed by B2 inside the viral RNA replication complex.
PMCID: PMC2584229  PMID: 18854242
6.  Poly A- Transcripts Expressed in HeLa Cells 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(7):e2803.
Transcripts expressed in eukaryotes are classified as poly A+ transcripts or poly A- transcripts based on the presence or absence of the 3′ poly A tail. Most transcripts identified so far are poly A+ transcripts, whereas the poly A- transcripts remain largely unknown.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We developed the TRD (Total RNA Detection) system for transcript identification. The system detects the transcripts through the following steps: 1) depleting the abundant ribosomal and small-size transcripts; 2) synthesizing cDNA without regard to the status of the 3′ poly A tail; 3) applying the 454 sequencing technology for massive 3′ EST collection from the cDNA; and 4) determining the genome origins of the detected transcripts by mapping the sequences to the human genome reference sequences. Using this system, we characterized the cytoplasmic transcripts from HeLa cells. Of the 13,467 distinct 3′ ESTs analyzed, 24% are poly A-, 36% are poly A+, and 40% are bimorphic with poly A+ features but without the 3′ poly A tail. Most of the poly A- 3′ ESTs do not match known transcript sequences; they have a similar distribution pattern in the genome as the poly A+ and bimorphic 3′ ESTs, and their mapped intergenic regions are evolutionarily conserved. Experiments confirmed the authenticity of the detected poly A- transcripts.
Our study provides the first large-scale sequence evidence for the presence of poly A- transcripts in eukaryotes. The abundance of the poly A- transcripts highlights the need for comprehensive identification of these transcripts for decoding the transcriptome, annotating the genome and studying biological relevance of the poly A- transcripts.
PMCID: PMC2481391  PMID: 18665230
7.  Genome-wide analysis of antisense transcription with Affymetrix exon array 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:27.
A large number of natural antisense transcripts have been identified in human and mouse genomes. Study of their potential functions clearly requires cost-efficient method for expression analysis.
Here we show that Affymetrix Exon arrays, which were designed to detect conventional transcripts in the sense orientation, can be used to monitor antisense expression across all exonic loci in mammalian genomes. Through modification of the cDNA synthesis protocol, we labeled single-strand cDNA in the reverse orientation as in the standard protocol, thus enabling the detection of antisense transcripts using the same array. Applying this technique to human Jurkat cells, we identified antisense transcription at 2,088 exonic loci of 1,516 UniGene clusters. Many of these antisense transcripts were not observed previously and some were validated by orientation-specific RT-PCR.
Our results suggest that with a modified protocol Affymetrix human, mouse and rat Exon arrays can be used as a routine method for genome-wide analysis of antisense transcription in these genomes.
PMCID: PMC2257944  PMID: 18211689
8.  SAGE detects microRNA precursors 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:285.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to play important roles in regulating gene expression. Since miRNAs are often evolutionarily conserved and their precursors can be folded into stem-loop hairpins, many miRNAs have been predicted. Yet experimental confirmation is difficult since miRNA expression is often specific to particular tissues and developmental stages.
Analysis of 29 human and 230 mouse longSAGE libraries revealed the expression of 22 known and 10 predicted mammalian miRNAs. Most were detected in embryonic tissues. Four SAGE tags detected in human embryonic stem cells specifically match a cluster of four human miRNAs (mir-302a, b, c&d) known to be expressed in embryonic stem cells. LongSAGE data also suggest the existence of a mouse homolog of human and rat mir-493.
The observation that some orphan longSAGE tags uniquely match miRNA precursors provides information about the expression of some known and predicted miRNAs.
PMCID: PMC1636050  PMID: 17090314
9.  Escherichia coli noncoding RNAs can affect gene expression and physiology of Caenorhabditis elegans 
Nature Communications  2012;3:1073-.
Food and other environmental factors affect gene expression and behaviour of animals. Differences in bacterial food affect the behaviour and longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans. However, no research has been carried out to investigate whether bacteria could utilize endogenous RNAs to affect C. elegans physiology. Here we show that two Escherichia coli endogenous noncoding RNAs, OxyS and DsrA, impact on the physiology of C. elegans. OxyS downregulates che-2, leading to impairment in C. elegans chemosensory behaviour and DsrA suppresses diacylglycerol lipase gene F42G9.6, leading to a decrease in longevity. We also examine some genes in the C. elegans RNA interference pathway for their possible involvement in the effects of OxyS and DsrA. Other bacteria, such as Bacillus mycoides, may also utilize its noncoding RNAs to interfere with gene expression in C. elegans. Our results demonstrate that E. coli noncoding RNAs can regulate gene expression and physiological conditions of C. elegans and indicate that noncoding RNAs might have interspecies ecological roles.
It is known that differences in the bacterial food of Caenorhabditis elegans can alter their behaviour. In this study, bacteria expressing two different noncoding RNAs alter the chemosensory and longevity of C. elegans, suggesting a role in modulating C. elegans physiology.
PMCID: PMC3658002  PMID: 23011127
10.  The Genomes of Oryza sativa: A History of Duplications 
Yu, Jun | Wang, Jun | Lin, Wei | Li, Songgang | Li, Heng | Zhou, Jun | Ni, Peixiang | Dong, Wei | Hu, Songnian | Zeng, Changqing | Zhang, Jianguo | Zhang, Yong | Li, Ruiqiang | Xu, Zuyuan | Li, Shengting | Li, Xianran | Zheng, Hongkun | Cong, Lijuan | Lin, Liang | Yin, Jianning | Geng, Jianing | Li, Guangyuan | Shi, Jianping | Liu, Juan | Lv, Hong | Li, Jun | Wang, Jing | Deng, Yajun | Ran, Longhua | Shi, Xiaoli | Wang, Xiyin | Wu, Qingfa | Li, Changfeng | Ren, Xiaoyu | Wang, Jingqiang | Wang, Xiaoling | Li, Dawei | Liu, Dongyuan | Zhang, Xiaowei | Ji, Zhendong | Zhao, Wenming | Sun, Yongqiao | Zhang, Zhenpeng | Bao, Jingyue | Han, Yujun | Dong, Lingli | Ji, Jia | Chen, Peng | Wu, Shuming | Liu, Jinsong | Xiao, Ying | Bu, Dongbo | Tan, Jianlong | Yang, Li | Ye, Chen | Zhang, Jingfen | Xu, Jingyi | Zhou, Yan | Yu, Yingpu | Zhang, Bing | Zhuang, Shulin | Wei, Haibin | Liu, Bin | Lei, Meng | Yu, Hong | Li, Yuanzhe | Xu, Hao | Wei, Shulin | He, Ximiao | Fang, Lijun | Zhang, Zengjin | Zhang, Yunze | Huang, Xiangang | Su, Zhixi | Tong, Wei | Li, Jinhong | Tong, Zongzhong | Li, Shuangli | Ye, Jia | Wang, Lishun | Fang, Lin | Lei, Tingting | Chen, Chen | Chen, Huan | Xu, Zhao | Li, Haihong | Huang, Haiyan | Zhang, Feng | Xu, Huayong | Li, Na | Zhao, Caifeng | Li, Shuting | Dong, Lijun | Huang, Yanqing | Li, Long | Xi, Yan | Qi, Qiuhui | Li, Wenjie | Zhang, Bo | Hu, Wei | Zhang, Yanling | Tian, Xiangjun | Jiao, Yongzhi | Liang, Xiaohu | Jin, Jiao | Gao, Lei | Zheng, Weimou | Hao, Bailin | Liu, Siqi | Wang, Wen | Yuan, Longping | Cao, Mengliang | McDermott, Jason | Samudrala, Ram | Wang, Jian | Wong, Gane Ka-Shu | Yang, Huanming
PLoS Biology  2005;3(2):e38.
We report improved whole-genome shotgun sequences for the genomes of indica and japonica rice, both with multimegabase contiguity, or almost 1,000-fold improvement over the drafts of 2002. Tested against a nonredundant collection of 19,079 full-length cDNAs, 97.7% of the genes are aligned, without fragmentation, to the mapped super-scaffolds of one or the other genome. We introduce a gene identification procedure for plants that does not rely on similarity to known genes to remove erroneous predictions resulting from transposable elements. Using the available EST data to adjust for residual errors in the predictions, the estimated gene count is at least 38,000–40,000. Only 2%–3% of the genes are unique to any one subspecies, comparable to the amount of sequence that might still be missing. Despite this lack of variation in gene content, there is enormous variation in the intergenic regions. At least a quarter of the two sequences could not be aligned, and where they could be aligned, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rates varied from as little as 3.0 SNP/kb in the coding regions to 27.6 SNP/kb in the transposable elements. A more inclusive new approach for analyzing duplication history is introduced here. It reveals an ancient whole-genome duplication, a recent segmental duplication on Chromosomes 11 and 12, and massive ongoing individual gene duplications. We find 18 distinct pairs of duplicated segments that cover 65.7% of the genome; 17 of these pairs date back to a common time before the divergence of the grasses. More important, ongoing individual gene duplications provide a never-ending source of raw material for gene genesis and are major contributors to the differences between members of the grass family.
Comparative genome sequencing of indica and japonica rice reveals that duplication of genes and genomic regions has played a major part in the evolution of grass genomes
PMCID: PMC546038  PMID: 15685292

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