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1.  miR-888 is an expressed prostatic secretions-derived microRNA that promotes prostate cell growth and migration 
Cell Cycle  2013;13(2):227-239.
microRNAs (miRNAs) are a growing class of small non-coding RNAs that exhibit widespread dysregulation in prostate cancer. We profiled miRNA expression in syngeneic human prostate cancer cell lines that differed in their metastatic potential in order to determine their role in aggressive prostate cancer. miR-888 was the most differentially expressed miRNA observed in human metastatic PC3-ML cells relative to non-invasive PC3-N cells, and its levels were higher in primary prostate tumors from cancer patients, particularly those with seminal vesicle invasion. We also examined a novel miRNA-based biomarker source called expressed prostatic secretions in urine (EPS urine) for miR-888 expression and found that its levels were preferentially elevated in prostate cancer patients with high-grade disease. These expression studies indicated a correlation for miR-888 in disease progression. We next tested how miR-888 regulated cancer-related pathways in vitro using human prostate cancer cell lines. Overexpression of miR-888 increased proliferation and migration, and conversely inhibition of miR-888 activity blocked these processes. miR-888 also increased colony formation in PC3-N and LNCaP cells, supporting an oncogenic role for this miRNA in the prostate. Our data indicates that miR-888 functions to promote prostate cancer progression and can suppress protein levels of the tumor suppressor genes RBL1 and SMAD4. This miRNA holds promise as a diagnostic tool using an innovative prostatic fluid source as well as a therapeutic target for aggressive prostate cancer.
doi:10.4161/cc.26984
PMCID: PMC3906240  PMID: 24200968
non-coding RNA; microRNA; miRNA; miR-888; prostate; prostate cancer; expressed prostatic secretions urine; EPS urine
2.  Gongylonema pulchrum Infection in a Resident of Williamsburg, Virginia, Verified by Genetic Analysis 
We describe the thirteenth reported case of human infection with Gongylonema spp. in the United States and the first to be confirmed as Gongylonema pulchrum. The parasite described was isolated from the oral cavity of a resident of Williamsburg, Virginia. The identity of the parasite was verified through morphological and genetic approaches, and provided the first genetic confirmation of a Gongylonema sp. in humans.
doi:10.4269/ajtmh.13-0355
PMCID: PMC3795108  PMID: 23958907
3.  A growing molecular toolbox for the functional analysis of microRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans 
Briefings in Functional Genomics  2011;10(4):175-180.
With the growing number of microRNAs (miRNAs) being identified each year, more innovative molecular tools are required to efficiently characterize these small RNAs in living animal systems. Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model to study how miRNAs regulate gene expression and control diverse biological processes during development and in the adult. Genetic strategies such as large-scale miRNA deletion studies in nematodes have been used with limited success since the majority of miRNA genes do not exhibit phenotypes when individually mutated. Recent work has indicated that miRNAs function in complex regulatory networks with other small RNAs and protein-coding genes, and therefore the challenge will be to uncover these functional redundancies. The use of miRNA inhibitors such as synthetic antisense 2′-O-methyl oligoribonucleotides is emerging as a promising in vivo approach to dissect out the intricacies of miRNA regulation.
doi:10.1093/bfgp/elr012
PMCID: PMC3144738  PMID: 21624898
microRNA; Caenorhabditis elegans; miRNA inhibitors; antisense 2′-O-methyl oligoribonucleotides
4.  Reciprocal Expression of lin-41 and the microRNAs let-7 and mir-125 During Mouse Embryogenesis 
In C. elegans, heterochronic genes control the timing of cell fate determination during development. Two heterochronic genes, let-7 and lin-4, encode microRNAs (miRNAs) that down-regulate a third heterochronic gene lin-41 by binding to complementary sites in its 3’UTR. let-7 and lin-4 are conserved in mammals. Here we report the cloning and sequencing of mammalian lin-41 orthologs. We find that mouse and human lin-41 genes contain predicted conserved complementary sites for let-7 and the lin-4 ortholog, mir-125, in their 3’UTRs. Mouse lin-41 (Mlin-41) is temporally expressed in developing mouse embryos, most dramatically in the limb buds. Mlin-41 is down-regulated during mid-embryogenesis at the time when mouse let-7c and mir-125 RNA levels are up-regulated. Our results suggest that mammalian lin-41 is temporally regulated by miRNAs in order to direct key developmental events such as limb formation.
doi:10.1002/dvdy.20599
PMCID: PMC2596717  PMID: 16247770
microRNAs; lin-41; let-7; mir-125; developmental timing; mouse embryogenesis; expression pattern; limb development; heterochronic gene

Results 1-4 (4)