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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (25)
- Genes & Development
- Nucleic Acids Research
- Nucleic Acids Research
- RNA (New York, N.Y.)
- Journal of Bacteriology
- Molecular Cell
- Journal of Molecular Biology
- Current Biology : CB
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- Current Biology : CB
- Molecular Microbiology
- Journal of Molecular Biology
- Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- RNA (New York, N.Y.)
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Genome Research
- Molecular Cell
- Biophysical Journal
- Molecular Cell
- Nature Cell Biology
- Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology
- Nucleic Acids Research
Articles by Markus Landthaler in JoVE
PAR-CliP - A Method to Identify Transcriptome-wide the Binding Sites of RNA Binding Proteins
Markus Hafner1, Markus Landthaler2, Lukas Burger3, Mohsen Khorshid3, Jean Hausser4, Philipp Berninger4, Andrea Rothballer1, Manuel Ascano1, Anna-Carina Jungkamp2, Mathias Munschauer2, Alexander Ulrich1, Greg S. Wardle1, Scott Dewell5, Mihaela Zavolan3, Thomas Tuschl1
1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Laboratory of RNA Molecular Biology, Rockefeller University, 2Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology, Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine, 3Biozentrum der Universität Basel and Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB), 4Biozentrum der Universität Basel and Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (SIB), 5Genomics Resource Center, Rockefeller University
RNA transcripts are subject to extensive posttranscriptional regulation that is mediated by a multitude of trans-acting RNA-binding proteins (RBPs). Here we present a generalizable method to identify precisely and on a transcriptome-wide scale the RNA binding sites of RBPs.
Other articles by Markus Landthaler on PubMed
Intronless Homing: Site-specific Endonuclease SegF of Bacteriophage T4 Mediates Localized Marker Exclusion Analogous to Homing Endonucleases of Group I Introns
Genes & Development. Feb, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 11825876
All genetic markers from phage T2 are partially excluded from the progeny of mixed infections with the related phage T4 (general, or phage exclusion). Several loci, including gene 56 of T2, are more dramatically excluded, being present in only approximately 1% of the progeny. This phenomenon is referred to as localized marker exclusion. Gene 69 is adjacent to gene 56 of T4 but is absent in T2, being replaced by completely nonhomologous DNA. We describe SegF, a novel site-specific DNA endonuclease encoded by gene 69, which is similar to GIY-YIG homing endonucleases of group I introns. Interestingly, SegF preferentially cleaves gene 56 of T2, both in vitro and in vivo, compared with that of phage T4. Repair of the double-strand break (DSB) results in the predominance of T4 genes 56 and segF in the progeny, with exclusion of the corresponding T2 sequences. Localized exclusion of T2 gene 56 is dependent on full-length SegF and is likely analogous to group I intron homing, in which repair of a DSB results in coconversion of markers in the flanking DNA. Phage T4 has many optional homing endonuclease genes similar to segF, whereas similar endonuclease genes are relatively rare in other members of the T-even family of bacteriophages. We propose that the general advantage enjoyed by T4 phage, over almost all of its relatives, is a cumulative effect of many of these localized events.
Two Self-splicing Group I Introns in the Ribonucleotide Reductase Large Subunit Gene of Staphylococcus Aureus Phage Twort
Nucleic Acids Research. May, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 11972330
We have recently described three group I introns inserted into a single gene, orf142, of the staphylococcal bacteriophage Twort and suggested the presence of at least two additional self-splicing introns in this phage genome. Here we report that two previously uncharacterized introns, 429 and 1087 nt in length, interrupt the Twort gene coding for the large subunit of ribonucleotide reductase (nrdE). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of RNA isolated from Staphylococcus aureus after phage infection indicates that the introns are removed from the primary transcript in vivo. Both nrdE introns show sequence similarity to the Twort orf142 introns I2 and I3, suggesting either a common origin of these introns or shuffling of intron structural elements. Intron 2 encodes a DNA endonuclease, I-TwoI, with similarity to homing endonucleases of the HNH family. Like I-HmuI and I-HmuII, intron-encoded HNH endonucleases in Bacillus subtilis phages SPO1 and SP82, I-TwoI nicks only one strand of its DNA recognition sequence. However, whereas I-HmuI and I-HmuII cleave the template strand in exon 2, I-TwoI cleaves the coding strand in exon 1. In each case, the 3' OH created on the cut strand is positioned to prime DNA synthesis towards the intron, suggesting that this reaction contributes to the mechanism of intron homing. Both nrdE introns are inserted in highly conserved regions of the ribonucleotide reductase gene, next to codons for functionally important residues.
The Nicking Homing Endonuclease I-BasI is Encoded by a Group I Intron in the DNA Polymerase Gene of the Bacillus Thuringiensis Phage Bastille
Nucleic Acids Research. Jun, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12799434
Here we describe the discovery of a group I intron in the DNA polymerase gene of Bacillus thuringiensis phage Bastille. Although the intron insertion site is identical to that of the Bacillus subtilis phages SPO1 and SP82 introns, the Bastille intron differs from them substantially in primary and secondary structure. Like the SPO1 and SP82 introns, the Bastille intron encodes a nicking DNA endonuclease of the H-N-H family, I-BasI, with a cleavage site identical to that of the SPO1-encoded enzyme I-HmuI. Unlike I-HmuI, which nicks both intron-minus and intron-plus DNA, I-BasI cleaves only intron-minus alleles, which is a characteristic of typical homing endonucleases. Interestingly, the C-terminal portions of these H-N-H phage endonucleases contain a conserved sequence motif, the intron-encoded endonuclease repeat motif (IENR1) that also has been found in endonucleases of the GIY-YIG family, and which likely comprises a small DNA-binding module with a globular betabetaalphaalphabeta fold, suggestive of module shuffling between different homing endonuclease families.
RNA (New York, N.Y.). Mar, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 14970398
A large number of miRNAs have recently been discovered in plants and animals. Development of reverse genetic approaches that act to inhibit microRNA function would facilitate the study of this new class of noncoding RNA. Here we show that 2'-O-methyl oligoribonucleotides, but not 2'-deoxyoligonucleotides specifically inactivate the RNAi activity associated with miRNA-protein complexes in human cell extracts as well as in cultured human cells.
Group I Intron Homing in Bacillus Phages SPO1 and SP82: a Gene Conversion Event Initiated by a Nicking Homing Endonuclease
Journal of Bacteriology. Jul, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15205433
Many group I introns encode endonucleases that promote intron homing by initiating a double-stranded break-mediated homologous recombination event. In this work we describe intron homing in Bacillus subtilis phages SPO1 and SP82. The introns encode the DNA endonucleases I-HmuI and I-HmuII, respectively, which belong to the H-N-H endonuclease family and possess nicking activity in vitro. Coinfections of B. subtilis with intron-minus and intron-plus phages indicate that I-HmuI and I-HmuII are required for homing of the SPO1 and SP82 introns, respectively. The homing process is a gene conversion event that does not require the major B. subtilis recombination pathways, suggesting that the necessary functions are provided by phage-encoded factors. Our results provide the first examples of H-N-H endonuclease-mediated intron homing and the first demonstration of intron homing initiated by a nicking endonuclease.
Molecular Cell. Jul, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15260970
Argonaute proteins associate with small RNAs that guide mRNA degradation, translational repression, or a combination of both. The human Argonaute family has eight members, four of which (Ago1 through Ago4) are closely related and coexpressed in many cell types. To understand the biological function of the different Ago proteins, we set out to determine if Ago1 through Ago4 are associated with miRNAs as well as RISC activity in human cell lines. Our results suggest that miRNAs are incorporated indiscriminately of their sequence into Ago1 through Ago4 containing microRNPs (miRNPs). Purification of the FLAG/HA-epitope-tagged Ago containing complexes from different human cell lines revealed that endonuclease activity is exclusively associated with Ago2. Exogenously introduced siRNAs also associate with Ago2 for guiding target RNA cleavage. The specific role of Ago2 in guiding target RNA cleavage was confirmed independently by siRNA-based depletion of individual Ago members in combination with a sensitive positive-readout reporter assay.
Journal of Molecular Biology. Sep, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15313606
The structure of I-HmuI, which represents the last family of homing endonucleases without a defining crystallographic structure, has been determined in complex with its DNA target. A series of diverse protein structural domains and motifs, contacting sequential stretches of nucleotide bases, are distributed along the DNA target. I-HmuI contains an N-terminal domain with a DNA-binding surface found in the I-PpoI homing endonuclease and an associated HNH/N active site found in the bacterial colicins, and a C-terminal DNA-binding domain previously observed in the I-TevI homing endonuclease. The combination and exchange of these features between protein families indicates that the genetic mobility associated with homing endonucleases extends to the level of independent structural domains. I-HmuI provides an unambiguous structural connection between the His-Cys box endonucleases and the bacterial colicins, supporting the hypothesis that these enzymes diverged from a common ancestral nuclease.
The Human DiGeorge Syndrome Critical Region Gene 8 and Its D. Melanogaster Homolog Are Required for MiRNA Biogenesis
Current Biology : CB. Dec, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15589161
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a family of small noncoding RNAs that are found in plants and animals (for recent reviews, see ). miRNAs are expressed in a developmentally and tissue-specific manner and regulate the translational efficiency and stability of partial or fully sequence-complementary mRNAs. miRNAs are excised in a stepwise process from double-stranded RNA precursors that are embedded in long RNA polymerase II primary transcripts (pri-miRNA). Drosha RNase III catalyzes the first excision event, the release in the nucleus of a hairpin RNA (pre-miRNA), which is followed by export of the pre-miRNA to the cytoplasm and further processing by Dicer to mature miRNAs. Here, we characterize the human DGCR8, the DiGeorge syndrome critical region gene 8, and its Drosophila melanogaster homolog. We provide biochemical and cell-based readouts to demonstrate the requirement of DGCR8 for the maturation of miRNA primary transcripts. RNAi knockdown experiments of fly and human DGCR8 resulted in accumulation of pri-miRNAs and reduction of pre-miRNAs and mature miRNAs. Our results suggest that DGCR8 and Drosha interact in human cells and reside in a functional pri-miRNA processing complex.
Science (New York, N.Y.). Jan, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15591165
CD4+ T cells classically recognize antigens that are endocytosed and processed in lysosomes for presentation on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules. Here, endogenous Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) was found to gain access to this pathway by autophagy. On inhibition of lysosomal acidification, EBNA1, the dominant CD4+ T cell antigen of latent Epstein-Barr virus infection, slowly accumulated in cytosolic autophagosomes. In addition, inhibition of autophagy decreased recognition by EBNA1-specific CD4+ T cell clones. Thus, lysosomal processing after autophagy may contribute to MHC class II-restricted surveillance of long-lived endogenous antigens including nuclear proteins relevant to disease.
Current Biology : CB. Dec, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16289642
RNA silencing processes are guided by small RNAs known as siRNAs and microRNAs (miRNAs) . They reside in ribonucleoprotein complexes, which guide the cleavage of complementary mRNAs or affect stability and translation of partial complementary mRNAs . Argonaute (Ago) proteins are at the heart of silencing effector complexes and bind the single-stranded siRNA and miRNA . Our biochemical analysis revealed that Ago2 is present in a pre-miRNA processing complex that is able to transfer the miRNA into a target-mRNA cleaving complex. To gain insight into the function and composition of RNA silencing complexes, we purified Ago1- and Ago2-containing complexes from human cells. Several known Ago1- and/or Ago2-associated proteins including Dicer were identified, but also two novel factors, the putative RNA helicase MOV10, and the RNA recognition motif (RRM)-containing protein TNRC6B/KIAA1093. The new proteins localize, similar to Ago proteins, to mRNA-degrading cytoplasmic P bodies, and they are functionally required to mediate miRNA-guided mRNA cleavage.
Retrotransposition Strategies of the Lactococcus Lactis Ll.LtrB Group II Intron Are Dictated by Host Identity and Cellular Environment
Molecular Microbiology. Apr, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15813740
Group II introns are mobile retroelements that invade their cognate intron-minus gene in a process known as retrohoming. They can also retrotranspose to ectopic sites at low frequency. Previous studies of the Lactococcus lactis intron Ll.LtrB indicated that in its native host, as in Escherichia coli, retrohoming occurs by the intron RNA reverse splicing into double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) through an endonuclease-dependent pathway. However, in retrotransposition in L. lactis, the intron inserts predominantly into single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), in an endonuclease-independent manner. This work describes the retrotransposition of the Ll.LtrB intron in E. coli, using a retrotransposition indicator gene previously employed in our L. lactis studies. Unlike in L. lactis, in E. coli, Ll.LtrB retrotransposed frequently into dsDNA, and the process was dependent on the endonuclease activity of the intron-encoded protein. Further, the endonuclease-dependent insertions preferentially occurred around the origin and terminus of chromosomal DNA replication. Insertions in E. coli can also occur through an endonuclease-independent pathway, and, as in L. lactis, such events have a more random integration pattern. Together these findings show that Ll.LtrB can retrotranspose through at least two distinct mechanisms and that the host environment influences the choice of integration pathway. Additionally, growth conditions affect the insertion pattern. We propose a model in which DNA replication, compactness of the nucleoid and chromosomal localization influence target site preference.
I-BasI and I-HmuI: Two Phage Intron-encoded Endonucleases with Homologous DNA Recognition Sequences but Distinct DNA Specificities
Journal of Molecular Biology. May, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16569414
I-HmuI and I-BasI are two highly similar nicking DNA endonucleases, which are each encoded by a group I intron inserted into homologous sites within the DNA polymerase genes of Bacillus phages SPO1 and Bastille, respectively. Here, we present a comparison of the DNA specificities and cleavage activities of these enconucleases with homologous target sites. I-BasI has properties that are typical of homing endonucleases, nicking the intron-minus polymerase genes in either host genome, three nucleotides downstream of the intron insertion site. In contrast, I-HmuI nicks both the intron-plus and intron-minus site in its own host genome, but does not act on the target from Bastille phage. Although the enzymes have distinct DNA substrate specificities, both bind to an identical 25bp region of their respective intron-minus DNA polymerase genes surrounding the intron insertion site. The endonucleases appear to interact with the DNA substrates in the downstream exon 2 in a similar manner. However, whereas I-HmuI is known to make its only base-specific contacts within this exon region, structural modeling analyses predict that I-BasI might make specific base contacts both upstream and downstream of the site of intron insertion. The predicted requirement for base-specific contacts in exon 1 for cleavage by I-BasI was confirmed experimentally. This explains the difference in substrate specificities between the two enzymes, including the observation that the former enzyme is relatively insensitive to the presence of an intron upstream of exon 2. These differences are likely a consequence of divergent evolutionary constraints.
SiRNA-mediated Selective Inhibition of Mutant Keratin MRNAs Responsible for the Skin Disorder Pachyonychia Congenita
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Oct, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 17145926
RNA interference offers a novel approach for treating genetic disorders including the rare monogenic skin disorder pachyonychia congenita (PC). PC is caused by mutations in keratin 6a (K6a), K6b, K16, and K17 genes, including small deletions and single nucleotide changes. Transfection experiments of a fusion gene consisting of K6a and a yellow fluorescent reporter (YFP) resulted in normal keratin filament formation in transfected cells as assayed by fluorescence microscopy. Similar constructs containing a single nucleotide change (N171K) or a three-nucleotide deletion (N171del) showed keratin aggregate formation. Mutant-specific small inhibitory RNAs (siRNAs) effectively targeted these sites. These studies suggest that siRNAs can discriminate single nucleotide mutations and further suggest that "designer siRNAs" may allow effective treatment of a host of genetic disorders including PC.
Cell. Jun, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17604727
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding regulatory RNAs that reduce stability and/or translation of fully or partially sequence-complementary target mRNAs. In order to identify miRNAs and to assess their expression patterns, we sequenced over 250 small RNA libraries from 26 different organ systems and cell types of human and rodents that were enriched in neuronal as well as normal and malignant hematopoietic cells and tissues. We present expression profiles derived from clone count data and provide computational tools for their analysis. Unexpectedly, a relatively small set of miRNAs, many of which are ubiquitously expressed, account for most of the differences in miRNA profiles between cell lineages and tissues. This broad survey also provides detailed and accurate information about mature sequences, precursors, genome locations, maturation processes, inferred transcriptional units, and conservation patterns. We also propose a subclassification scheme for miRNAs for assisting future experimental and computational functional analyses.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17616579
Recently identified hepatitis C virus (HCV) isolates that are infectious in cell culture provide a genetic system to evaluate the significance of virus-host interactions for HCV replication. We have completed a systematic RNAi screen wherein siRNAs were designed that target 62 host genes encoding proteins that physically interact with HCV RNA or proteins or belong to cellular pathways thought to modulate HCV infection. This includes 10 host proteins that we identify in this study to bind HCV NS5A. siRNAs that target 26 of these host genes alter infectious HCV production >3-fold. Included in this set of 26 were siRNAs that target Dicer, a principal component of the RNAi silencing pathway. Contrary to the hypothesis that RNAi is an antiviral pathway in mammals, as has been reported for subgenomic HCV replicons, siRNAs that target Dicer inhibited HCV replication. Furthermore, siRNAs that target several other components of the RNAi pathway also inhibit HCV replication. MicroRNA profiling of human liver, human hepatoma Huh-7.5 cells, and Huh-7.5 cells that harbor replicating HCV demonstrated that miR-122 is the predominant microRNA in each environment. miR-122 has been previously implicated in positively regulating the replication of HCV genotype 1 replicons. We find that 2'-O-methyl antisense oligonucleotide depletion of miR-122 also inhibits HCV genotype 2a replication and infectious virus production. Our data define 26 host genes that modulate HCV infection and indicate that the requirement for functional RNAi for HCV replication is dominant over any antiviral activity this pathway may exert against HCV.
Molecular Characterization of Human Argonaute-containing Ribonucleoprotein Complexes and Their Bound Target MRNAs
RNA (New York, N.Y.). Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18978028
microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the expression of mRNAs in animals and plants through miRNA-containing ribonucleoprotein particles (RNPs). At the core of these miRNA silencing effector complexes are the Argonaute (AGO) proteins that bind miRNAs and mediate target mRNA recognition. We generated HEK293 cell lines stably expressing epitope-tagged human AGO proteins and other RNA silencing-related proteins and used these cells to purify miRNA-containing RNPs. Mass spectrometric analyses of the proteins associated with different AGO proteins revealed a common set of helicases and mRNA-binding proteins, among them the three trinucleotide repeat containing proteins 6 (TNRC6A,-B,-C). mRNA microarray analyses of these miRNA-associated RNPs revealed that AGO and TNRC6 proteins bind highly similar sets of transcripts enriched in binding sites for highly expressed endogenous miRNAs, indicating that the TNRC6 proteins are a component of the mRNA-targeting miRNA silencing complex. Together with the very similar proteomic composition of each AGO complex, this result suggests substantial functional redundancy within families of human AGO and TNRC6 proteins. Our results further demonstrate that we have developed an effective biochemical approach to identify physiologically relevant human miRNA targets.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19114655
MicroRNAs play important roles in animal development. Numerous conditional knockout (cKO) studies of Dicer have been performed to interrogate the functions of microRNA during mammalian development. However, because Dicer was recently implicated in the biogenesis of endogenous siRNAs in mammals, it raises the question whether the Dicer cKO defects can be attributable to the loss of microRNAs. Previously, we and others conditionally targeted Dicer and identified its critical roles in embryonic skin morphogenesis. Here, we focus explicitly on microRNAs by taking a parallel strategy with Dgcr8, encoding an essential component of the microprocessor complex that is exclusively required for microRNA biogenesis. With this comparative analysis, we show definitively that the Dicer- and Dgcr8-null skin defects are both striking and indistinguishable. By deep sequencing analysis of microRNA depletion in both Dicer- and Dgcr8-null skin, we demonstrate that most abundantly expressed skin microRNAs are dependent on both Dicer and DGCR8. Our results underscore a specific importance of microRNAs in controlling mammalian skin development.
Relative Contribution of Sequence and Structure Features to the MRNA Binding of Argonaute/EIF2C-miRNA Complexes and the Degradation of MiRNA Targets
Genome Research. Nov, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19767416
How miRNAs recognize their target sites is a puzzle that many experimental and computational studies aimed to solve. Several features, such as perfect pairing of the miRNA seed, additional pairing in the 3' region of the miRNA, relative position in the 3' UTR, and the A/U content of the environment of the putative site, have been found to be relevant. Here we have used a large number of previously published data sets to assess the power that various sequence and structure features have in distinguishing between putative sites that do and those that do not appear to be functional. We found that although different data sets give widely different answers when it comes to ranking the relative importance of these features, the sites inferred from most transcriptomics experiments, as well as from comparative genomics, appear similar at this level. This suggests that miRNA target sites have been selected in evolution on their ability to trigger mRNA degradation. To understand at what step in the miRNA-induced response individual features play a role, we transfected human HEK293 cells with miRNAs and analyzed the association of Argonaute/EIF2C-miRNA complexes with target mRNAs and the degradation of these messages. We found that structural features of the target site are only important for Argonaute/EIF2C binding, while sequence features such as the A/U content of the 3' UTR are important for mRNA degradation.
Cell. Apr, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20371350
RNA transcripts are subject to posttranscriptional gene regulation involving hundreds of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNA-containing ribonucleoprotein complexes (miRNPs) expressed in a cell-type dependent fashion. We developed a cell-based crosslinking approach to determine at high resolution and transcriptome-wide the binding sites of cellular RBPs and miRNPs. The crosslinked sites are revealed by thymidine to cytidine transitions in the cDNAs prepared from immunopurified RNPs of 4-thiouridine-treated cells. We determined the binding sites and regulatory consequences for several intensely studied RBPs and miRNPs, including PUM2, QKI, IGF2BP1-3, AGO/EIF2C1-4 and TNRC6A-C. Our study revealed that these factors bind thousands of sites containing defined sequence motifs and have distinct preferences for exonic versus intronic or coding versus untranslated transcript regions. The precise mapping of binding sites across the transcriptome will be critical to the interpretation of the rapidly emerging data on genetic variation between individuals and how these variations contribute to complex genetic diseases.
Fluorescence Cross-correlation Spectroscopy Reveals Mechanistic Insights into the Effect of 2'-O-methyl Modified SiRNAs in Living Cells
Biophysical Journal. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21689532
RNA interference (RNAi) offers a powerful tool to specifically direct the degradation of complementary RNAs, and thus has great therapeutic potential for targeting diseases. Despite the reported preferences of RNAi, there is still a need for new techniques that will allow for a detailed mechanistic characterization of RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) assembly and activity to further improve the biocompatibility of modified siRNAs. In contrast to previous reports, we investigated the effects of 2'-O-methyl (2'OMe) modifications introduced at specific positions within the siRNA at the early and late stages of RISC assembly, as well as their influence on target recognition and cleavage directly in living cells. We found that six to 10 2'OMe nucleotides on the 3'-end inhibit passenger-strand release as well as target-RNA cleavage without changing the affinity, strand asymmetry, or target recognition. 2'OMe modifications introduced at the 5'-end reduced activated RISC stability, whereas incorporations at the cleavage site showed only minor effects on passenger-strand release when present on the passenger strand. Our new fluorescence cross-correlation spectroscopy assays resolve different steps and stages of RISC assembly and target recognition with heretofore unresolved detail in living cells, which is needed to develop therapeutic siRNAs with optimized in vivo properties.
Molecular Cell. Aug, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21723171
Posttranscriptional gene regulation relies on hundreds of RNA binding proteins (RBPs) but the function of most RBPs is unknown. The human RBP HuR/ELAVL1 is a conserved mRNA stability regulator. We used PAR-CLIP, a recently developed method based on RNA-protein crosslinking, to identify transcriptome-wide ∼26,000 HuR binding sites. These sites were on average highly conserved, enriched for HuR binding motifs and mainly located in 3' untranslated regions. Surprisingly, many sites were intronic, implicating HuR in mRNA processing. Upon HuR knockdown, mRNA levels and protein synthesis of thousands of target genes were downregulated, validating functionality. HuR and miRNA binding sites tended to reside nearby but generally did not overlap. Additionally, HuR knockdown triggered strong and specific upregulation of miR-7. In summary, we identified thousands of direct and functional HuR targets, found a human miRNA controlled by HuR, and propose a role for HuR in splicing.
Nature Cell Biology. Sep, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21804543
Pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is defined by their ability to differentiate into three germ layers and derivative cell types and is established by an interactive network of proteins including OCT4 (also known as POU5F1; ref. 4), NANOG (refs 5, 6), SOX2 (ref. 7) and their binding partners. The forkhead box O (FoxO) transcription factors are evolutionarily conserved regulators of longevity and stress response whose function is inhibited by AKT protein kinase. FoxO proteins are required for the maintenance of somatic and cancer stem cells; however, their function in ESCs is unknown. We show that FOXO1 is essential for the maintenance of human ESC pluripotency, and that an orthologue of FOXO1 (Foxo1) exerts a similar function in mouse ESCs. This function is probably mediated through direct control by FOXO1 of OCT4 and SOX2 gene expression through occupation and activation of their respective promoters. Finally, AKT is not the predominant regulator of FOXO1 in human ESCs. Together these results indicate that FOXO1 is a component of the circuitry of human ESC pluripotency. These findings have critical implications for stem cell biology, development, longevity and reprogramming, with potentially important ramifications for therapy.
Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology. Dec, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22212136
Protein-RNA interactions are emerging as an important functional element in the regulation of gene expression. Cross-linking of proteins to RNA by UV irradiation followed by immunoprecipitation (CLIP) has provided a crucial tool for research in this field. Initially, the bottleneck of the method was the relatively low number of identified RNA binding sites. It was only the arrival of next-generation sequencing that allowed a comprehensive and unbiased description of the cross-linked protein-RNA fragments. Here, we summarize recent progress in the study of protein-RNA interactions, as well as some of the important findings obtained using different CLIP approaches in cultured cells and organisms. These efforts allowed the identification of functional RNA-binding sites for a wide range of RNA-interacting proteins. Experimental and bioinformatic progress will further advance this dynamic area of research. The combination of high-resolution protein-RNA interaction maps with transcriptome-wide data describing the stability, modifications and structures of RNAs, in addition to protein expression profiling, will provide deeper insight into post-transcriptional and translational regulatory events and mechanisms.
Nucleic Acids Research. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22086949
In animals, RNA binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) post-transcriptionally regulate the expression of virtually all genes by binding to RNA. Recent advances in experimental and computational methods facilitate transcriptome-wide mapping of these interactions. It is thought that the combinatorial action of RBPs and miRNAs on target mRNAs form a post-transcriptional regulatory code. We provide a database that supports the quest for deciphering this regulatory code. Within doRiNA, we are systematically curating, storing and integrating binding site data for RBPs and miRNAs. Users are free to take a target (mRNA) or regulator (RBP and/or miRNA) centric view on the data. We have implemented a database framework with short query response times for complex searches (e.g. asking for all targets of a particular combination of regulators). All search results can be browsed, inspected and analyzed in conjunction with a huge selection of other genome-wide data, because our database is directly linked to a local copy of the UCSC genome browser. At the time of writing, doRiNA encompasses RBP data for the human, mouse and worm genomes. For computational miRNA target site predictions, we provide an update of PicTar predictions.