Skeletal muscle differentiation is orchestrated by a network of transcription factors, epigenetic regulators, and non-coding RNAs. The transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) silences multiple target genes in myoblasts (MBs) by recruiting Ezh2 (Enhancer of Zeste Homologue2). To elucidate genome-wide YY1 binding in MBs, we performed chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-seq and found 1820 specific binding sites in MBs with a large portion residing in intergenic regions. Detailed analysis demonstrated that YY1 acts as an activator for many loci in addition to its known repressor function. No significant co-occupancy was found between YY1 and Ezh2, suggesting an additional Ezh2-independent function for YY1 in MBs. Further analysis of intergenic binding sites showed that YY1 potentially regulates dozens of large intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs), whose function in myogenesis is underexplored. We characterized a novel muscle-associated lincRNA (Yam-1) that is positively regulated by YY1. Yam-1 is downregulated upon differentiation and acts as an inhibitor of myogenesis. We demonstrated that Yam-1 functions through in cis regulation of miR-715, which in turn targets Wnt7b. Our findings not only provide the first genome-wide picture of YY1 association in muscle cells, but also uncover the functional role of lincRNA Yam-1.
Long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) are emerging as a novel class of non-coding RNAs and potent gene regulators. High-throughput RNA-sequencing combined with de novo assembly promises quantity discovery of novel transcripts. However, the identification of lincRNAs from thousands of assembled transcripts is still challenging due to the difficulties of separating them from protein coding transcripts (PCTs).
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of endogenous, small non-protein coding single-stranded RNA molecules, which are crucial post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Previous studies have shown that miRNAs participate in a wide range of biological functions and play important roles in various human diseases including glioma. However, the role of miRNAs in mediating glioblastoma cell migration and invasion has not been elucidated. Using miRNA microarray, we identified miR-146b as one of the miRNAs that is significantly dysregulated in human glioblastoma tissue. We showed that miR-146b overexpression by transfection with the precursor miR-146b, or knock-down by Locked Nucleic Acid (LNA)-modified anti-miR-146b, has no effect on the growth of human glioblastoma U373 cells. However, precursor miR-146b transfection significantly reduced the migration and invasion of U373 cells, while LNA-anti-miR-146b transfection generated the opposite result. Furthermore, we discovered that a matrix metalloproteinase gene, MMP16, is one of the downstream targets of miR-146b. Taken together, our findings suggest that miR-146b is involved in glioma cell migration and invasion by targeting MMPs, and implicate miR-146b as a metastasis-inhibiting miRNA in glioma.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-protein-coding RNAs that function as post-transcriptional gene regulators. Recent evidence has shown that miRNA plays a pivotal role in the development of many cancers including glioma, a lethal brain cancer. We have recently compared the miRNA expression profiles between normal brain and glioma tissues from Chinese patients by miRNA microarray and identified a panel of differentially expressed miRNAs. Here, we studied the function of one miRNA, miR-15b, in glioma carcinogenesis and elucidated its downstream targets. Over-expression of miR-15b resulted in cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase while suppression of miR-15b expression resulted in a decrease of cell populations in G0/G1 and a corresponding increase of cell populations in S phase. We further showed that CCNE1 (encoding cyclin E1) is one of the downstream targets of miR-15b. Taken together, our findings indicate that miR-15b regulates cell cycle progression in glioma cells by targeting cell cycle-related molecules.
MiR-145 is known as a tumor suppressor in numerous human cancers. However, its role in tumor angiogenesis remains poorly defined. In this study, we found that miR-145 was significantly downregulated in breast cancer tissues by using 106 cases of normal and cancer tissues as well as in breast cancer cells. MiR-145 exhibited inhibitory role in tumor angiogenesis, cell growth and invasion and tumor growth through the post-transcriptional regulation of the novel targets N-RAS and VEGF-A. In addition, we provide evidence that the expression levels of miR-145 correlate inversely with malignancy stages of breast tumors, although there is no association between miR-145 levels and hormone receptor levels in breast cancer. Taken together, these results demonstrate that miR-145 plays important inhibitory role in breast cancer malignancy by targeting N-RAS and VEGF-A, which may be potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets.
microRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression in post-transcriptional fashion, and emerging studies support their importance in a multitude of physiological and pathological processes. Here, we describe the regulation and function of miR-29 in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and its potential use as therapeutic target. Our results demonstrate that miR-29 expression is downregulated in dystrophic muscles of mdx mice, a model of DMD. Restoration of its expression by intramuscular and intravenous injection improved dystrophy pathology by both promoting regeneration and inhibiting fibrogenesis. Mechanistic studies revealed that loss of miR-29 in muscle precursor cells (myoblasts) promotes their transdifferentiation into myofibroblasts through targeting extracellular molecules including collagens and microfibrillar-associated protein 5 (Mfap5). We further demonstrated that miR-29 is under negative regulation by transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) signaling. Together, these results not only identify TGF-?-miR-29 as a novel regulatory axis during myoblasts conversion into myofibroblasts which constitutes a novel contributing route to muscle fibrogenesis of DMD but also implicate miR-29 replacement therapy as a promising treatment approach for DMD.
Reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) shares much similarity to the cancer initiation process, and the molecular mechanisms underlying both processes remain to be elucidated. Here, we report that a tumor- or embryonic stem cell(ESC)-specific Ras gene ERas, which encodes a constitutively active form of GTPase, and its downstream Phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway are important facilitators for the somatic reprogramming process. We found that overexpression of ERas retrovirally enhanced mouse iPSC induction while ERas knockdown repressed it. Modulation of Akt signaling by genetic or chemical means greatly impacted the reprogramming efficiency. Forced expression of a constitutively active Akt1 gene could rescue the reduced efficiency resulting from ERas knockdown, and point-mutation analyses further revealed that ERas is tightly coupled with Akt signaling to enhance reprogramming. Mechanistically, the forkhead transcription factor FoxO1 can function as a barrier to the iPSC induction, and the inactivation of FoxO1 by Akt-dependent phosphorylation largely accounts for the enhancing effect of ERas-Akt signaling on reprogramming. Collectively, these results unravel the significance of the ERas-Akt-FoxO1 signaling axis in iPSC generation, suggesting a possibly shared molecular basis for both somatic reprogramming and cancer initiation.
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