Transcriptional Silencing by Single-Stranded RNAs Targeting a Noncoding RNA That Overlaps a Gene Promoter
ABSTRACT RNAi using single-strand RNA would provide new options for therapeutic development and for investigating critical questions of mechanism. Using chemically modified single-strands, we test the hypothesis that single-stranded RNAs can engage the RNAi pathway and silence gene transcription. We find that a chemically modified single-stranded silencing RNA (ss-siRNA) designed to be complementary to a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) requires argonaute protein, functions through the RNAi pathway, and inhibits gene transcription. These data expand the use of single-stranded RNA to cell nuclei.
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ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to repress translation by binding to the 3'UTRs of mRNAs. Using bioinformatics, we recently reported that several miRNAs also have target sites in DNA particularly in the promoters of the protein-coding genes. To understand the functional significance of this phenomenon, we tested the effects of miR-324-3p binding to RelA promoter. In PC12 cells, co-transfection with premiR-324-3p induced a RelA promoter plasmid in a dose-dependent manner and this effect was lost when the miR-324-3p binding site in the promoter was mutated. PremiR-324-3p transfection also significantly induced the endogenous RelA mRNA and protein expression in PC12 cells. Furthermore, transfection with premiR-324-3p increased the levels of cleaved caspase-3 which is a marker of apoptosis. Importantly, the miR-324-3p effects were Ago2 mediated as Ago2 knockdown prevented RelA expression and cleavage of caspase-3. Thus, our studies show that miRNA-mediated transcriptional activation can be seen in PC12 cells which are neural in origin.PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e79467. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0079467 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Here, we generated a genome-scale shRNA library targeting long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) in the mouse. We performed an unbiased loss-of-function study in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and identified 20 lincRNAs involved in the maintenance of pluripotency. Among these, TUNA (Tcl1 upstream neuron-associated lincRNA) was required for pluripotency and formed a complex with three RNA-binding proteins (RBPs). The TUNA-RBP complex was detected at the promoters of Nanog, Sox2, and Fgf4, and knockdown of TUNA or the individual RBPs inhibited neural differentiation of mESCs. TUNA showed striking evolutionary conservation of both sequence- and CNS-restricted expression in vertebrates. Accordingly, knockdown of tuna in zebrafish caused impaired locomotor function, and TUNA expression in the brains of Huntington's disease patients was significantly associated with disease grade. Our results suggest that the lincRNA TUNA plays a vital role in pluripotency and neural differentiation of ESCs and is associated with neurological function of adult vertebrates.Molecular cell 02/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.molcel.2014.01.021 · 14.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs are key regulators of many biological processes, including cell differentiation. These small RNAs exert their function assembled in the RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs), where members of Argonaute (Ago) family of proteins provide a unique platform for target recognition and gene silencing. Here, by using myeloid cell lines and primary blasts, we show that Ago2 has a key role in human monocytic cell fate determination and in LPS-induced inflammatory response of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (D3)-treated myeloid cells. The silencing of Ago2 impairs the D3-dependent miR-17-5p/20a/106a, miR-125b and miR-155 downregulation, the accumulation of their translational targets AML1, VDR and C/EBPβ and monocytic cell differentiation. Moreover, we show that Ago2 is recruited on miR-155 host gene promoter and on the upstream region of an overlapping antisense lncRNA, determining their epigenetic silencing, and miR-155 downregulation. These findings highlight Ago2 as a new factor in myeloid cell fate determination in acute myeloid leukemia cells.Cell Death & Disease 11/2013; 4(11):e926. DOI:10.1038/cddis.2013.452 · 5.18 Impact Factor