Beyond Secondary Structure: Primary-Sequence Determinants License Pri-miRNA Hairpins for Processing.
ABSTRACT To use microRNAs to downregulate mRNA targets, cells must first process these ∼22 nt RNAs from primary transcripts (pri-miRNAs). These transcripts form RNA hairpins important for processing, but additional determinants must distinguish pri-miRNAs from the many other hairpin-containing transcripts expressed in each cell. Illustrating the complexity of this recognition, we show that most Caenorhabditis elegans pri-miRNAs lack determinants required for processing in human cells. To find these determinants, we generated many variants of four human pri-miRNAs, sequenced millions that retained function, and compared them with the starting variants. Our results confirmed the importance of pairing in the stem and revealed three primary-sequence determinants, including an SRp20-binding motif (CNNC) found downstream of most pri-miRNA hairpins in bilaterian animals, but not in nematodes. Adding this and other determinants to C. elegans pri-miRNAs imparted efficient processing in human cells, thereby confirming the importance of primary-sequence determinants for distinguishing pri-miRNAs from other hairpin-containing transcripts.
- SourceAvailable from: Francesco Nicassio[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The outlook on stem cell (SC) biology is shifting from a rigid hierarchical to a more flexible model in which the identity and the behavior of adult SCs, far from being fixed, are determined by the dynamic integration of cell autonomous and non-autonomous mechanisms. Within this framework, the recent discovery of thousands of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) with regulatory function is redefining the landscape of transcriptome regulation, highlighting the interplay of epigenetic, transcriptional, and post-transcriptional mechanisms in the specification of cell fate and in the regulation of developmental processes. Furthermore, the expression of ncRNAs is often tissue- or even cell type-specific, emphasizing their involvement in defining space, time and developmental stages in gene regulation. Such a role of ncRNAs has been investigated in embryonic and induced pluripotent SCs, and in numerous types of adult SCs and progenitors, including those of the breast, which will be the topic of this review. We will focus on ncRNAs with an important role in breast cancer, in particular in mammary cancer SCs and progenitors, and highlight the ncRNA-based circuitries whose subversion alters a number of the epigenetic, transcriptional, and post-transcriptional events that control "stemness" in the physiological setting.Frontiers in Genetics 02/2015; 6:72. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2015.00072
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ABSTRACT: In miRNA biogenesis, pri-miRNA transcripts are converted into pre-miRNA hairpins. The in vivo properties of this process remain enigmatic. Here, we determine in vivo transcriptome-wide pri-miRNA processing using next-generation sequencing of chromatin-associated pri-miRNAs. We identify a distinctive Microprocessor signature in the transcriptome profile from which efficiency of the endogenous processing event can be accurately quantified. This analysis reveals differential susceptibility to Microprocessor cleavage as a key regulatory step in miRNA biogenesis. Processing is highly variable among pri-miRNAs and a better predictor of miRNA abundance than primary transcription itself. Processing is also largely stable across three cell lines, suggesting a major contribution of sequence determinants. On the basis of differential processing efficiencies, we define functionality for short sequence features adjacent to the pre-miRNA hairpin. In conclusion, we identify Microprocessor as the main hub for diversified miRNA output and suggest a role for uncoupling miRNA biogenesis from host gene expression.Cell Reports 10/2014; 9(2). DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2014.09.007 · 7.21 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We expanded the knowledge base for Drosophila cell line transcriptomes by deeply sequencing their small RNAs. In total, we analyzed more than 1 billion raw reads from 53 libraries across 25 cell lines. We verify reproducibility of biological replicate data sets, determine common and distinct aspects of miRNA expression across cell lines, and infer the global impact of miRNAs on cell line transcriptomes. We next characterize their commonalities and differences in endo-siRNA populations. Interestingly, most cell lines exhibit enhanced TE-siRNA production relative to tissues, suggesting this as a common aspect of cell immortalization. We also broadly extend annotations of cis-NAT-siRNA loci, identifying ones with common expression across diverse cells and tissues, as well as cell-restricted loci. Finally, we characterize small RNAs in a set of ovary-derived cell lines, including somatic cells (OSS and OSC) and a mixed germline/somatic cell population (fGS/OSS) that exhibits ping-pong piRNA signatures. Collectively, the ovary data reveal new genic piRNA loci, including unusual configurations of piRNA-generating regions. Together with the companion analysis of mRNAs described in a previous study, these small RNA data provide comprehensive information on the transcriptional landscape of diverse Drosophila cell lines. These data should encourage broader usage of fly cell lines, beyond the few that are presently in common usage.Genome Research 07/2014; 24(7):1236-50. DOI:10.1101/gr.161554.113 · 13.85 Impact Factor