Small RNAs in early mammalian development: From gametes to gastrulation
ABSTRACT Small non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), endogenous small interfering RNAs (endo-siRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), play essential roles in mammalian development. The function and timing of expression of these three classes of small RNAs differ greatly. piRNAs are expressed and play a crucial role during male gametogenesis, whereas endo-siRNAs are essential for oocyte meiosis. By contrast, miRNAs are ubiquitously expressed in somatic tissues and function throughout post-implantation development. Surprisingly, however, miRNAs are non-essential during pre-implantation embryonic development and their function is suppressed during oocyte meiosis. Here, we review the roles of small non-coding RNAs during the early stages of mammalian development, from gamete maturation through to gastrulation.
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- "Interestingly, it was shown that specific RNAi effectors that are capable of both destabilizing and stabilizing certain transcripts during the MZT are, in fact, essential for the MZT . Because different classes of small RNAs play a key role in the MZT , , inherited small noncoding RNAs could be involved in the remodeling of RNA profiles during early embryogenesis (Figure 2). "
ABSTRACT: Genomic concepts are based on the assumption that phenotypes arise from the expression of genetic variants. However, the presence of non-Mendelian inheritance patterns provides a direct challenge to this view and suggests an important role for alternative mechanisms of gene regulation and inheritance. Over the past few years, a highly complex and diverse network of noncoding RNAs has been discovered. Research in animal models has shown that RNAs can be inherited and that RNA methyltransferases can be important for the transmission and expression of modified phenotypes in the next generation. We discuss possible mechanisms of RNA-mediated inheritance and the role of these mechanisms for human health and disease.PLoS Genetics 04/2014; 10(4):e1004296. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004296 · 8.17 Impact Factor
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- "Analysis of expression profiles of sRNAs is fundamental for understanding the molecular regulations during early vertebrate development . Recent studies in mice revealed an sRNA class transition that the expression levels of piRNAs/siRNAs are gradually reduced while more and more miRNA are expressed during embryonic development [11,12]. This observation was also confirmed in chicken  and sea urchins . "
ABSTRACT: During early vertebrate development, various small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) such as MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are dynamically expressed for orchestrating the maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT). Systematic analysis of expression profiles of zebrafish small RNAome will be greatly helpful for understanding the sRNA regulation during embryonic development. We first determined the expression profiles of sRNAs during eight distinct stages of early zebrafish development by sRNA-seq technology. Integrative analyses with a new computational platform of CSZ (characterization of small RNAome for zebrafish) demonstrated an sRNA class transition from piRNAs to miRNAs as development proceeds. We observed that both the abundance and diversity of miRNAs are gradually increased, while the abundance is enhanced more dramatically than the diversity during development. However, although both the abundance and diversity of piRNAs are gradually decreased, the diversity was firstly increased then rapidly decreased. To evaluate the computational accuracy, the expression levels of four known miRNAs were experimentally validated. We also predicted 25 potentially novel miRNAs, whereas two candidates were verified by Northern blots. Taken together, our analyses revealed the piRNA to miRNA transition as a conserved mechanism in zebrafish, although two different types of sRNAs exhibit distinct expression dynamics in abundance and diversity, respectively. Our study not only generated a better understanding for sRNA regulations in early zebrafish development, but also provided a useful platform for analyzing sRNA-seq data. The CSZ was implemented in Perl and freely downloadable at: http://csz.biocuckoo.org.BMC Genomics 02/2014; 15(1):117. DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-15-117 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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- "DGCR8 is an RNA-binding protein that functions together with the RNase III enzyme Drosha in processing of miRNAs. Mouse ESCs without DGCR8 or dicer display defects in differentiation and proliferation (Kanellopoulou et al., 2005; Murchison et al., 2005; Suh and Blelloch, 2011; Wang et al., 2007). However, the functions of the ESC miRNAs are not fully characterized (Wang et al., 2009). "
ABSTRACT: Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are functionally unique for their self-renewal ability and pluripotency, but the molecular mechanisms giving rise to these properties are not fully understood. hESCs can differentiate into embryoid bodies (EBs) containing ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. In the miR-200 family, miR-200c was especially enriched in undifferentiated hESCs and significantly downregulated in EBs. The knockdown of the miR-200c in hESCs downregulated Nanog expression, upregulated GATA binding protein 4 (GATA4) expression, and induced hESC apoptosis. The knockdown of GATA4 rescued hESC apoptosis induced by downregulation of miR-200c. miR-200c directly targeted the 3'-untranslated region of GATA4. Interestingly, the downregulation of GATA4 significantly inhibited EB formation in hESCs. Overexpression of miR-200c inhibited EB formation and repressed the expression of ectoderm, endoderm, and mesoderm markers, which could partially be rescued by ectopic expression of GATA4. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and activin A/nodal can sustain hESC renewal in the absence of feeder layer. Inhibition of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/activin A/nodal signaling by SB431542 treatment downregulated the expression of miR-200c. Overexpression of miR-200c partially rescued the expression of Nanog/phospho-Smad2 that was downregulated by SB431542 treatment. Our observations have uncovered novel functions of miR-200c and GATA4 in regulating hESC renewal and differentiation.Stem Cell Research 12/2013; 12(2):338-353. DOI:10.1016/j.scr.2013.11.009 · 3.91 Impact Factor