Extensive variation in the 5'-UTR of Dicer mRNAs influences translational efficiency.
ABSTRACT The Dicer enzyme is a key component of the RNA interference pathway and also responsible for the processing of micro RNAs, non-coding RNA molecules which regulate the activity of mRNAs by antisense base pairing. Little is known about the structure and regulation of human Dicer mRNA. A comprehensive characterization of Dicer 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) RNA structure revealed important diversity within human Dicer mRNA transcripts. Three exon 1 variants were defined, some of which exhibited very restricted patterns of tissue distribution. A number of alternatively spliced 5'-leader exons were also noted, revealing the potential for complex post-transcriptional regulation. Surprisingly, this diversity all occurred within the 5'-UTR of Dicer mRNAs and did not affect the coding region. The Dicer mRNA 5'-UTR variants had profound effects on translational efficiency both in vitro and in transiently transfected cells. A number of major Dicer RNA species are inefficient substrates for the translational machinery.
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ABSTRACT: The soil nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, occupies a central place in the short history of microRNA (miRNA) research. The converse is also true: miRNAs have emerged as key regulatory components in the life cycle of the worm, as well as numerous other organisms. Since the landmark discovery in 1993 of the first miRNA gene, lin-4, several other miRNAs have been characterized in detail in C. elegans and shown to participate in diverse biological processes. Moreover, the worm has provided, by virtue of its ease of genetic manipulation and amenability to high-throughput methods, an ideal platform for elucidating many general and conserved aspects of miRNA biology, namely mechanisms of biogenesis, target recognition, gene silencing, and regulation thereof. In this review, we summarize both the contribution of miRNAs to C. elegans physiology and development, as well as the contribution of C. elegans research to our understanding of general features of miRNA biology.Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 09/2010; 21(7):728-37. · 6.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Insulinomas are beta-cell tumours characterised by uncontrolled insulin secretion even in the presence of hypoglycaemia. However, the mechanisms allowing such excessive insulin secretion are not known. Insulin secretion can occur only when the beta-cell insulin stores have been replenished by insulin biosynthesis, which is mainly controlled by translation. Such specific translational regulation often involves the 5' untranslated region. We have identified an insulin splice variant in isolated human pancreatic islets of non-diabetic donors that retains 26 bp of intron 1 and thereby changes the 5' untranslated region, but leaves the coding region unchanged. This splice variant has increased translation efficiency in vitro and in vivo compared with native insulin mRNA. However, splice variant expression is less than 1% of native insulin mRNA in normal islets. To test whether this splice variant is involved in insulin production by human insulinomas, we extracted RNA from nine laser-captured surgical insulinoma samples and from isolated islets of nine donors who did not have diabetes. We then determined the ratio of splice variant to native insulin mRNA by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. The mean ratio of the splice variant to native insulin mRNA was increased more than 50-fold in insulinomas compared with normal islets, and this difference was present in all nine human insulinomas. Overexpression of the splice variant therefore seems to be a general characteristic of insulinomas and is estimated to contribute about 90% to insulin synthesis by these tumours. Overexpression of the insulin splice variant with increased translation efficiency in insulinomas might explain how these tumours maintain high levels of insulin synthesis and secretion leading to hyperinsulinaemia-the hallmark of this disease.The Lancet 02/2004; 363(9406):363-7. · 39.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In eukaryotes, double-stranded (ds) RNA induces sequence-specific inhibition of gene expression, referred to as RNA interference (RNAi). In invertebrates, RNAi can be triggered effectively by either long dsRNAs or 21- to 23-nt-long short interfering (si) duplex RNAs, acting as effectors of RNAi. siRNAs recently have been shown to act as potent inducers of RNAi in cultured mammalian cells. However, studies of RNAi activated by long dsRNA are impeded by its nonspecific effects, mediated by dsRNA-dependent protein kinase PKR and RNase L. Here, we report that the RNAi response can be induced effectively by long dsRNA in nondifferentiated mouse cells grown in culture. Transfection of dsRNA into embryonal carcinoma (EC) P19 and F9 cells results in a sequence-specific decrease in the level of proteins expressed from either exogenous or endogenous genes. dsRNA-mediated inhibition of the reporter gene also occurs in mouse embryonic stem cells. The RNAi effect is mediated by siRNAs, which are generated by cleavage of dsRNA by the RNaseIII-like enzyme, Dicer. We demonstrate that extracts prepared from EC cells catalyze processing of dsRNA into approximately 23-nt fragments and that Dicer localizes to the cytoplasm of EC and HeLa cells.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2002; 98(25):14428-33. · 9.74 Impact Factor