[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate numerous physiological processes such as cell division and differentiation in many tissue types including stem cells. To probe the role that miRNAs play in regulating processes relevant to embryonic stem cell biology, we used RNA interference to silence DICER and DROSHA, the two main miRNA processing enzymes. Consistent with a role for miRNAs in maintaining normal stem cell division and renewal, we found that perturbation of miRNA pathway function in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) attenuates cell proliferation. Normal cell growth can be partially restored by introduction of the mature miRNAs miR-195 and miR-372. These miRNAs regulate two tumor suppressor genes, respectively: WEE1, which encodes a negative G2/M kinase modulator of the CycB/CDK complex and CDKN1A, which encodes p21, a CycE/CDK cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor that regulates the G1/S transition. We show that in wild-type hESCs, WEE 1 levels control the rate of hESC division, whereas p21 levels must be maintained at a low level for hESC division to proceed. These data support a model for hESC cell cycle control in which miRNAs regulate negative cell cycle modulators at two phases of the cell cycle to ensure proper replenishment of the stem cell population.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway is essential for cell survival under low oxygen and plays an important role in tumor cell homeostasis. We investigated the function of miR-210, the most prominent microRNA upregulated by hypoxia and a direct transcriptional target of HIFs. miR-210 expression was elevated in multiple cancer types and correlated with metastasis of breast and melanoma tumors. miR-210 overexpression in cancer cell lines bypassed hypoxia-induced cell cycle arrest and partially reversed the hypoxic gene expression signature. We identified MNT, a known MYC antagonist, as a miR-210 target. MNT mRNA contains multiple miR-210 binding sites in the 3' UTR and its knockdown phenocopied miR-210 overexpression. Furthermore, loss of MYC abolished miR-210-mediated override of hypoxia-induced cell cycle arrest. Comparison of miR-210 and MYC overexpression with MNT knockdown signatures also indicated that miR-210 triggered a "MYC-like" transcriptional response. Thus, miR-210 influences the hypoxia response in tumor cells through targeting a key transcriptional repressor of the MYC-MAX network.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microarray analysis has been useful for identifying the targets of many transcription factors. However, gene expression changes in response to transcription factor perturbation reveal both direct transcriptional targets and secondary gene regulation. By integrating RNA interference, gene expression profiling, and chromatin immunoprecipitation technologies, we identified a set of 32 direct transcriptional targets of the tumor suppressor p53. Of these 32 genes, 11 are not currently associated with the core p53 pathway. From among these novel pathway members, we focused on understanding the connection between p53 and SULF2, which encodes an extracellular heparan sulfate 6-O-endosulfatase that modulates the binding of growth factors to their cognate receptors and that has been shown to function as a tumor suppressor. Genetic and pharmacologic perturbation of p53 directly influences SULF2 expression, and similar to silencing of TP53, RNA interference-mediated suppression of SULF2 results in an impaired senescence response of cells to genotoxic stress. Thus, our integrated genomic approach has led to the identification of a novel mediator of p53 network biology.
Cancer Research 03/2009; 69(4):1368-74. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: microRNAs in the miR-106b family are overexpressed in multiple tumor types and are correlated with the expression of genes that regulate the cell cycle. Consistent with these observations, miR-106b family gain of function promotes cell cycle progression, whereas loss of function reverses this phenotype. Microarray profiling uncovers multiple targets of the family, including the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21/CDKN1A. We show that p21 is a direct target of miR-106b and that its silencing plays a key role in miR-106b-induced cell cycle phenotypes. We also show that miR-106b overrides a doxorubicin-induced DNA damage checkpoint. Thus, miR-106b family members contribute to tumor cell proliferation in part by regulating cell cycle progression and by modulating checkpoint functions.
Molecular and cellular biology 05/2008; 28(7):2167-74. · 6.06 Impact Factor