[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) target mRNAs in human cells via complex mechanisms that are still incompletely understood. Using anti-Argonaute (anti-AGO) antibody co-immunoprecipitation, followed by microarray analyses and downstream bioinformatics, 'RIP-Chip' experiments enable direct analyses of miRNA targets. RIP-Chip studies (and parallel assessments of total input mRNA) were performed in cultured H4 cells after transfection with miRNAs corresponding to the miR-15/107 gene group (miR-103, miR-107, miR-16 and miR-195), and five control miRNAs. Three biological replicates were run for each condition with a total of 54 separate human Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST array replicates. Computational analyses queried for determinants of miRNA:mRNA binding. The analyses support four major findings: (i) RIP-Chip studies correlated with total input mRNA profiling provides more comprehensive information than using either RIP-Chip or total mRNA profiling alone after miRNA transfections; (ii) new data confirm that miR-107 paralogs target coding sequence (CDS) of mRNA; (iii) biochemical and computational studies indicate that the 3' portion of miRNAs plays a role in guiding miR-103/7 to the CDS of targets; and (iv) there are major sequence-specific targeting differences between miRNAs in terms of CDS versus 3'-untranslated region targeting, and stable AGO association versus mRNA knockdown. Future studies should take this important miRNA-to-miRNA variability into account.
Nucleic Acids Research 06/2011; 39(18):8163-72. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We review the pertinent literature on methods used in high-throughput experimental identification of microRNA (miRNA) "targets" with emphasis on neurochemical studies. miRNAs are short regulatory noncoding RNAs that play important roles in the mammalian brain. The functions of miRNAs are related to their binding of RNAs including mRNAs. Since mammalian miRNAs tend to bind to target mRNAs via imperfect complementarity, understanding exactly which target mRNAs are recognized by which specific miRNAs is a challenge. Based on early experimental evidence, a set of "binding rules" for miRNAs has been described. These have focused on the 5' "seed" region of miRNAs binding to the 3' untranslated region of targeted mRNAs. Bioinformaticians have applied these algorithms for theoretical miRNA target prediction. To date, the different computational methods are not in agreement with each other and do not explain all miRNA targets as defined using high-throughput experimental methods. We consider these latter techniques which identify putative miRNA targets directly. Each experimental approach involves specific assumptions and potential technical pitfalls. Some of these direct experimental methods for miRNA target identification have used co-immunoprecipitation (RIP-Chip and others) and transfection-based experimental design. Topics related to experimentally identified miRNA targets are discussed, with special emphasis on studies pertinent to the mammalian brain.
Brain research 04/2010; 1338:122-30. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) guide Argonaute (AGO)-containing microribonucleoprotein (miRNP) complexes to target mRNAs.It has been assumed that miRNAs behave similarly to each other with regard to mRNA target recognition. The usual assumptions, which are based on prior studies, are that miRNAs target preferentially sequences in the 3'UTR of mRNAs,guided by the 5' "seed" portion of the miRNAs. Here we isolated AGO- and miRNA-containing miRNPs from human H4 tumor cells by co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) with anti-AGO antibody. Cells were transfected with miR-107, miR-124,miR-128, miR-320, or a negative control miRNA. Co-IPed RNAs were subjected to downstream high-density Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0 ST microarray analyses using an assay we validated previously-a "RIP-Chip" experimental design. RIP-Chip data provided a list of mRNAs recruited into the AGO-miRNP in correlation to each miRNA. These experimentally identified miRNA targets were analyzed for complementary six nucleotide "seed" sequences within the transfected miRNAs. We found that miR-124 targets tended to have sequences in the 3'UTR that would be recognized by the 5' seed of miR-124, as described in previous studies. By contrast, miR-107 targets tended to have 'seed' sequences in the mRNA open reading frame, but not the 3' UTR. Further, mRNA targets of miR-128 and miR-320 are less enriched for 6-mer seed sequences in comparison to miR-107 and miR-124. In sum, our data support the importance of the 5' seed in determining binding characteristics for some miRNAs; however, the "binding rules" are complex, and individual miRNAs can have distinct sequence determinants that lead to mRNA targeting.