[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as important regulators in the post-transcriptional control of gene expression. The discovery of their presence not only in tissues but also in extratissular fluids, including blood, urine and cerebro-spinal fluid, together with their changes in expression in various pathological conditions, has implicated these extracellular miRNAs as informative biomarkers of disease. However, exploiting miRNAs in this capacity requires methodological rigour. Here, we report several key procedural aspects of miRNA isolation from plasma and serum, as exemplified by research in cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. We also highlight the advantages and disadvantages of various profiling methods to determine the expression levels of plasma- and serum-derived miRNAs. Attention to such methodological details is critical, as circulating miRNAs become diagnostic tools for various human diseases.
Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 02/2014; · 4.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RATIONALE: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease of progressive lung fibrosis with a high mortality rate. In organ repair and remodeling, epigenetic events are important. Micro(mi)RNAs regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally and can target epigenetic molecules important in DNA methylation. The miR-17~92 miRNA cluster is critical for lung development and lung epithelial cell homeostasis and is predicted to target fibrotic genes and DNA methyltransferase-1 (DNMT-1) expression. OBJECTIVES: We investigated the miR-17~92 cluster expression and its role in regulating DNA methylation events in IPF lung tissue. METHODS: Expression and DNA methylation patterns of miR-17~ 92 were determined in human IPF lung tissue and fibroblasts and fibrotic mouse lung tissue. The relationship between the miR-17~ 92 cluster and DNMT-1 expression was examined in vitro. Using a murine model of pulmonary fibrosis, we examined the therapeutic potential of the demethylating agent, 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Compared to control samples, miR-17~92 expression was reduced in lung biopsies and lung fibroblasts from patients with IPF while DNMT-1 expression and methylation of the miR-17~92 promoter was increased. Several miRNAs from the miR-17~92 cluster targeted DNMT-1 expression resulting in a negative feedback loop. Similarly, miR-17~92 expression was reduced in the lungs of bleomycin-treated mice. Treatment with 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in a murine bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis model reduced fibrotic gene and DNMT-1 expression, enhanced miR-17~92 cluster expression and attenuated pulmonary fibrosis. This study provides insight into the pathobiology of IPF and identifies a novel epigenetic feedback loop between miR-17~92 and DNMT-1 in lung fibrosis.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 01/2013; · 11.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small extracellular vesicles are released from both healthy and disease cells to facilitate cellular communication. They have a wide variety of names including exosomes, microvesicles and microparticles. Depending on their size, very small extracellular vesicles originating from the endocytic pathway have been called exosomes and in some cases nanovesicles. Collectively, extracellular vesicles are important mediators of a wide variety of functions including immune cell development and homeostasis. Encapsulated in the extracellular vesicles are proteins and nucleic acids including mRNA and microRNA molecules. MicroRNAs are small, non-coding RNA molecules implicated in the post-transcriptional control of gene expression that have emerged as important regulatory molecules and are involved in disease pathogenesis including cancer. In some diseases, not only does the quantity and the subpopulations of extracellular vesicles change in the peripheral blood but also microRNAs. Here, we described the analysis of peripheral blood extracellular vesicles by flow cytometry and the RNA extraction from extracellular vesicles isolated from the plasma or serum to profile microRNA expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microvesicles are small membrane-bound particles comprised of exosomes and various sized extracellular vesicles. These are released by a number of cell types. Microvesicles have a variety of cellular functions from communication to mediating growth and differentiation. Microvesicles contain proteins and nucleic acids. Previously, we showed that plasma microvesicles contain microRNAs (miRNAs). Based on our previous report, the majority of peripheral blood microvesicles are derived from platelets while mononuclear phagocytes, including macrophages, are the second most abundant population. Here, we characterized macrophage-derived microvesicles and explored their role in the differentiation of naïve monocytes. We also identified the miRNA content of the macrophage-derived microvesicles. We found that RNA molecules contained in the macrophage-derived microvesicles were transported to target cells, including monocytes, endothelial cells, epithelial cells and fibroblasts. Furthermore, we found that miR-223 was transported to target cells and was functionally active. Based on our observations, we hypothesize that microvesicles bind to and activate target cells. Furthermore, we find that microvesicles induce the differentiation of macrophages. Thus, defining key components of this response may identify novel targets to regulate host defense and inflammation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms underlying chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remain unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that modulate the levels of specific genes and proteins. Identifying expression patterns of miRNAs in COPD may enhance our understanding of the mechanisms of disease. A study was undertaken to determine if miRNAs are differentially expressed in the lungs of smokers with and without COPD. miRNA and mRNA expression were compared to enrich for biological networks relevant to the pathogenesis of COPD.
Lung tissue from smokers with no evidence of obstructive lung disease (n=9) and smokers with COPD (n=26) was examined for miRNA and mRNA expression followed by validation. We then examined both miRNA and mRNA expression to enrich for relevant biological pathways.
70 miRNAs and 2667 mRNAs were differentially expressed between lung tissue from subjects with COPD and smokers without COPD. miRNA and mRNA expression profiles enriched for biological pathways that may be relevant to the pathogenesis of COPD including the transforming growth factor β, Wnt and focal adhesion pathways. miR-223 and miR-1274a were the most affected miRNAs in subjects with COPD compared with smokers without obstruction. miR-15b was increased in COPD samples compared with smokers without obstruction and localised to both areas of emphysema and fibrosis. miR-15b was differentially expressed within GOLD classes of COPD. Expression of SMAD7, which was validated as a target for miR-15b, was decreased in bronchial epithelial cells in COPD.
miRNA and mRNA are differentially expressed in individuals with COPD compared with smokers without obstruction. Investigating these relationships may further our understanding of the mechanisms of disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The molecular pathways involved in the interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) are poorly understood. Systems biology approaches, with global expression data sets, were used to identify perturbed gene networks, to gain some understanding of the underlying mechanisms, and to develop specific hypotheses relevant to these chronic lung diseases.
Lung tissue samples from patients with different types of ILD were obtained from the Lung Tissue Research Consortium and total cell RNA was isolated. Global mRNA and microRNA were profiled by hybridization and amplification-based methods. Differentially expressed genes were compiled and used to identify critical signaling pathways and potential biomarkers. Modules of genes were identified that formed a regulatory network, and studies were performed on cultured cells in vitro for comparison with the in vivo results.
By profiling mRNA and microRNA (miRNA) expression levels, we found subsets of differentially expressed genes that distinguished patients with ILDs from controls and that correlated with different disease stages and subtypes of ILDs. Network analysis, based on pathway databases, revealed several disease-associated gene modules, involving genes from the TGF-β, Wnt, focal adhesion, and smooth muscle actin pathways that are implicated in advancing fibrosis, a critical pathological process in ILDs. A more comprehensive approach was also adapted to construct a putative global gene regulatory network based on the perturbation of key regulatory elements, transcription factors and microRNAs. Our data underscores the importance of TGF-β signaling and the persistence of smooth muscle actin-containing fibroblasts in these diseases. We present evidence that, downstream of TGF-β signaling, microRNAs of the miR-23a cluster and the transcription factor Zeb1 could have roles in mediating an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the resultant persistence of mesenchymal cells in these diseases.
We present a comprehensive overview of the molecular networks perturbed in ILDs, discuss several potential key molecular regulatory circuits, and identify microRNA species that may play central roles in facilitating the progression of ILDs. These findings advance our understanding of these diseases at the molecular level, provide new molecular signatures in defining the specific characteristics of the diseases, suggest new hypotheses, and reveal new potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
BMC Medical Genomics 01/2011; 4:8. · 3.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lung cancer is the most frequent cause of cancer-related death in this country for men and women. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small non-coding RNAs (approximately 21-25nt long) capable of targeting genes for either degradation of mRNA or inhibition of translation. We identified aberrant expression of 41 miRNAs in lung tumor versus uninvolved tissue. MiR-133B had the lowest expression of miRNA in lung tumor tissue (28-fold reduction) compared to adjacent uninvolved tissue. We identified two members of the BCL-2 family of pro-survival molecules (MCL-1 and BCL2L2 (BCLw)) as predicted targets of miR-133B. Selective over-expression of miR-133B in adenocarcinoma (H2009) cell lines resulted in reduced expression of both MCL-1 and BCL2L2. We then confirmed that miR-133B directly targets the 3'UTRs of both MCL-1 and BCL2L2. Lastly, over-expression of miR-133B induced apoptosis following gemcitabine exposure in these tumor cells. To our knowledge, this represents the first observation of decreased expression of miR-133B in lung cancer and that it functionally targets members of the BCL-2 family.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/2009; 388(3):483-9. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crk is a member of a family of adaptor proteins that are involved in intracellular signal pathways altering cell adhesion, proliferation, and migration. Increased expression of Crk has been described in lung cancer and associated with increased tumor invasiveness. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small non-coding RNAs (approximately 21-25 nt long) that are capable of targeting genes for either degradation of mRNA or inhibition of translation. Crk is a predicted putative target gene for miR-126. Over-expression of miR126 in a lung cancer cell line resulted in a decrease in Crk protein without any alteration in the associated mRNA. These lung cancer cells exhibit a decrease in adhesion, migration, and invasion. Decreased cancer cell invasion was also evident following targeted knockdown of Crk. MiR-126 alters lung cancer cell phenotype by inhibiting adhesion, migration, and invasion and the effects on invasion may be partially mediated through Crk regulation.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 08/2008; 373(4):607-12. · 2.28 Impact Factor