Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory

Genova, Italy

Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory

Genova, Italy
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Repetto E.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Repetto E.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Briata P.,Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory | Kuziner N.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 8 more authors.
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2012

Gene silencing mediated by either microRNAs (miRNAs) or Adenylate/uridylate-rich elements Mediated mRNA Degradation (AMD) is a powerful way to post-transcriptionally modulate gene expression. We and others have reported that the RNA-binding protein KSRP favors the biogenesis of select miRNAs (including let-7 family) and activates AMD promoting the decay of inherently labile mRNAs. Different layers of interplay between miRNA- and AMD-mediated gene silencing have been proposed in cultured cells, but the relationship between the two pathways in living organisms is still elusive. We conditionally deleted Dicer in mouse pituitary from embryonic day (E) 9.5 through Cre-mediated recombination. In situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR revealed that Dicer is essential for pituitary morphogenesis and correct expression of hormones. Strikingly, αGSU (alpha glycoprotein subunit, common to three pituitary hormones) was absent in Dicer-deleted pituitaries. αGSU mRNA is unstable and its half-life increases during pituitary development. A transcriptome-wide analysis of microdissected E12.5 pituitaries revealed a significant increment of KSRP expression in conditional Dicer-deleted mice. We found that KSRP directly binds to αGSU mRNA, promoting its rapid decay; and, during pituitary development, αGSU expression displays an inverse temporal relationship to KSRP. Further, let-7b/c downregulated KSRP expression, promoting the degradation of its mRNA by directly binding to the 3′UTR. Therefore, we propose a model in which let-7b/c and KSRP operate within a negative feedback loop. Starting from E12.5, KSRP induces the maturation of let-7b/c that, in turn, post-transcriptionally downregulates the expression of KSRP itself. This event leads to stabilization of αGSU mRNA, which ultimately enhances the steady-state expression levels. We have identified a post-transcriptional regulatory network active during mouse pituitary development in which the expression of the hormone αGSU is increased by let7b/c through downregulation of KSRP. Our study unveils a functional crosstalk between miRNA- and AMD-dependent gene regulation during mammalian organogenesis events. © 2012 Repetto et al.


PubMed | Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory and Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biochimica et biophysica acta | Year: 2017

Resveratrol (RESV) is a natural polyphenolic compound endowed with anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, as well as pro-apoptotic activities that make it a potential anti-tumor compound. Here we show that RESV counteracts the TGF--induced Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) phenotype in mammary gland cells and affects the alternative exon usage of pre-mRNAs that encode crucial factors in adhesion and migration -including CD44, ENAH, and FGFR2- in a panel of immortalized and transformed mammary gland cells. RESV causes a shift from the mesenchymal-specific forms of these factors to the respective epithelial forms and increases the expression of the RNA-binding proteins KHSRP and hnRNPA1. From a mechanistic point of view, we show that the combined silencing of KHSRP and hnRNPA1 prevents the RESV-dependent inclusion of the epithelial-type exons in the Cd44 pre-mRNA. Our findings support an unexpected regulatory mechanism where RESV limits EMT by controlling gene expression at post-transcriptional level.


Gherzi R.,Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory | Chen C.-Y.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Ramos A.,UK National Institute for Medical Research | Briata P.,Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology | Year: 2014

The single-strand-RNA binding protein KSRP is able to negatively regulate gene expression operating with at least two distinct and integrated postranscriptional mechanisms: (i) by promoting decay of unstable mRNAs and (ii) by favoring maturation from precursors of select microRNAs (miRNAs) including the prototypical tumor suppressor let-7. Studies performed in primary and cultured cells as well as in mice proved that the ability of KSRP to integrate different levels of gene expression is required for proper immune response, lipid metabolism, cell-fate decisions, tissue regeneration, and DNA damage response. © 2014 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Nicastro G.,UK National Institute for Medical Research | Garcia-Mayoral M.F.,UK National Institute for Medical Research | Garcia-Mayoral M.F.,CSIC - Institute of Physical Chemistry "Rocasolano" | Hollingworth D.,UK National Institute for Medical Research | And 5 more authors.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

Let-7 is an important tumor-suppressive microRNA (miRNA) that acts as an on-off switch for cellular differentiation and regulates the expression of a set of human oncogenes. Binding of the human KSRP protein to let-7 miRNA precursors positively regulates their processing to mature let-7, thereby contributing to control of cell proliferation, apoptosis and differentiation. Here we analyze the molecular basis for KSRP-let-7 precursor selectivity and show how the third KH domain of the protein recognizes a G-rich sequence in the pre-let-7 terminal loop and dominates the interaction. The structure of the KH3-RNA complex explains the protein recognition of this noncanonical KH target sequence, and we demonstrate that the specificity of this binding is crucial for the functional interaction between the protein and the miRNA precursor. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Lin Y.-Y.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Chou C.-F.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Giovarelli M.,Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory | Briata P.,Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2014

White adipose tissue (WAT) releases fatty acids from stored triacylglycerol for an energy source. Here, we report that targeted deletion of KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KSRP), an RNA-binding protein that regulates gene expression at multiple levels, enhances lipolysis in epididymal WAT (eWAT) because of the upregulation of genes promoting lipolytic activity. Expression of microRNA 145 (miR-145) is decreased because of impaired primary miR-145 processing in Ksrp-/- eWAT. We show that miR-145 directly targets and represses Foxo1 and Cgi58, activators of lipolytic activity, and forced expression of miR-145 attenuates lipolysis. This study reveals a novel in vivo function of KSRP in controlling adipose lipolysis through posttranscriptional regulation of miR-145 expression. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology.


Briata P.,Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory | Chen C.-Y.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Ramos A.,UK National Institute for Medical Research | Gherzi R.,Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory | Gherzi R.,IRCCS AUO Instituto Nazionale Ricerca sul Cancro
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms | Year: 2013

KSRP is a single strand nucleic acid binding protein that controls gene expression at multiple levels. In this review we focus on the recent molecular, cellular, and structural insights into the mRNA decay promoting function of KSRP. We discuss also some aspects of KSRP-dependent microRNA maturation from precursors that are related to its mRNA destabilizing function. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: RNA Decay mechanisms. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Giovarelli M.,Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory | Bucci G.,Center for Translational Genomic and Bioinformatics | Ramos A.,University College London | Ramos A.,UK National Institute for Medical Research | And 6 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) interact with protein factors to regulate different layers of gene expression transcriptionally or posttranscriptionally. Here we report on the functional consequences of the unanticipated interaction of the RNA binding protein K homology-type splicing regulatory protein (KSRP) with the H19 lncRNA (H19). KSRP directly binds to H19 in the cytoplasm of undifferentiated multipotent mesenchymal C2C12 cells, and this interaction favors KSRP-mediated destabilization of labile transcripts such as myogenin. AKT activation induces KSRP dismissal from H19 and, as a consequence, myogenin mRNA is stabilized while KSRP is repurposed to promote maturation of myogenic microRNAs, thus favoring myogenic differentiation. Our data indicate that H19 operates as a molecular scaffold that facilitates effective association of KSRP with myogenin and other labile transcripts, and we propose that H19 works with KSRP to optimize an AKT-regulated posttranscriptional switch that controls myogenic differentiation.


PubMed | Science Ginecologia e Ostetricia Galliera Hospital, Gene Expression Regulation Laboratory and University of New Mexico
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. RNA | Year: 2016

The single-stranded nucleic acid-binding protein KHSRP (KH-type splicing regulatory protein) modulates RNA life and gene expression at various levels. KHSRP controls important cellular functions as different as proliferation, differentiation, metabolism, and response to infectious agents. We summarize and discuss experimental evidence providing a potential link between changes in KHSRP expression/function and human diseases including neuromuscular disorders, obesity, type II diabetes, and cancer.


Giovarelli M.,University of Genoa | Giovarelli M.,Centro Of Biotecnologie Avanzate Cba | Bucci G.,Italian Institute of Technology | Pasero M.,University of Genoa | And 3 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms | Year: 2013

Understanding the molecular mechanisms that control the balance between multipotency and differentiation is of great importance to elucidate the genesis of both developmental disorders and cell transformation events. To investigate the role of the RNA binding protein KSRP in controlling neural differentiation, we used the P19 embryonal carcinoma cell line that is able to differentiate into neuron-like cells under appropriate culture conditions. We have recently reported that KSRP controls the differentiative fate of multipotent mesenchymal cells owing to its ability to promote decay of unstable transcripts and to favor maturation of selected micro-RNAs (miRNAs) from precursors. Here we report that KSRP silencing in P19 cells favors neural differentiation increasing the expression of neuronal markers. Further, the expression of two master transcriptional regulators of neurogenesis, ASCL1 and JMJD3, was enhanced while the maturation of miR-200 family members from precursors was impaired in KSRP knockdown cells. These molecular changes can contribute to the reshaping of P19 cells transcriptome that follows KSRP silencing. Our data suggests that KSRP function is required to maintain P19 cells in a multipotent undifferentiated state and that its inactivation can orient cells towards neural differentiation. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Hollingworth D.,Molecular Structure Division | Candel A.M.,Molecular Structure Division | Nicastro G.,Molecular Structure Division | Martin S.R.,UK National Institute for Medical Research | And 3 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2012

In eukaryotes, RNA-binding proteins that contain multiple K homology (KH) domains play a key role in coordinating the different steps of RNA synthesis, metabolism and localization. Understanding how the different KH modules participate in the recognition of the RNA targets is necessary to dissect the way these proteins operate. We have designed a KH mutant with impaired RNA-binding capability for general use in exploring the role of individual KH domains in the combinatorial functional recognition of RNA targets. A double mutation in the hallmark GxxG loop (GxxG-to-GDDG) impairs nucleic acid binding without compromising the stability of the domain. We analysed the impact of the GDDG mutations in individual KH domains on the functional properties of KSRP as a prototype of multiple KH domain-containing proteins. We show how the GDDG mutant can be used to directly link biophysical information on the sequence specificity of the different KH domains of KSRP and their role in mRNA recognition and decay. This work defines a general molecular biology tool for the investigation of the function of individual KH domains in nucleic acid binding proteins. © The Author(s) 2012.

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