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Agra Andrieu N.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Motino O.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Mayoral R.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Mayoral R.,CIBER ISCIII | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression has been detected in human hepatoma cell lines and in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); however, the contribution of COX-2 to the development of HCC remains controversial. COX-2 expression is higher in the non-tumoral tissue and inversely correlates with the differentiation grade of the tumor. COX-2 expression depends on the interplay between different cellular pathways involving both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. The aim of this work was to assess whether COX-2 could be regulated by microRNAs in human hepatoma cell lines and in human HCC specimens since these molecules contribute to the regulation of genes implicated in cell growth and differentiation. Our results show that miR-16 silences COX-2 expression in hepatoma cells by two mechanisms: a) by binding directly to the microRNA response element (MRE) in the COX-2 3′-UTR promoting translational suppression of COX-2 mRNA; b) by decreasing the levels of the RNA-binding protein Human Antigen R (HuR). Furthermore, ectopic expression of miR-16 inhibits cell proliferation, promotes cell apoptosis and suppresses the ability of hepatoma cells to develop tumors in nude mice, partially through targeting COX-2. Moreover a reduced miR-16 expression tends to correlate to high levels of COX-2 protein in liver from patients affected by HCC. Our data show an important role for miR-16 as a post-transcriptional regulator of COX-2 in HCC and suggest the potential therapeutic application of miR-16 in those HCC with a high COX-2 expression. © 2012 Agra Andrieu et al.

Nguyen Le Minh P.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Nguyen Le Minh P.,Institute Biomedicina Of Valencia Del Consejo Superior Of Investigaciones Cientificas Ibv Csic | de Cima S.,Institute Biomedicina Of Valencia Del Consejo Superior Of Investigaciones Cientificas Ibv Csic | Bervoets I.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | And 3 more authors.
FEBS Open Bio | Year: 2015

RutR is a member of the large family of TetR transcriptional regulators in Escherichia coli. It was originally discovered as the regulator of the rutABCDEFG operon encoding a novel pathway for pyrimidine utilization, but its highest affinity target is the control region of the carAB operon, encoding carbamoylphosphate synthase. Unlike most other TetR-like regulators, RutR exerts both positive and negative effects on promoter activity. Furthermore, RutR exhibits a very narrow ligand binding specificity, unlike the broad effector specificity that characterizes some of the well-studied multidrug resistance regulators of the family. Here we focus on ligand binding and ligand specificity of RutR. We construct single alanine substitution mutants of amino acid residues of the ligand-binding pocket, study their effect on in vitro DNA binding in absence and presence of potential ligands, and analyse their effect on positive regulation of the carP1 promoter and negative autoregulation in vivo. Although RutR structures have been determined previously, they were deposited in the Protein Data Bank without accompanying publications. All of them have uracil bound in the effector-binding site, representing the inactive form of the regulator. We determined the crystal structure of an unliganded mutant RutR protein and provide a structural basis for the use of uracil as sole effector molecule and the exclusion of the very similar thymine from the ligand-binding pocket. © 2015 The Authors.

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