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Zhou J.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Liu S.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Liu S.,Huazhong University of Science and Technology | Chen Y.,University of Texas Medical Branch | And 9 more authors.
Journal of General Virology | Year: 2017

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) in children from infancy up to early childhood. Recently, we demonstrated that RSV infection alters cellular small non-coding RNA (sncRNA) expression, most notably the tRNA-derived RNA fragments (tRFs). However, the functions of the tRFs in virus–host interaction are largely unknown. Herein, we examined the role of three RSV-induced tRFs derived from the 5-end of mature tRNAs decoding GlyCCC, LysCTT and CysGCA (named tRF5-GlyCCC, tRF5-LysCTT and tRF5-CysGCA, respectively) in controlling RSV replication. We found that tRF5-GlyCCC and tRF5-LysCTT, but not tRF5-CysGCA, promote RSV replication, demonstrating the functional specificity of tRFs. The associated molecular mechanisms underlying the functions of tRF5-GlyCCC and tRF5LysCTT were also investigated. Regulating the expression and/or activity of these tRFs may provide new insights into preventive and therapeutic strategies for RSV infection. The study also accumulated data for future development of a tRF targeting algorithm. © 2017 The Authors.

Shi X.,Donghua University | Lee I.,MiRcore | Chen X.,University of Michigan | Zhu M.,Donghua University | And 2 more authors.
Soft Matter | Year: 2010

We report the complexation of a potential anticancer agent 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME) with generation 5 (G5) poly(amidoamine) dendrimers having different surface functional groups for therapeutic applications. The complexation experiment shows that approximately 6-8 drug molecules can be complexed with one dendrimer molecule regardless the type of the dendrimer terminal groups. The bioactivity of 2-ME complexed with dendrimers was found to be significantly dependent on the surface charge of G5 dendrimers. In vitro cell biological assays show that amine, hydroxyl, and acetamide-terminated G5 dendrimers with positive, slightly positive, and close to neutral surface charges, respectively are able to deliver 2-ME to inhibit cancer cell growth. In contrast, 2-ME complexed with carboxyl-terminated G5 dendrimers with negative surface charges does not show its inherent bioactivity. Further molecular dynamics simulation studies show that the compact structure of carboxylated G5 dendrimers complexed with 2-ME does not allow the release of the drug molecules even at a pH of 5.0, which is the typical pH value in lysosome. Our findings indicate that the surface modification of dendrimers with different charges is crucial for the development of formulations of various anticancer drugs for therapeutic applications. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Deng J.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Deng J.,Zhejiang University | Ptashkin R.N.,MiRcore | Ptashkin R.N.,University of Michigan | And 8 more authors.
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids | Year: 2014

Small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs), such as microRNAs (miRNA), virus-derived sncRNAs, and more recently identified tRNA-derived RNA fragments, are critical to posttranscriptional control of genes. Upon viral infection, host cells alter their sncRNA expression as a defense mechanism, while viruses can circumvent host defenses and promote their own propagation by affecting host cellular sncRNA expression or by expressing viral sncRNAs. Therefore, characterizing sncRNA profiles in response to viral infection is an important tool for understanding host-virus interaction, and for antiviral strategy development. Human metapneumovirus (hMPV), a recently identified pathogen, is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children. To investigate whether sncRNAs play a role in hMPV infection, we analyzed the changes in sncRNA profiles of airway epithelial cells in response to hMPV infection using ultrahigh-throughput sequencing. Of the cloned sncRNAs, miRNA was dominant in A549 cells, with the percentage of miRNA increasing in a time-dependent manner after the infection. In addition, several hMPV-derived sncRNAs and corresponding ribonucleases for their biogenesis were identified. hMPV M2-2 protein was revealed to be a key viral protein regulating miRNA expression. In summary, this study revealed several novel aspects of hMPV-mediated sncRNA expression, providing a new perspective on hMPV-host interactions. © 2014 The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy.

Kim N.H.,Yonsei University | Kim H.S.,Yonsei University | Kim N.-G.,University of Virginia | Lee I.,MiRcore | And 14 more authors.
Science Signaling | Year: 2011

Although loss of p53 function and activation of canonical Wnt signaling cascades are frequently coupled in cancer, the links between these two pathways remain unclear. We report that p53 transactivated microRNA-34 (miR-34), which consequently suppressed the transcriptional activity of β-catenin - T cell factor and lymphoid enhancer factor (TCF/LEF) complexes by targeting the untranslated regions (UTRs) of a set of conserved targets in a network of genes encoding elements of the Wnt pathway. Loss of p53 function increased canonical Wnt signaling by alleviating miR-34 - specific interactions with target UTRs, and miR-34 depletion relieved p53-mediated Wnt repression. Gene expression signatures reflecting the status of β-catenin - TCF/LEF transcriptional activity in breast cancer and pediatric neuroblastoma patients were correlated with p53 and miR-34 functional status. Loss of p53 or miR-34 contributed to neoplastic progression by triggering the Wnt-dependent, tissue-invasive activity of colorectal cancer cells. Further, during development, miR-34 interactions with the β-catenin UTR affected Xenopus body axis polarity and the expression of Wnt-dependent patterning genes. These data provide insight into the mechanisms by which a p53 - miR-34 network restrains canonical Wnt signaling cascades in developing organisms and human cancer.

Deng J.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Deng J.,Zhejiang University | Ptashkin R.N.,MiRcore | Ptashkin R.N.,University of Michigan | And 10 more authors.
Molecular Therapy | Year: 2015

Target identification is highly instructive in defining the biological roles of microRNAs. However, little is known about other small noncoding RNAs; for example, tRNA-derived RNA Fragments (tRFs). Some tRFs exhibit a gene-silencing mechanism distinctly different from that of typical microRNAs. We recently demonstrated that a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-induced tRF, called tRF5-GluCTC, promotes RSV replication. RSV is the single most important cause of lower respiratory tract infection in children. By using biochemical screening and bioinformatics analyses, we have identified apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (APOER2) as a target of tRF5-GluCTC. The 3′-portion of tRF5-GluCTC recognizes a target site in the 3′-untranslated region of APOER2 and suppresses its expression. We have also discovered that APOER2 is an anti-RSV protein whose suppression by tRF5-GluCTC promotes RSV replication. Our report represents the first identification of a natural target of a tRF and illustrates how a virus utilizes a host tRF to control a host gene to favor its replication.

Kim N.H.,Yonsei University | Kim H.S.,Yonsei University | Li X.-Y.,University of Michigan | Lee I.,miRcore | And 11 more authors.
Journal of Cell Biology | Year: 2011

Snail1 is a zinc finger transcriptional repressor whose pathological expression has been linked to cancer cell epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) programs and the induction of tissue-invasive activity, but pro-oncogenic events capable of regulating Snail1 activity remain largely uncharacterized. Herein, we demonstrate that p53 loss-of-function or mutation promotes cancer cell EMT by de-repressing Snail1 protein expression and activity. In the absence of wild-type p53 function, Snail1-dependent EMT is activated in colon, breast, and lung carcinoma cells as a consequence of a decrease in miRNA-34 levels, which suppress Snail1 activity by binding to highly conserved 3' untranslated regions in Snail1 itself as well as those of key Snail1 regulatory molecules, including β-catenin, LEF1, and Axin2. Although p53 activity can impact cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, and DNA repair pathways, the EMT and invasion programs initiated by p53 loss of function or mutation are completely dependent on Snail1 expression. These results identify a new link between p53, miR-34, and Snail1 in the regulation of cancer cell EMT programs. © 2011 Kim et al.

Lee K.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Kunkeaw N.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Kunkeaw N.,Khon Kaen University | Jeon S.H.,University of Texas Medical Branch | And 8 more authors.
RNA | Year: 2011

Noncoding RNAs have drawn significant attention in biology recently. Whereas the current research is highly inclined to microRNAs, research on other noncoding RNAs has lagged behind. Here, we investigated a novel noncoding RNA that has been known as precursor microRNA miR-886 (pre-miR-886). Pre-miR-886 has been proposed also as a vault RNA, a component of the vault complex implicated in cancer drug resistance. We identified pre-miR-886 as a 102-nucleotide-long, abundant cytoplasmic RNA that is neither a genuine pre-microRNA nor a vault RNA. Pre-miR-886 is physically associated with PKR (Protein Kinase RNA-activated), an interferon-inducible and double-stranded RNA dependent kinase. The suppression of pre-miR-886 activates PKR and its downstream pathways, eIF2α phosphorylation and the NF-κB pathway, leading to impaired cell proliferation. We also found that pre-miR-886 is suppressed in a wide-range of cancer cell lines and in clinical specimens. This study is the first intense characterization of pre-miR-886 as well as the initial report on its function as a PKR regulator, which suggests a critical role in tumorigenesis. Copyright © 2011 RNA Society.

Wang Q.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Lee I.,MiRcore | Ren J.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Ajay S.S.,National Human Genome Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Therapy | Year: 2013

The discovery of small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs) with regulatory functions is a recent breakthrough in biology. Among sncRNAs, microRNA (miRNA), derived from host or virus, has emerged as elements with high importance in control of viral replication and host responses. However, the expression pattern and functional aspects of other types of sncRNAs, following viral infection, are unexplored. In order to define expression patterns of sncRNAs, as well as to discover novel regulatory sncRNAs in response to viral infection, we applied deep sequencing to cells infected with human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the most common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in babies. RSV infection leads to abundant production of transfer RNA (tRNA)-derived RNA Fragments (tRFs) that are ∼30 nucleotides (nts) long and correspond to the 5′-half of mature tRNAs. At least one tRF, which is derived from tRNA-Glu-CTC, represses target mRNA in the cytoplasm and promotes RSV replication. This demonstrates that this tRF is not a random by-product of tRNA degradation but a functional molecule. The biogenesis of this tRF is also specific, as it is mediated by the endonuclease angiogenin (ANG), not by other nucleases. In summary, our study presents novel information on the induction of a functional tRF by viral infection. © The American Society of Gene &Cell Therapy.

PubMed | miRcore and University of Texas Medical Branch
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Genomics & informatics | Year: 2016

tRNA-derived RNA fragments (tRFs) are an emerging class of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). A growing number of reports have shown that tRFs are not random degradation products but are functional ncRNAs made of specific tRNA cleavage. They play regulatory roles in several biological contexts such as cancer, innate immunity, stress responses, and neurological disorders. In this review, we summarize the biogenesis and functions of tRFs.

Kim N.H.,Yonsei University | Cha Y.H.,Yonsei University | Kang S.E.,Yonsei University | Lee Y.,Yonsei University | And 9 more authors.
Cell Cycle | Year: 2013

p53 is a bona fide tumor suppressor gene whose loss of function marks the most common genetic alteration in human malignancy. Although the causal link between loss of p53 function and tumorigenesis has been clearly demonstrated, the mechanistic links by which loss of p53 potentiates oncogenic signaling are not fully understood. Recent evidence indicates that the microRNA-34 (miR-34) family, a transcriptional target of the p53, directly suppresses a set of canonical Wnt genes and Snail, resulting in p53-mediated suppression of Wnt signaling and the EMT process. In this study, we report that p53 regulates GSK-3β nuclear localization via miR-34-mediated suppression of Axin2 in colorectal cancer. Exogenous miR-34a decreases Axin2 UTR-reporter activity through multiple binding sites within the 5′ and 3′ UTR of Axin2. Suppression of Axin2 by p53 or miR-34 increases nuclear GSK-3β abundance and leads to decreased Snail expression in colorectal cancer cells. Conversely, expression of the non-coding UTR of Axin2 causes depletion of endogenous miR-34 via the miR-sponge effect together with increased Axin2 function, supporting that the RNA-RNA interactions with Axin2 transcripts act as an endogenous decoy for miR-34. Further, RNA transcripts of miR-34 target were correlated with Axin2 in clinical data set of colorectal cancer patients. Although the biological relevance of nuclear GSK-3 level has not been fully studied, our results demonstrate that the tumor suppressor p53/miR-34 axis plays a role in regulating nuclear GSK-3 levels and Wnt signaling through the non-coding UTR of Axin2 in colorectal cancer. © 2013 Landes Bioscience.

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