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CagA is a secreted effector protein that contributes to gastric carcinogenesis. Previous studies showed that there is variation among strains in the steady-state levels of CagA and that a strain-specific motif downstream of the transcriptional start site (the +59 motif) is associated with both high levels of CagA and premalignant gastric histology. The 5' untranslated region contains a predicted stem-loop-forming structure adjacent to the +59 motif. In the current study, we investigated the effect of the +59 motif and the adjacent stem-loop on transcript levels and mRNA stability. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we found that mutations predicted to disrupt the stem-loop structure resulted in decreased steady-state levels of both the transcript and the CagA protein. Additionally, these mutations resulted in a decreased mRNA half-life. Mutagenesis of the +59 motif without altering the stem-loop structure resulted in reduced steady-state transcript and CagA protein levels but did not affect transcript stability. transcript stability was not affected by increased sodium chloride concentrations, an environmental factor known to augment transcript levels and CagA protein levels. These results indicate that both a predicted stem-loop structure and a strain-specific +59 motif in the 5' untranslated region influence the levels of expression.
Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.
BACKGROUND - Circulating miRNAs as potential non-invasive biomarkers for disease risk assessment and cancer early diagnosis have attracted increasing interest. Little information, however, is available regarding the intra-individual variation of circulating miRNA levels.
METHODS - We measured expression levels of a panel of 800 miRNAs in repeated plasma samples from 51 healthy individuals that were collected 6 to 12 months apart and evaluated the intra-individual variation by the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC).
RESULTS - After background correction, a total of 185 miRNAs were detected in at least 10% of the plasma samples, with 69 and 28 miRNAs being detected in 50% and 90% of samples, respectively. The median ICC was 0.46 for these 185 miRNAs. Among them, 41% (75 miRNAs) had an ICC ≥ 0.5, and 23% (42 miRNAs) had an ICC ≥ 0.6. The ICC is higher for miRNAs with higher expression levels or higher detection rates, when compared to those with lower expression levels or lower detection rates.
CONCLUSIONS - These results suggest that common circulating miRNAs are stable over a relatively long period and can serve as reliable biomarkers for epidemiological and clinical research.
BACKGROUND - Surveillance of integrity of the basic elements of the cell including DNA, RNA, and proteins is a critical element of cellular physiology. Mechanisms of surveillance of DNA and protein integrity are well understood. Surveillance of structural RNAs making up the vast majority of RNA in a cell is less well understood. Here, we sought to explore integrity of processing of structural RNAs in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and other inflammatory diseases.
RESULTS - We employed mononuclear cells obtained from subjects with RRMS and cell lines. We used quantitative-PCR and whole genome RNA sequencing to define defects in structural RNA surveillance and siRNAs to deplete target proteins. We report profound defects in surveillance of structural RNAs in RRMS exemplified by elevated levels of poly(A) + Y1-RNA, poly(A) + 18S rRNA and 28S rRNAs, elevated levels of misprocessed 18S and 28S rRNAs and levels of the U-class of small nuclear RNAs. Multiple sclerosis is also associated with genome-wide defects in mRNA splicing. Ro60 and La proteins, which exist in ribonucleoprotein particles and play different roles in quality control of structural RNAs, are also deficient in RRMS. In cell lines, silencing of the genes encoding Ro60 and La proteins gives rise to these same defects in surveillance of structural RNAs.
CONCLUSIONS - Our results establish that profound defects in structural RNA surveillance exist in RRMS and establish a causal link between Ro60 and La proteins and integrity of structural RNAs.
Titin is the largest known protein and a critical determinant of myofibril elasticity and sarcomere structure in striated muscle. Accumulating evidence that mRNA transcripts are post-transcriptionally regulated by specific motifs located in the flanking untranslated regions (UTRs) led us to consider the role of titin 5'-UTR in regulating its translational efficiency. Titin 5'-UTR is highly homologous between human, mouse, and rat, and sequence analysis revealed the presence of a stem-loop and two upstream AUG codons (uAUGs) converging on a shared in frame stop codon. We generated a mouse titin 5'-UTR luciferase reporter construct and targeted the stem-loop and each uAUG for mutation. The wild-type and mutated constructs were transfected into the cardiac HL-1 cell line and primary neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVM). SV40 driven 5'-UTR luciferase activity was significantly suppressed by wild-type titin 5'-UTR (∼ 70% in HL-1 cells and ∼ 60% in NRVM). Mutating both uAUGs was found to alleviate titin 5'-UTR suppression, while eliminating the stem-loop had no effect. Treatment with various growth stimuli: pacing, PMA or neuregulin had no effect on titin 5'-UTR luciferase activity. Doxorubicin stress stimuli reduced titin 5'-UTR suppression, while H2O2 had no effect. A reported single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs13422986 at position -4 of the uAUG2 was introduced and found to further repress titin 5'-UTR luciferase activity. We conclude that the uAUG motifs in titin 5'-UTR serve as translational repressors in the control of titin gene expression, and that mutations/SNPs of the uAUGs or doxorubicin stress could alter titin translational efficiency.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) is a potent growth regulator and tumor suppressor in normal intestinal epithelium. Likewise, epithelial cell growth is controlled by rapid decay of growth-related mRNAs mediated through 3' untranslated region (UTR) AU-rich element (ARE) motifs. We demonstrate that treatment of nontransformed intestinal epithelial cells with TGF-β inhibited ARE-mRNA expression. This effect of TGF-β was promoted through increased assembly of cytoplasmic RNA processing (P) bodies where ARE-mRNA localization was observed. P-body formation was dependent on TGF-β/Smad signaling, as Smad3 deletion abrogated P-body formation. In concert with increased P-body formation, TGF-β induced expression of the ARE-binding protein tristetraprolin (TTP), which colocalized to P bodies. TTP expression was necessary for TGF-β-dependent P-body formation and promoted growth inhibition by TGF-β. The significance of this was observed in vivo, where colonic epithelium deficient in TGF-β/Smad signaling or TTP expression showed attenuated P-body levels. These results provide new insight into TGF-β's antiproliferative properties and identify TGF-β as a novel mRNA stability regulator in intestinal epithelium through its ability to promote TTP expression and subsequent P-body formation.
Various chemical modifications are currently being evaluated for improving the efficacy of short interfering RNA (siRNA) duplexes as antisense agents for gene silencing in vivo. Among the 2'-ribose modifications assessed to date, 2'deoxy-2'-fluoro-RNA (2'-F-RNA) has unique properties for RNA interference (RNAi) applications. Thus, 2'-F-modified nucleotides are well tolerated in the guide (antisense) and passenger (sense) siRNA strands and the corresponding duplexes lack immunostimulatory effects, enhance nuclease resistance and display improved efficacy in vitro and in vivo compared with unmodified siRNAs. To identify potential origins of the distinct behaviors of RNA and 2'-F-RNA we carried out thermodynamic and X-ray crystallographic analyses of fully and partially 2'-F-modified RNAs. Surprisingly, we found that the increased pairing affinity of 2'-F-RNA relative to RNA is not, as commonly assumed, the result of a favorable entropic contribution ('conformational preorganization'), but instead primarily based on enthalpy. Crystal structures at high resolution and osmotic stress demonstrate that the 2'-F-RNA duplex is less hydrated than the RNA duplex. The enthalpy-driven, higher stability of the former hints at the possibility that the 2'-substituent, in addition to its important function in sculpting RNA conformation, plays an underappreciated role in modulating Watson-Crick base pairing strength and potentially π-π stacking interactions.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Hepatic de-differentiation, liver development, and malignant transformation are processes in which the levels of hepatic S-adenosylmethionine are tightly regulated by 2 genes: methionine adenosyltransferase 1A (MAT1A) and methionine adenosyltransferase 2A (MAT2A). MAT1A is expressed in the adult liver, whereas MAT2A expression primarily is extrahepatic and is associated strongly with liver proliferation. The mechanisms that regulate these expression patterns are not completely understood.
METHODS - In silico analysis of the 3' untranslated region of MAT1A and MAT2A revealed putative binding sites for the RNA-binding proteins AU-rich RNA binding factor 1 (AUF1) and HuR, respectively. We investigated the posttranscriptional regulation of MAT1A and MAT2A by AUF1, HuR, and methyl-HuR in the aforementioned biological processes.
RESULTS - During hepatic de-differentiation, the switch between MAT1A and MAT2A coincided with an increase in HuR and AUF1 expression. S-adenosylmethionine treatment altered this homeostasis by shifting the balance of AUF1 and methyl-HuR/HuR, which was identified as an inhibitor of MAT2A messenger RNA (mRNA) stability. We also observed a similar temporal distribution and a functional link between HuR, methyl-HuR, AUF1, and MAT1A and MAT2A during fetal liver development. Immunofluorescent analysis revealed increased levels of HuR and AUF1, and a decrease in methyl-HuR levels in human livers with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
CONCLUSIONS - Our data strongly support a role for AUF1 and HuR/methyl-HuR in liver de-differentiation, development, and human HCC progression through the posttranslational regulation of MAT1A and MAT2A mRNAs.
Copyright 2010 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
microRNAs (miRNAs) are small ( approximately 22 nt) noncoding RNAs that have been shown to regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. They function by pairing with the 3' UTR of target mRNAs and repressing translation or by targeting the mRNA for degradation. miRNAs are involved in diverse aspects of development, maintenance, and disease, and are largely evolutionarily conserved in metazoans. Searching the genomes of organisms from viruses to worms to humans has revealed potentially thousands of miRNA genes. Understanding the patterns of genomic organization between species cannot only help to refine tools to identify new miRNAs, but also provide insight into miRNA biogenesis and function.
Expression and cellular distribution of claudin-1, a tight junction protein, is dysregulated in colon cancer and its overexpression in colon cancer cells induced dedifferentiation and increased invasion. However, the molecular mechanism(s) underlying dysregulated claudin-1 expression in colon cancer remains poorly understood. Histone deacetylase (HDAC)-dependent histone acetylation is an important mechanism of the regulation of cancer-related genes and inhibition of HDACs induces epithelial differentiation and decreased invasion. Therefore, in this study, we examined the role of HDAC-dependent epigenetic regulation of claudin-1 in colon cancer. In this study, we show that sodium butyrate and Trichostatin A (TSA), two structurally different and widely used HDAC inhibitors, inhibited claudin-1 expression in multiple colon cancer cell lines. Further studies revealed modulation of claudin-1 mRNA stability by its 3'-UTR as the major mechanism underlying HDAC-dependent claudin-1 expression. In addition, overexpression of claudin-1 abrogated the TSA-induced inhibition of invasion in colon cancer cells suggesting functional crosstalk. Analysis of mRNA expression in colon cancer patients, showed a similar pattern of increase in claudin-1 and HDAC-2 mRNA expression throughout all stages of colon cancer. Inhibition of claudin-1 expression by HDAC-2-specific small interfering RNA further supported the role of HDAC-2 in this regulation. Taken together, we report a novel post-transcriptional regulation of claudin-1 expression in colon cancer cells and further show a functional correlation between claudin-1 expression and TSA-mediated regulation of invasion. As HDAC inhibitors are considered to be promising anticancer drugs, these new findings will have implications in both laboratory and clinical settings.
DNA and RNA oligonucleotides having formacetal internucleoside linkages between uridine and adenosine nucleosides have been prepared and studied using UV thermal melting, osmotic stress, and X-ray crystallography. Formacetal modifications have remarkably different effects on double helical RNA and DNA-the formacetal stabilizes the RNA helix by +0.7 degrees C but destabilizes the DNA helix by -1.6 degrees C per modification. The apparently hydrophobic formacetal has little effect on hydration of RNA but decreases the hydration of DNA, which suggests that at least part of the difference in thermal stability may be related to differences in hydration. A crystal structure of modified DNA shows that two isolated formacetal linkages fit almost perfectly in an A-type helix (decamer). Taken together, the data suggest that RNA may tolerate nonionic backbone modifications better than DNA. Overall, formacetal appears to be an excellent mimic of phosphate linkage in RNA and an interesting modification for potential applications in fundamental studies and RNA-based gene control strategies, such as RNA interference.