Next Issue
Volume 10, August
Previous Issue
Volume 10, April
 
 

Non-Coding RNA, Volume 10, Issue 3 (June 2024) – 8 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Transcriptional regulation mediated by the MEF2C transcription factor influences gene expression during early development. Recently, non-coding RNAs, especially microRNAs, have added complexity to our understanding of gene regulation by impacting transcriptional and post-transcriptional processes. MEF2C was found to activate the long regulatory element upstream of the miR-23a-miR-27a-miR-24-2 cluster, affecting mature microRNA levels without altering pri-miRNA expression. These results highlight the dual role of MEF2C in transcriptional activation and post-transcriptional regulation, involving interactions with pre-miRNAs and specific RNA transcripts such as Ksrp, HnRNPa3, and Ddx17, elucidating intricate regulatory mechanisms of gene expression. View this paper
  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Reader to open them.
Order results
Result details
Section
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
14 pages, 930 KiB  
Review
Molecular and Evolutionary Analysis of RNA–Protein Interactions in Telomerase Regulation
by Justin A. Davis and Kausik Chakrabarti
Non-Coding RNA 2024, 10(3), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna10030036 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 460
Abstract
Telomerase is an enzyme involved in the maintenance of telomeres. Telomere shortening due to the end-replication problem is a threat to the genome integrity of all eukaryotes. Telomerase inside cells depends on a myriad of protein–protein and RNA–protein interactions to properly assemble and [...] Read more.
Telomerase is an enzyme involved in the maintenance of telomeres. Telomere shortening due to the end-replication problem is a threat to the genome integrity of all eukaryotes. Telomerase inside cells depends on a myriad of protein–protein and RNA–protein interactions to properly assemble and regulate the function of the telomerase holoenzyme. These interactions are well studied in model eukaryotes, like humans, yeast, and the ciliated protozoan known as Tetrahymena thermophila. Emerging evidence also suggests that deep-branching eukaryotes, such as the parasitic protist Trypanosoma brucei require conserved and novel RNA-binding proteins for the assembly and function of their telomerase. In this review, we will discuss telomerase regulatory pathways in the context of telomerase-interacting proteins, with special attention paid to RNA-binding proteins. We will discuss these interactors on an evolutionary scale, from parasitic protists to humans, to provide a broader perspective on the extensive role that protein–protein and RNA–protein interactions play in regulating telomerase activity in eukaryotes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Non-Coding RNA)
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1864 KiB  
Communication
The miRNA Contribution in Adipocyte Maturation
by Alessandro Giammona, Simone Di Franco, Alessia Lo Dico and Giorgio Stassi
Non-Coding RNA 2024, 10(3), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna10030035 - 12 Jun 2024
Viewed by 516
Abstract
Mesenchymal stem cells, due to their multipotent ability, are considered one of the best candidates to be used in regenerative medicine. To date, the most used source is represented by the bone marrow, despite the limited number of cells and the painful/invasive procedure [...] Read more.
Mesenchymal stem cells, due to their multipotent ability, are considered one of the best candidates to be used in regenerative medicine. To date, the most used source is represented by the bone marrow, despite the limited number of cells and the painful/invasive procedure for collection. Therefore, the scientific community has investigated many alternative sources for the collection of mesenchymal stem cells, with the adipose tissue representing the best option, given the abundance of mesenchymal stem cells and the easy access. Although adipose mesenchymal stem cells have recently been investigated for their multipotency, the molecular mechanisms underlying their adipogenic potential are still unclear. In this scenario, this communication is aimed at defining the role of miRNAs in adipogenic potential of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells via real-time PCR. Even if preliminary, our data show that cell culture conditions affect the expression of specific miRNA involved in the adipogenic potential of mesenchymal stem cells. The in vitro/in vivo validation of these results could pave the way for novel therapeutic strategies in the field of regenerative medicine. In conclusion, our research highlights how specific cell culture conditions can modulate the adipogenic potential of adipose mesenchymal stem cells through the regulation of specific miRNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Non-Coding RNA)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 5770 KiB  
Article
An Integrative Transcriptome Subtraction Strategy to Identify Human lncRNAs That Specifically Play a Role in Activation of Human Hepatic Stellate Cells
by Yonghe Ma, Jamie Harris, Ping Li, Chengfei Jiang, Hang Sun and Haiming Cao
Non-Coding RNA 2024, 10(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna10030034 - 6 Jun 2024
Viewed by 493
Abstract
Fibrotic liver features excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), primarily produced from “activated” hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). While targeting human HSCs (hHSCs) in fibrosis therapeutics shows promise, the overall understanding of hHSC activation remains limited, in part because it is very challenging to [...] Read more.
Fibrotic liver features excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), primarily produced from “activated” hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). While targeting human HSCs (hHSCs) in fibrosis therapeutics shows promise, the overall understanding of hHSC activation remains limited, in part because it is very challenging to define the role of human long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in hHSC activation. To address this challenge, we identified another cell type that acts via a diverse gene network to promote fibrogenesis. Then, we identified the lncRNAs that were differentially regulated in activated hHSCs and the other profibrotic cell. Next, we conducted concurrent analysis to identify those lncRNAs that were specifically involved in fibrogenesis. We tested and confirmed that transdifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) represents such a process. By overlapping TGFβ-regulated lncRNAs in multiple sets of hHSCs and VSMCs, we identified a highly selected list of lncRNA candidates that could specifically play a role in hHSC activation. We experimentally characterized one human lncRNA, named CARMN, which was significantly regulated by TGFβ in all conditions above. CARMN knockdown significantly reduced the expression levels of a panel of marker genes for hHSC activation, as well as the levels of ECM deposition and hHSC migration. Conversely, gain of function of CARMN using CRISPR activation (CRISPR-a) yielded the completely opposite effects. Taken together, our work addresses a bottleneck in identifying human lncRNAs that specifically play a role in hHSC activation and provides a framework to effectively select human lncRNAs with significant pathophysiological role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Roles of Non-coding RNAs in Drug Metabolism and Disposition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 1217 KiB  
Article
Investigation of Antihypertensive Properties of Chios Mastic via Monitoring microRNA-21 Expression Levels in the Plasma of Well-Controlled Hypertensive Patients
by Maria Tsota, Panagiota Giardoglou, Evangelia Mentsiou-Nikolaou, Panagiotis Symianakis, Ioanna Panagiota Kalafati, Anastasia-Areti Kyriazopoulou-Korovesi, Lasthenis Angelidakis, Maria Papaioannou, Christina Konstantaki, HYPER-MASTIC Consortium, Kimon Stamatelopoulos and George V. Dedoussis
Non-Coding RNA 2024, 10(3), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna10030033 - 31 May 2024
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Hypertension is a chronic, multifactorial disease, leading to high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality globally. Despite the advantages of pharmaceutical treatments, natural products have gained scientific interest due to their emerging phytotherapeutic properties. Chios mastic is a natural Greek product, consisting of bioactive compounds [...] Read more.
Hypertension is a chronic, multifactorial disease, leading to high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality globally. Despite the advantages of pharmaceutical treatments, natural products have gained scientific interest due to their emerging phytotherapeutic properties. Chios mastic is a natural Greek product, consisting of bioactive compounds which modify microRNAs’ (small, expression-regulating molecules) expression. In this study, we investigated the antihypertensive properties of Chios mastic through the assessment of miR-21 levels. Herein, plasma samples of 57 individuals with hypertension, recruited for the purposes of the HYPER-MASTIC study, were analyzed. This was a clinical trial with Chios mastic supplements in which the patients were divided into groups receiving high and low mastic doses and placebo supplements, respectively. miR-21 was significantly upregulated in patients compared to normotensive individuals. Mean changes in miR-21 levels were statistically significant, after adjusting for sex and age, between the placebo and low-dose group and between the low- and high-dose group. Post-intervention miR-21 levels were positively associated with night-time systolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, and central systolic mean arterial pressure and negatively associated with night-time pulse wave velocity in the low-dose group. Our findings suggest a potential implication of miR-21 in the association of Chios mastic with night-time blood pressure measurements. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 4074 KiB  
Article
MEF2C Directly Interacts with Pre-miRNAs and Distinct RNPs to Post-Transcriptionally Regulate miR-23a-miR-27a-miR-24-2 microRNA Cluster Member Expression
by Estefanía Lozano-Velasco, Carlos Garcia-Padilla, Miguel Carmona-Garcia, Alba Gonzalez-Diaz, Angela Arequipa-Rendon, Amelia E. Aranega and Diego Franco
Non-Coding RNA 2024, 10(3), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna10030032 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 707
Abstract
Transcriptional regulation constitutes a key step in gene expression regulation. Myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) is a transcription factor of the MADS box family involved in the early development of several cell types, including muscle cells. Over the last decade, a novel layer [...] Read more.
Transcriptional regulation constitutes a key step in gene expression regulation. Myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C) is a transcription factor of the MADS box family involved in the early development of several cell types, including muscle cells. Over the last decade, a novel layer of complexity modulating gene regulation has emerged as non-coding RNAs have been identified, impacting both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. microRNAs represent the most studied and abundantly expressed subtype of small non-coding RNAs, and their functional roles have been widely documented. On the other hand, our knowledge of the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms that drive microRNA expression is still incipient. We recently demonstrated that MEF2C is able to transactivate the long, but not short, regulatory element upstream of the miR-23a-miR-27a-miR-24-2 transcriptional start site. However, MEF2C over-expression and silencing, respectively, displayed distinct effects on each of the miR-23a-miR-27a-miR-24-2 mature cluster members without affecting pri-miRNA expression levels, thus supporting additional MEF2C-driven regulatory mechanisms. Within this study, we demonstrated a complex post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism directed by MEF2C in the regulation of miR-23a-miR-27a-miR-24-2 cluster members, distinctly involving different domains of the MEF2C transcription factor and the physical interaction with pre-miRNAs and Ksrp, HnRNPa3 and Ddx17 transcripts. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2669 KiB  
Article
The RNAi Machinery in the Fungus Fusarium fujikuroi Is Not Very Active in Synthetic Medium and Is Related to Transposable Elements
by Javier Pardo-Medina, Tim A. Dahlmann, Minou Nowrousian, M. Carmen Limón and Javier Avalos
Non-Coding RNA 2024, 10(3), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna10030031 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 859
Abstract
Small RNAS (sRNAs) participate in regulatory RNA interference (RNAi) mechanisms in a wide range of eukaryotic organisms, including fungi. The fungus Fusarium fujikuroi, a model for the study of secondary metabolism, contains a complete set of genes for RNAi pathways. We have [...] Read more.
Small RNAS (sRNAs) participate in regulatory RNA interference (RNAi) mechanisms in a wide range of eukaryotic organisms, including fungi. The fungus Fusarium fujikuroi, a model for the study of secondary metabolism, contains a complete set of genes for RNAi pathways. We have analyzed by high-throughput sequencing the content of sRNAs in total RNA samples of F. fujikuroi grown in synthetic medium in the dark or after 1 h of illumination, using libraries below 150 nt, covering sRNAs and their precursors. For comparison, a parallel analysis with Fusarium oxysporum was carried out. The sRNA reads showed a higher proportion of 5′ uracil in the RNA samples of the expected sizes in both species, indicating the occurrence of genuine sRNAs, and putative miRNA-like sRNAs (milRNAS) were identified with prediction software. F. fujikuroi carries at least one transcriptionally expressed Ty1/copia-like retrotransposable element, in which sRNAs were found in both sense and antisense DNA strands, while in F. oxysporum skippy-like elements also show sRNA formation. The finding of sRNA in these mobile elements indicates an active sRNA-based RNAi pathway. Targeted deletion of dcl2, the only F. fujikuroi Dicer gene with significant expression under the conditions tested, did not produce appreciable phenotypic or transcriptomic alterations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Non-Coding RNA)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

26 pages, 5343 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of microRNA Profiling Studies in Chronic Kidney Diseases
by Gantsetseg Garmaa, Stefania Bunduc, Tamás Kói, Péter Hegyi, Dezső Csupor, Dariimaa Ganbat, Fanni Dembrovszky, Fanni Adél Meznerics, Ailar Nasirzadeh, Cristina Barbagallo and Gábor Kökény
Non-Coding RNA 2024, 10(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna10030030 - 3 May 2024
Viewed by 1266
Abstract
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) represents an increasing health burden. Evidence suggests the importance of miRNA in diagnosing CKD, yet the reports are inconsistent. This study aimed to determine novel miRNA biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets from hypothesis-free miRNA profiling studies in human and [...] Read more.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) represents an increasing health burden. Evidence suggests the importance of miRNA in diagnosing CKD, yet the reports are inconsistent. This study aimed to determine novel miRNA biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets from hypothesis-free miRNA profiling studies in human and murine CKDs. Comprehensive literature searches were conducted on five databases. Subgroup analyses of kidney diseases, sample types, disease stages, and species were conducted. A total of 38 human and 12 murine eligible studies were analyzed using Robust Rank Aggregation (RRA) and vote-counting analyses. Gene set enrichment analyses of miRNA signatures in each kidney disease were conducted using DIANA-miRPath v4.0 and MIENTURNET. As a result, top target genes, Gene Ontology terms, the interaction network between miRNA and target genes, and molecular pathways in each kidney disease were identified. According to vote-counting analysis, 145 miRNAs were dysregulated in human kidney diseases, and 32 were dysregulated in murine CKD models. By RRA, miR-26a-5p was significantly reduced in the kidney tissue of Lupus nephritis (LN), while miR-107 was decreased in LN patients’ blood samples. In both species, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, Notch, mTOR signaling, apoptosis, G2/M checkpoint, and hypoxia were the most enriched pathways. These miRNA signatures and their target genes must be validated in large patient cohort studies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 3119 KiB  
Article
Dysregulation of a Subset of Circulating and Vesicle-Associated miRNA in Pancreatic Cancer
by Giulia Girolimetti, Iulia Andreea Pelisenco, Leonardo Henry Eusebi, Claudio Ricci, Beatrice Cavina, Ivana Kurelac, Tiziano Verri, Matteo Calcagnile, Pietro Alifano, Alessandro Salvi, Cecilia Bucci and Flora Guerra
Non-Coding RNA 2024, 10(3), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna10030029 - 1 May 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1028
Abstract
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive neoplasia, characterized by early metastasis, low diagnostic rates at early stages, resistance to drugs, and poor prognosis. There is an urgent need to better characterize this disease in order to identify efficient diagnostic/prognostic [...] Read more.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive neoplasia, characterized by early metastasis, low diagnostic rates at early stages, resistance to drugs, and poor prognosis. There is an urgent need to better characterize this disease in order to identify efficient diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers. Since microRNAs (miRNAs) contribute to oncogenesis and metastasis formation in PDAC, they are considered potential candidates for fulfilling this task. In this work, the levels of two miRNA subsets (involved in chemoresistance or with oncogenic/tumor suppressing functions) were investigated in a panel of PDAC cell lines and liquid biopsies of a small cohort of patients. We used RT-qPCR and droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to measure the amounts of cellular- and vesicle-associated, and circulating miRNAs. We found that both PDAC cell lines, also after gemcitabine treatment, and patients showed low amounts of cellular-and vesicle-associated miR-155-5p, compared to controls. Interestingly, we did not find any differences when we analyzed circulating miR-155-5p. Furthermore, vesicle-related miR-27a-3p increased in cancer patients compared to the controls, while circulating let-7a-5p, miR-221-3p, miR-23b-3p and miR-193a-3p presented as dysregulated in patients compared to healthy individuals. Our results highlight the potential clinical significance of these analyzed miRNAs as non-invasive diagnostic molecular tools to characterize PDAC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles and ncRNA)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop