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Non-Coding RNA, Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Gastrotrichs—’hairy bellies’—are microscopic free-living animals that were historically placed [...] Read more.
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Increased Extracellular Matrix Protein Production in Chronic Diabetic Complications: Implications of Non-Coding RNAs
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010030
Received: 8 February 2019 / Revised: 16 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract
Management of chronic diabetic complications remains a major medical challenge worldwide. One of the characteristic features of all chronic diabetic complications is augmented production of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Such ECM proteins are deposited in all tissues affected by chronic complications, ultimately causing [...] Read more.
Management of chronic diabetic complications remains a major medical challenge worldwide. One of the characteristic features of all chronic diabetic complications is augmented production of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Such ECM proteins are deposited in all tissues affected by chronic complications, ultimately causing organ damage and dysfunction. A contributing factor to this pathogenetic process is glucose-induced endothelial damage, which involves phenotypic transformation of endothelial cells (ECs). This phenotypic transition of ECs, from a quiescent state to an activated dysfunctional state, can be mediated through alterations in the synthesis of cellular proteins. In this review, we discussed the roles of non-coding RNAs, specifically microRNAs (miRNAs) and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), in such processes. We further outlined other epigenetic mechanisms regulating the biogenesis and/or function of non-coding RNAs. Overall, we believe that better understanding of such molecular processes may lead to the development of novel biomarkers and therapeutic strategies in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA, Fibrogenesis, and Fibrotic Disease)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Crosstalk Between Mammalian Antiviral Pathways
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010029
Received: 27 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 20 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
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Abstract
As part of their innate immune response against viral infections, mammals activate the expression of type I interferons to prevent viral replication and dissemination. An antiviral RNAi-based response can be also activated in mammals, suggesting that several mechanisms can co-occur in the same [...] Read more.
As part of their innate immune response against viral infections, mammals activate the expression of type I interferons to prevent viral replication and dissemination. An antiviral RNAi-based response can be also activated in mammals, suggesting that several mechanisms can co-occur in the same cell and that these pathways must interact to enable the best antiviral response. Here, we will review how the classical type I interferon response and the recently described antiviral RNAi pathways interact in mammalian cells. Specifically, we will uncover how the small RNA biogenesis pathway, composed by the nucleases Drosha and Dicer can act as direct antiviral factors, and how the type-I interferon response regulates the function of these. We will also describe how the factors involved in small RNA biogenesis and specific small RNAs impact the activation of the type I interferon response and antiviral activity. With this, we aim to expose the complex and intricate network of interactions between the different antiviral pathways in mammals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA and the Immune System)
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNA Shuttle from Cell-To-Cell by Exosomes and Its Impact in Cancer
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010028
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
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Abstract
The identification of exosomes, their link to multivesicular bodies and their potential role as a messenger vehicle between cancer and healthy cells opens up a new approach to the study of intercellular signaling. Furthermore, the fact that their main cargo is likely to [...] Read more.
The identification of exosomes, their link to multivesicular bodies and their potential role as a messenger vehicle between cancer and healthy cells opens up a new approach to the study of intercellular signaling. Furthermore, the fact that their main cargo is likely to be microRNAs (miRNAs) provides the possibility of the transfer of such molecules to control activities in the recipient cells. This review concerns a brief overview of the biogenesis of both exosomes and miRNAs together with the movement of such structures between cells. The possible roles of miRNAs in the development and progression of breast, ovarian and prostate cancers are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA in Reproductive Organ Cancers)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Breast Cancer and miR-SNPs: The Importance of miR Germ-Line Genetics
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010027
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
Recent studies in cancer diagnostics have identified microRNAs (miRNAs) as promising cancer biomarkers. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in miRNA binding sites, seed regions, and coding sequences can help predict breast cancer risk, aggressiveness, response to stimuli, and prognosis. This review also documents significant [...] Read more.
Recent studies in cancer diagnostics have identified microRNAs (miRNAs) as promising cancer biomarkers. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in miRNA binding sites, seed regions, and coding sequences can help predict breast cancer risk, aggressiveness, response to stimuli, and prognosis. This review also documents significant known miR-SNPs in miRNA biogenesis genes and their effects on gene regulation in breast cancer, taking into account the genetic background and ethnicity of the sampled populations. When applicable, miR-SNPs are evaluated in the context of other patient factors, including mutations, hormonal status, and demographics. Given the power of miR-SNPs to predict patient cancer risk, prognosis, and outcomes, further study of miR-SNPs is warranted to improve efforts towards personalized medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA in Reproductive Organ Cancers)
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Open AccessReview
Long Non-Coding RNA in Vascular Disease and Aging
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010026
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 13 March 2019 / Accepted: 14 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
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Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases are the most prominent cause of death in Western society, especially in the elderly. With the increasing life expectancy, the number of patients with cardiovascular diseases will rise in the near future, leading to an increased healthcare burden. There is a [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases are the most prominent cause of death in Western society, especially in the elderly. With the increasing life expectancy, the number of patients with cardiovascular diseases will rise in the near future, leading to an increased healthcare burden. There is a need for new therapies to treat this growing number of patients. The discovery of long non-coding RNAs has led to a novel group of molecules that could be considered for their potential as therapeutic targets. This review presents an overview of long non-coding RNAs that are regulated in vascular disease and aging and which might therefore give insight into new pathways that could be targeted to diagnose, prevent, and/or treat vascular diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Regulatory RNAs in Cardiovascular Development and Disease)
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Open AccessBrief Report
MicroRNA-451 Inhibits Migration of Glioblastoma while Making It More Susceptible to Conventional Therapy
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010025
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
Malignant glioblastoma (GBM, glioma) is the most common and aggressive primary adult brain tumor. The prognosis of GBM patients remains poor, despite surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The major obstacles for successful remedy are invasiveness and therapy resistance of GBM cells. Invasive glioma cells [...] Read more.
Malignant glioblastoma (GBM, glioma) is the most common and aggressive primary adult brain tumor. The prognosis of GBM patients remains poor, despite surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. The major obstacles for successful remedy are invasiveness and therapy resistance of GBM cells. Invasive glioma cells leave primary tumor core and infiltrate surrounding normal brain leading to inevitable recurrence, even after surgical resection, radiation and chemotherapy. Therapy resistance allowing for selection of more aggressive and resistant sub-populations including GBM stem-like cells (GSCs) upon treatment is another serious impediment to successful treatment. Through their regulation of multiple genes, microRNAs can orchestrate complex programs of gene expression and act as master regulators of cellular processes. MicroRNA-based therapeutics could thus impact broad cellular programs, leading to inhibition of invasion and sensitization to radio/chemotherapy. Our data show that miR-451 attenuates glioma cell migration in vitro and invasion in vivo. In addition, we have found that miR-451 sensitizes glioma cells to conventional chemo- and radio-therapy. Our data also show that miR-451 is regulated in vivo by AMPK pathway and that AMPK/miR-451 loop has the ability to switch between proliferative and migratory pattern of glioma cells behavior. We therefore postulate that AMPK/miR-451 negative reciprocal feedback loop allows GBM cells/GSCs to adapt to tumor “ecosystem” by metabolic and behavioral flexibility, and that disruption of such a loop reduces invasiveness and diminishes therapy resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA and Brain Tumors)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Multifunctional miR-155 Pathway in Avian Oncogenic Virus-Induced Neoplastic Diseases
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010024
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that fine-tune the responses of the cell by modulating the cell transcriptome and gene expression. MicroRNA 155 (miR-155) is a conserved multifunctional miRNA involved in multiple roles including the modulation of the immune responses. When deregulated, miR-155 [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that fine-tune the responses of the cell by modulating the cell transcriptome and gene expression. MicroRNA 155 (miR-155) is a conserved multifunctional miRNA involved in multiple roles including the modulation of the immune responses. When deregulated, miR-155 can also contribute to cancer as has been demonstrated in several human malignancies such as diffuse large B cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, as well as in Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-induced B cell transformation. Avian oncogenic viruses such as Marek’s disease virus (MDV), avian leukosis virus (ALV), and reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) that account for more than 90% of cancers in avian species, also make use of the miR-155 pathway during oncogenesis. While oncogenic retroviruses, such as ALV, activate miR-155 by insertional activation, acutely transforming retroviruses use transduced oncogenes such as v-rel to upregulate miR-155 expression. MDV on the other hand, encodes a functional miR-155 ortholog mdv1-miR-M4, similar to the miR-155 ortholog kshv-miR-K11 present in Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV). We have shown that mdv1-miR-M4 is critical for the induction of MDV-induced lymphomas further demonstrating the oncogenic potential of miR-155 pathway in cancers irrespective of the diverse etiology. In this review, we discuss on our current understanding of miR-155 function in virus-induced lymphomas focusing primarily on avian oncogenic viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs in Viral Infections)
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Open AccessReview
The MicroRNA miR-155 Is Essential in Fibrosis
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010023
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
The function of microRNAs (miRNAs) during fibrosis and the downstream regulation of gene expression by these miRNAs have become of great biological interest. miR-155 is consistently upregulated in fibrotic disorders, and its ablation downregulates collagen synthesis. Studies demonstrate the integral role of miR-155 [...] Read more.
The function of microRNAs (miRNAs) during fibrosis and the downstream regulation of gene expression by these miRNAs have become of great biological interest. miR-155 is consistently upregulated in fibrotic disorders, and its ablation downregulates collagen synthesis. Studies demonstrate the integral role of miR-155 in fibrosis, as it mediates TGF-β1 signaling to drive collagen synthesis. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the association between miR-155 and fibrotic disorders. We discuss the cross-signaling between macrophages and fibroblasts that orchestrates the upregulation of collagen synthesis mediated by miR-155. As miR-155 is involved in the activation of the innate and adaptive immune systems, specific targeting of miR-155 in pathologic cells that make excessive collagen could be a viable option before the depletion of miR-155 becomes an attractive antifibrotic approach. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Integrative System Biology Analyses Identify Seven MicroRNAs to Predict Heart Failure
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010022
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 28 February 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
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Abstract
Heart failure (HF) has several etiologies including myocardial infarction (MI) and left ventricular remodeling (LVR), but its progression remains difficult to predict in clinical practice. Systems biology analyses of LVR after MI provide molecular insights into this event such as modulation of microRNA [...] Read more.
Heart failure (HF) has several etiologies including myocardial infarction (MI) and left ventricular remodeling (LVR), but its progression remains difficult to predict in clinical practice. Systems biology analyses of LVR after MI provide molecular insights into this event such as modulation of microRNA (miRNA) that could be used as a signature of HF progression. To define a miRNA signature of LVR after MI, we use 2 systems biology approaches, integrating either proteomic data generated from LV of post-MI rat induced by left coronary artery ligation or multi-omics data (proteins and non-coding RNAs) generated from plasma of post-MI patients from the REVE-2 study. The first approach predicted that 13 miRNAs and 3 of these miRNAs would be validated to be associated with LVR in vivo: miR-21-5p, miR-23a-3p and miR-222-3p. The second approach predicted that 24 miRNAs among 1310 molecules and 6 of these miRNAs would be selected to be associated with LVR in silico: miR-17-5p, miR-21-5p, miR-26b-5p, miR-222-3p, miR-335-5p and miR-375. We identified a signature of 7 microRNAs associated with LVR after MI that support the interest of integrative systems biology analyses to define a miRNA signature of HF progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Regulatory RNAs in Cardiovascular Development and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle
microRNA Expression Profiles in the Ventral Hippocampus during Pubertal Development and the Impact of Peri-Pubertal Binge Alcohol Exposure
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010021
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
Adolescence is hallmarked by two parallel processes of sexual maturation and adult patterning of the brain. Therefore, adolescence represents a vulnerable postnatal period for neurodevelopment where exogenous factors can negatively impact adult brain function. For example, alcohol exposure during pubertal development can lead [...] Read more.
Adolescence is hallmarked by two parallel processes of sexual maturation and adult patterning of the brain. Therefore, adolescence represents a vulnerable postnatal period for neurodevelopment where exogenous factors can negatively impact adult brain function. For example, alcohol exposure during pubertal development can lead to long-term and widespread neurobiological dysfunction and these effects have been shown to persist even in the absence of future alcohol exposure. However, the molecular mechanisms mediating the persistent effects of alcohol are unclear. We propose that dysregulation of microRNAs (miR) could be a unifying epigenetic mechanism underlying these widespread long-term changes. We tested the hypothesis that repeated alcohol exposure during pubertal development would cause disruption of normal miR expression profiles during puberty and, subsequently, their downstream mRNA target genes in the ventral hippocampus using an established rat model of adolescent binge drinking. We found 6 alcohol-sensitive miRs that were all downregulated following alcohol exposure and we also investigated the normal age-dependent changes in those miRs throughout the pubertal period. Interestingly, these miRs were normally decreased throughout the process of puberty, but alcohol prematurely exacerbated the normal decline in miR expression levels. The work presented herein provides foundational knowledge about the expression patterns of miRs during this critical period of neurodevelopment. Further, this regulation of miR and mRNA expression by alcohol exposure presents a complex regulatory mechanism by which perturbation in this time-sensitive period could lead to long-term neurological consequences. Full article
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Open AccessReview
MicroRNA in Brain pathology: Neurodegeneration the Other Side of the Brain Cancer
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010020
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
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Abstract
The mammalian brain is made up of billions of neurons and supporting cells (glial cells), intricately connected. Molecular perturbations often lead to neurodegeneration by progressive loss of structure and malfunction of neurons, including their death. On the other side, a combination of genetic [...] Read more.
The mammalian brain is made up of billions of neurons and supporting cells (glial cells), intricately connected. Molecular perturbations often lead to neurodegeneration by progressive loss of structure and malfunction of neurons, including their death. On the other side, a combination of genetic and cellular factors in glial cells, and less frequently in neurons, drive oncogenic transformation. In both situations, microenvironmental niches influence the progression of diseases and therapeutic responses. Dynamic changes that occur in cellular transcriptomes during the progression of developmental lineages and pathogenesis are controlled through a variety of regulatory networks. These include epigenetic modifications, signaling pathways, and transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. One prominent component of the latter is small non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs, that control the vast majority of these networks including genes regulating neural stemness, differentiation, apoptosis, projection fates, migration and many others. These cellular processes are also profoundly dependent on the microenvironment, stemness niche, hypoxic microenvironment, and interactions with associated cells including endothelial and immune cells. Significantly, the brain of all other mammalian organs expresses the highest number of microRNAs, with an additional gain in expression in the early stage of neurodegeneration and loss in expression in oncogenesis. However, a mechanistic explanation of the concept of an apparent inverse correlation between the odds of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases is only weakly developed. In this review, we thus will discuss widespread de-regulation of microRNAome observed in these two major groups of brain pathologies. The deciphering of these intricacies is of importance, as therapeutic restoration of pre-pathological microRNA landscape in neurodegeneration must not lead to oncogenesis and vice versa. We thus focus on microRNAs engaged in cellular processes that are inversely regulated in these diseases. We also aim to define the difference in microRNA networks between pro-survival and pro-apoptotic signaling in the brain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA and Brain Tumors)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Evolutionary Implications of the microRNA- and piRNA Complement of Lepidodermella squamata (Gastrotricha)
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010019
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
Gastrotrichs—’hairy bellies’—are microscopic free-living animals inhabiting marine and freshwater habitats. Based on morphological and early molecular analyses, gastrotrichs were placed close to nematodes, but recent phylogenomic analyses have suggested their close relationship to flatworms (Platyhelminthes) within Spiralia. Small non-coding RNA data on e.g., [...] Read more.
Gastrotrichs—’hairy bellies’—are microscopic free-living animals inhabiting marine and freshwater habitats. Based on morphological and early molecular analyses, gastrotrichs were placed close to nematodes, but recent phylogenomic analyses have suggested their close relationship to flatworms (Platyhelminthes) within Spiralia. Small non-coding RNA data on e.g., microRNAs (miRNAs) and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNA) may help to resolve this long-standing question. MiRNAs are short post-transcriptional gene regulators that together with piRNAs play key roles in development. In a ‘multi-omics’ approach we here used small-RNA sequencing, available transcriptome and genomic data to unravel the miRNA- and piRNA complements along with the RNAi (RNA interference) protein machinery of Lepidodermella squamata (Gastrotricha, Chaetonotida). We identified 52 miRNA genes representing 35 highly conserved miRNA families specific to Eumetazoa, Bilateria, Protostomia, and Spiralia, respectively, with overall high similarities to platyhelminth miRNA complements. In addition, we found four large piRNA clusters that also resemble flatworm piRNAs but not those earlier described for nematodes. Congruently, transcriptomic annotation revealed that the Lepidodermella protein machinery is highly similar to flatworms, too. Taken together, miRNA, piRNA, and protein data support a close relationship of gastrotrichs and flatworms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs, from an Evolutionary Perspective)
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Open AccessReview
Metazoan tsRNAs: Biogenesis, Evolution and Regulatory Functions
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010018
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 18 February 2019
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Abstract
Transfer RNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) are an emerging class of regulatory non-coding RNAs that play important roles in post-transcriptional regulation across a variety of biological processes. Here, we review the recent advances in tsRNA biogenesis and regulatory functions from the perspectives of functional [...] Read more.
Transfer RNA-derived small RNAs (tsRNAs) are an emerging class of regulatory non-coding RNAs that play important roles in post-transcriptional regulation across a variety of biological processes. Here, we review the recent advances in tsRNA biogenesis and regulatory functions from the perspectives of functional and evolutionary genomics, with a focus on the tsRNA biology of Drosophila. We first summarize our current understanding of the biogenesis mechanisms of different categories of tsRNAs that are generated under physiological or stressed conditions. Next, we review the conservation patterns of tsRNAs in all domains of life, with an emphasis on the conservation of tsRNAs between two Drosophila species. Then, we elaborate the currently known regulatory functions of tsRNAs in mRNA translation that are independent of, or dependent on, Argonaute (AGO) proteins. We also highlight some issues related to the fundamental biology of tsRNAs that deserve further study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs, from an Evolutionary Perspective)
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Open AccessReview
Long Non-Coding RNAs in the Regulation of Gene Expression: Physiology and Disease
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010017
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 17 February 2019
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Abstract
The identification of RNAs that are not translated into proteins was an important breakthrough, defining the diversity of molecules involved in eukaryotic regulation of gene expression. These non-coding RNAs can be divided into two main classes according to their length: short non-coding RNAs, [...] Read more.
The identification of RNAs that are not translated into proteins was an important breakthrough, defining the diversity of molecules involved in eukaryotic regulation of gene expression. These non-coding RNAs can be divided into two main classes according to their length: short non-coding RNAs, such as microRNAs (miRNAs), and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). The lncRNAs in association with other molecules can coordinate several physiological processes and their dysfunction may impact in several pathologies, including cancer and infectious diseases. They can control the flux of genetic information, such as chromosome structure modulation, transcription, splicing, messenger RNA (mRNA) stability, mRNA availability, and post-translational modifications. Long non-coding RNAs present interaction domains for DNA, mRNAs, miRNAs, and proteins, depending on both sequence and secondary structure. The advent of new generation sequencing has provided evidences of putative lncRNAs existence; however, the analysis of transcriptomes for their functional characterization remains a challenge. Here, we review some important aspects of lncRNA biology, focusing on their role as regulatory elements in gene expression modulation during physiological and disease processes, with implications in host and pathogens physiology, and their role in immune response modulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs: Variations and Disease)
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Open AccessReview
Small Non-Coding RNAs Derived from Eukaryotic Ribosomal RNA
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010016
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 27 January 2019 / Published: 4 February 2019
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Abstract
The advent of RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) technologies has markedly improved our knowledge and expanded the compendium of small non-coding RNAs, most of which derive from the processing of longer RNA precursors. In this review article, we will present a nonexhaustive list of referenced small [...] Read more.
The advent of RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) technologies has markedly improved our knowledge and expanded the compendium of small non-coding RNAs, most of which derive from the processing of longer RNA precursors. In this review article, we will present a nonexhaustive list of referenced small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) derived from eukaryotic ribosomal RNA (rRNA), called rRNA fragments (rRFs). We will focus on the rRFs that are experimentally verified, and discuss their origin, length, structure, biogenesis, association with known regulatory proteins, and potential role(s) as regulator of gene expression. This relatively new class of ncRNAs remained poorly investigated and underappreciated until recently, due mainly to the a priori exclusion of rRNA sequences—because of their overabundance—from RNA-Seq datasets. The situation surrounding rRFs resembles that of microRNAs (miRNAs), which used to be readily discarded from further analyses, for more than five decades, because no one could believe that RNA of such a short length could bear biological significance. As if we had not yet learned our lesson not to restrain our investigative, scientific mind from challenging widely accepted beliefs or dogmas, and from looking for the hidden treasures in the most unexpected places. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Evolutionary Patterns of Non-Coding RNA in Cardiovascular Biology
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010015
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) affect the heart and the vascular system with a high prevalence and place a huge burden on society as well as the healthcare system. These complex diseases are often the result of multiple genetic and environmental risk factors and pose [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) affect the heart and the vascular system with a high prevalence and place a huge burden on society as well as the healthcare system. These complex diseases are often the result of multiple genetic and environmental risk factors and pose a great challenge to understanding their etiology and consequences. With the advent of next generation sequencing, many non-coding RNA transcripts, especially long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), have been linked to the pathogenesis of CVD. Despite increasing evidence, the proper functional characterization of most of these molecules is still lacking. The exploration of conservation of sequences across related species has been used to functionally annotate protein coding genes. In contrast, the rapid evolutionary turnover and weak sequence conservation of lncRNAs make it difficult to characterize functional homologs for these sequences. Recent studies have tried to explore other dimensions of interspecies conservation to elucidate the functional role of these novel transcripts. In this review, we summarize various methodologies adopted to explore the evolutionary conservation of cardiovascular non-coding RNAs at sequence, secondary structure, syntenic, and expression level. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Regulatory RNAs in Cardiovascular Development and Disease)
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Open AccessFeature PaperCommunication
Suppressors of Meiotic Silencing by Unpaired DNA
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010014
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
Meiotic silencing by unpaired DNA (MSUD) is a gene silencing process that occurs within meiotic cells of Neurospora crassa and other fungi. We have previously developed a high-throughput screen to identify suppressors of this silencing pathway. Here, a list of MSUD suppressor candidates [...] Read more.
Meiotic silencing by unpaired DNA (MSUD) is a gene silencing process that occurs within meiotic cells of Neurospora crassa and other fungi. We have previously developed a high-throughput screen to identify suppressors of this silencing pathway. Here, a list of MSUD suppressor candidates from a single pass of the first 84 plates of the Neurospora knockout library is provided. Full article
Open AccessReview
Long Non-Coding RNAs in Multiple Myeloma
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010013
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
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Abstract
Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematooncological disease of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow. While new treatment brought unprecedented increase of survival of patients, MM pathogenesis is yet to be clarified. Increasing evidence of expression of long non-coding RNA [...] Read more.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second most common hematooncological disease of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow. While new treatment brought unprecedented increase of survival of patients, MM pathogenesis is yet to be clarified. Increasing evidence of expression of long non-coding RNA molecules (lncRNA) linked to development and progression of many tumors suggested their important role in tumorigenesis. To date, over 15,000 lncRNA molecules characterized by diversity of function and specificity of cell distribution were identified in the human genome. Due to their involvement in proliferation, apoptosis, metabolism, and differentiation, they have a key role in the biological processes and pathogenesis of many diseases, including MM. This review summarizes current knowledge of non-coding RNAs (ncRNA), especially lncRNAs, and their role in MM pathogenesis. Undeniable involvement of lncRNAs in MM development suggests their potential as biomarkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA in Multiple Myeloma)
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Open AccessArticle
Rapid Generation of Long Noncoding RNA Knockout Mice Using CRISPR/Cas9 Technology
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010012
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 January 2019 / Published: 23 January 2019
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Abstract
In recent years, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as multifaceted regulators of gene expression, controlling key developmental and disease pathogenesis processes. However, due to the paucity of lncRNA loss-of-function mouse models, key questions regarding the involvement of lncRNAs in organism homeostasis and [...] Read more.
In recent years, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as multifaceted regulators of gene expression, controlling key developmental and disease pathogenesis processes. However, due to the paucity of lncRNA loss-of-function mouse models, key questions regarding the involvement of lncRNAs in organism homeostasis and (patho)-physiology remain difficult to address experimentally in vivo. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 platform provides a powerful genome-editing tool and has been successfully applied across model organisms to facilitate targeted genetic mutations, including Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Danio rerio and Mus musculus. However, just a few lncRNA-deficient mouse lines have been created using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome engineering, presumably due to the need for lncRNA-specific gene targeting strategies considering the absence of open-reading frames in these loci. Here, we describe a step-wise procedure for the generation and validation of lncRNA loss-of-function mouse models using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome engineering. In a proof-of-principle approach, we generated mice deficient for the liver-enriched lncRNA Gm15441, which we found downregulated during development of metabolic disease and induced during the feeding/fasting transition. Further, we discuss guidelines for the selection of lncRNA targets and provide protocols for in vitro single guide RNA (sgRNA) validation, assessment of in vivo gene-targeting efficiency and knockout confirmation. The procedure from target selection to validation of lncRNA knockout mouse lines can be completed in 18–20 weeks, of which <10 days hands-on working time is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA and Diabetes)
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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms of Antisense Transcription Initiation with Implications in Gene Expression, Genomic Integrity and Disease Pathogenesis
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010011
Received: 15 October 2018 / Revised: 1 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Non-coding antisense transcripts arise from the strand opposite the sense strand. Over 70% of the human genome generates non-coding antisense transcripts while less than 2% of the genome codes for proteins. Antisense transcripts and/or the act of antisense transcription regulate gene expression and [...] Read more.
Non-coding antisense transcripts arise from the strand opposite the sense strand. Over 70% of the human genome generates non-coding antisense transcripts while less than 2% of the genome codes for proteins. Antisense transcripts and/or the act of antisense transcription regulate gene expression and genome integrity by interfering with sense transcription and modulating histone modifications or DNA methylation. Hence, they have significant pathological and physiological relevance. Indeed, antisense transcripts were found to be associated with various diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiac and neurodegenerative disorders, and, thus, have promising potentials for prognostic and diagnostic markers and therapeutic development. However, it is not clearly understood how antisense transcription is initiated and epigenetically regulated. Such knowledge would provide new insights into the regulation of antisense transcription, and hence disease pathogenesis with therapeutic development. The recent studies on antisense transcription initiation and its epigenetic regulation, which are limited, are discussed here. Furthermore, we concisely describe how antisense transcription/transcripts regulate gene expression and genome integrity with implications in disease pathogenesis and therapeutic development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomic Instability and Non-Coding RNA)
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Open AccessArticle
MicroRNA-4719 and microRNA-6756-5p Correlate with Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Progression through Interleukin-24 Regulation
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010010
Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with localized PCa is nearly 100%, yet for those diagnosed with aggressive PCa, it is less than 30%. The pleiotropic cytokine [...] Read more.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The five-year survival rate for men diagnosed with localized PCa is nearly 100%, yet for those diagnosed with aggressive PCa, it is less than 30%. The pleiotropic cytokine Interleukin-24 (IL-24) has been shown to specifically kill PCa cells compared to normal cells when overexpressed in both in vitro and in vivo studies. Despite this, the mechanisms regulating IL-24 in PCa are not well understood. Since specific microRNAs (miRNAs) are dysregulated in PCa, we used miRNA target prediction algorithm tools to identify miR-4719 and miR-6556-5p as putative regulators of IL-24. This study elucidates the expression profile and role of miR-4719 and miR-6756-5p as regulators of IL-24 in PCa. qRT-PCR analysis shows miR-4719 and miR-6756-5p overexpression significantly decreases the expression of IL-24 in PCa cells compared to the negative control. Compared to the indolent PCa and normal prostate epithelial cells, miR-4719 and miR-6756-5p are significantly overexpressed in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cell lines, indicating that their gain may be an early event in PCa progression. Moreover, miR-4719 and miR-6756-5p are significantly overexpressed in the CRPC cell line of African-American males (E006AA-hT) compared to CRPC cell lines of Caucasian males (PC-3 and DU-145), indicating that miR-4719 and miR-6756-5p may also play a role in racial disparity. Lastly, the inhibition of expression of miR-4719 and miR-6756-5p significantly increases IL-24 expression and inhibits proliferation and migration of CRPC cell lines. Our findings indicate that miR-4719 and miR-6756-5p may regulate CRPC progression through the targeting of IL-24 expression and may be biomarkers that differentiate between indolent and CRPC. Strategies to inhibit miR-4719 and miR-6756-5p expression to increase IL-24 in PCa may have therapeutic efficacy in aggressive PCa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA in Reproductive Organ Cancers)
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Open AccessReview
Factors Regulating microRNA Expression and Function in Multiple Myeloma
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010009
Received: 30 October 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 16 January 2019
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Abstract
Intensive research has been undertaken during the last decade to identify the implication of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma (MM). The expression profiling of miRNAs in MM has provided relevant information, demonstrating different patterns of miRNA expression depending on the [...] Read more.
Intensive research has been undertaken during the last decade to identify the implication of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma (MM). The expression profiling of miRNAs in MM has provided relevant information, demonstrating different patterns of miRNA expression depending on the genetic abnormalities of MM and a key role of some miRNAs regulating critical genes associated with MM pathogenesis. However, the underlying causes of abnormal expression of miRNAs in myeloma cells remain mainly elusive. The final expression of the mature miRNAs is subject to multiple regulation mechanisms, such as copy number alterations, CpG methylation or transcription factors, together with impairment in miRNA biogenesis and differences in availability of the mRNA target sequence. In this review, we summarize the available knowledge about the factors involved in the regulation of miRNA expression and functionality in MM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA in Multiple Myeloma)
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Open AccessReview
Function and Evolution of Nematode RNAi Pathways
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010008
Received: 7 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 15 January 2019
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Abstract
Selfish genetic elements, like transposable elements or viruses, are a threat to genomic stability. A variety of processes, including small RNA-based RNA interference (RNAi)-like pathways, has evolved to counteract these elements. Amongst these, endogenous small interfering RNA and Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathways were [...] Read more.
Selfish genetic elements, like transposable elements or viruses, are a threat to genomic stability. A variety of processes, including small RNA-based RNA interference (RNAi)-like pathways, has evolved to counteract these elements. Amongst these, endogenous small interfering RNA and Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathways were implicated in silencing selfish genetic elements in a variety of organisms. Nematodes have several incredibly specialized, rapidly evolving endogenous RNAi-like pathways serving such purposes. Here, we review recent research regarding the RNAi-like pathways of Caenorhabditis elegans as well as those of other nematodes, to provide an evolutionary perspective. We argue that multiple nematode RNAi-like pathways share piRNA-like properties and together form a broad nematode toolkit that allows for silencing of foreign genetic elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs, from an Evolutionary Perspective)
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Open AccessReview
Functional Interplay between RNA Viruses and Non-Coding RNA in Mammals
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010007
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
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Abstract
Exploring virus–host interactions is key to understand mechanisms regulating the viral replicative cycle and any pathological outcomes associated with infection. Whereas interactions at the protein level are well explored, RNA interactions are less so. Novel sequencing methodologies have helped uncover the importance of [...] Read more.
Exploring virus–host interactions is key to understand mechanisms regulating the viral replicative cycle and any pathological outcomes associated with infection. Whereas interactions at the protein level are well explored, RNA interactions are less so. Novel sequencing methodologies have helped uncover the importance of RNA–protein and RNA–RNA interactions during infection. In addition to messenger RNAs (mRNAs), mammalian cells express a great number of regulatory non-coding RNAs, some of which are crucial for regulation of the immune system whereas others are utilized by viruses. It is thus becoming increasingly clear that RNA interactions play important roles for both sides in the arms race between virus and host. With the emerging field of RNA therapeutics, such interactions are promising antiviral targets. In this review, we discuss direct and indirect RNA interactions occurring between RNA viruses or retroviruses and host non-coding transcripts upon infection. In addition, we review RNA virus derived non-coding RNAs affecting immunological and metabolic pathways of the host cell typically to provide an advantage to the virus. The relatively few known examples of virus–host RNA interactions suggest that many more await discovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs in Viral Infections)
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Open AccessArticle
Gammaherpesvirus Readthrough Transcription Generates a Long Non-Coding RNA That Is Regulated by Antisense miRNAs and Correlates with Enhanced Lytic Replication In Vivo
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010006
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 30 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
Gammaherpesviruses, including the human pathogens Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) are oncogenic viruses that establish lifelong infections in hosts and are associated with the development of lymphoproliferative diseases and lymphomas. Recent studies have shown that the majority of the mammalian [...] Read more.
Gammaherpesviruses, including the human pathogens Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) are oncogenic viruses that establish lifelong infections in hosts and are associated with the development of lymphoproliferative diseases and lymphomas. Recent studies have shown that the majority of the mammalian genome is transcribed and gives rise to numerous long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Likewise, the large double-stranded DNA virus genomes of herpesviruses undergo pervasive transcription, including the expression of many as yet uncharacterized lncRNAs. Murine gammaperherpesvirus 68 (MHV68, MuHV-4, γHV68) is a natural pathogen of rodents, and is genetically and pathogenically related to EBV and KSHV, providing a highly tractable model for studies of gammaherpesvirus biology and pathogenesis. Through the integrated use of parallel data sets from multiple sequencing platforms, we previously resolved transcripts throughout the MHV68 genome, including at least 144 novel transcript isoforms. Here, we sought to molecularly validate novel transcripts identified within the M3/M2 locus, which harbors genes that code for the chemokine binding protein M3, the latency B cell signaling protein M2, and 10 microRNAs (miRNAs). Using strand-specific northern blots, we validated the presence of M3-04, a 3.91 kb polyadenylated transcript that initiates at the M3 transcription start site and reads through the M3 open reading frame (ORF), the M3 poly(a) signal sequence, and the M2 ORF. This unexpected transcript was solely localized to the nucleus, strongly suggesting that it is not translated and instead may function as a lncRNA. Use of an MHV68 mutant lacking two M3-04-antisense pre-miRNA stem loops resulted in highly increased expression of M3-04 and increased virus replication in the lungs of infected mice, demonstrating a key role for these RNAs in regulation of lytic infection. Together these findings suggest the possibility of a tripartite regulatory relationship between the lncRNA M3-04, antisense miRNAs, and the latency gene M2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs in Viral Infections)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Non-Coding RNA in 2018
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010005
Published: 10 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Conservation of Intronic Sequences in Vertebrate Mitochondrial Solute Carrier Genes (Zebrafish, Chicken, Mouse and Human)
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010004
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 6 January 2019
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Abstract
The conservation of intronic sequences was studied in the mitochondrial solute carrier (SLC25A*) genes of Zebrafish, Chicken, Mouse and Human. These genes are homologous and the coding sequences have been well conserved throughout Vertebrates, but the corresponding intronic sequences have been extensively re-edited. [...] Read more.
The conservation of intronic sequences was studied in the mitochondrial solute carrier (SLC25A*) genes of Zebrafish, Chicken, Mouse and Human. These genes are homologous and the coding sequences have been well conserved throughout Vertebrates, but the corresponding intronic sequences have been extensively re-edited. However, significant segments of Zebrafish introns are conserved in Chicken, Mouse and Human in carriers SLC25A3, SLC25A21, SLC25A25, SLC25A26, and SLC25A36; Chicken intron segments are conserved in Mouse or Human in three additional carriers, namely SLC25A12, SLC25A13, and SLC25A29. Thus, a quota of the intronic sequences of Euteleostomi has been transferred (through Sarcopterygii) to Birds and (through Sarcopterygii and ancestral Mammals) to Mouse and Human. The degree of conservation of Euteleostomi-derived sequences is low and quite similar in Chicken, Mouse and Human (0.23–0.27%). The overall degree of conservation of Sarcopterygii-derived sequences in Mammals is higher, and it is significantly higher in Human than in Mouse (4.4% and 3.2%, respectively). Some of the conserved intronic sequences of SLC25A3, SLC25A21, SLC25A25, and SLC25A29 are exonized in some transcript variants of Zebrafish, Chicken, Mouse, and Human and, with minor nucleotide changes, in other Birds or Mammals. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Androgen and Oestrogen Affect the Expression of Long Non-Coding RNAs During Phallus Development in a Marsupial
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010003
Received: 27 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 30 December 2018
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Abstract
There is increasing evidence that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important for normal reproductive development, yet very few lncRNAs have been identified in phalluses so far. Unlike eutherians, phallus development in the marsupial tammar wallaby occurs post-natally, enabling manipulation not possible in eutherians [...] Read more.
There is increasing evidence that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are important for normal reproductive development, yet very few lncRNAs have been identified in phalluses so far. Unlike eutherians, phallus development in the marsupial tammar wallaby occurs post-natally, enabling manipulation not possible in eutherians in which differentiation occurs in utero. We treated with sex steroids to determine the effects of androgen and oestrogen on lncRNA expression during phallus development. Hormonal manipulations altered the coding and non-coding gene expression profile of phalluses. We identified several predicted co-regulatory lncRNAs that appear to be co-expressed with the hormone-responsive candidate genes regulating urethral closure and phallus growth, namely IGF1, AR and ESR1. Interestingly, more than 50% of AR-associated coding genes and lncRNAs were also associated with ESR1. In addition, we identified and validated three novel co-regulatory and hormone-responsive lncRNAs: lnc-BMP5, lnc-ZBTB16 and lncRSPO4. Lnc-BMP5 was detected in the urethral epithelium of male phalluses and was downregulated by oestrogen in males. Lnc-ZBTB16 was downregulated by oestrogen treatment in male phalluses at day 50 post-partum (pp). LncRSPO4 was downregulated by adiol treatment in female phalluses but increased in male phalluses after castration. Thus, the expression pattern and hormone responsiveness of these lncRNAs suggests a physiological role in the development of the phallus. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
LINC00261 and the Adjacent Gene FOXA2 Are Epithelial Markers and Are Suppressed during Lung Cancer Tumorigenesis and Progression
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010002
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 16 December 2018 / Accepted: 17 December 2018 / Published: 28 December 2018
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Abstract
Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with little improvement in patient survival rates in the past decade. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are gaining importance as possible biomarkers with prognostic potential. By large-scale data mining, we identified LINC00261 [...] Read more.
Lung cancer continues to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with little improvement in patient survival rates in the past decade. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are gaining importance as possible biomarkers with prognostic potential. By large-scale data mining, we identified LINC00261 as a lncRNA which was significantly downregulated in lung cancer. Low expression of LINC00261 was associated with recurrence and poor patient survival in lung adenocarcinoma. Moreover, the gene pair of LINC00261 and its neighbor FOXA2 were significantly co-regulated. LINC00261 as well as FOXA2 negatively correlated with markers for epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and were suppressed by the EMT inducer TGFβ. Hierarchical clustering of gene expression data from lung cancer cell lines could further verify the association of high LINC00261/FOXA2 expression to an epithelial gene signature. Furthermore, higher expression of the LINC00261/FOXA2 locus was associated with lung cancer cell lines with lower migratory capacity. All these data establish LINC00261 and FOXA2 as an epithelial-specific marker pair, downregulated during EMT and lung cancer progression, and associated with lower cell migration potential in lung cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA and Cell Migration)
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Open AccessReview
Extracellular Vesicles as Conduits of Non-Coding RNA Emission and Intercellular Transfer in Brain Tumors
Non-Coding RNA 2019, 5(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna5010001
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 19 December 2018 / Published: 25 December 2018
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Abstract
Non-coding RNA (ncRNA) species have emerged in as molecular fingerprints and regulators of brain tumor pathogenesis and progression. While changes in ncRNA levels have been traditionally regarded as cell intrinsic there is mounting evidence for their extracellular and paracrine function. One of the [...] Read more.
Non-coding RNA (ncRNA) species have emerged in as molecular fingerprints and regulators of brain tumor pathogenesis and progression. While changes in ncRNA levels have been traditionally regarded as cell intrinsic there is mounting evidence for their extracellular and paracrine function. One of the key mechanisms that enables ncRNA to exit from cells is their selective packaging into extracellular vesicles (EVs), and trafficking in the extracellular space and biofluids. Vesicular export processes reduce intracellular levels of specific ncRNA in EV donor cells while creating a pool of EV-associated ncRNA in the extracellular space and biofluids that enables their uptake by other recipient cells; both aspects have functional consequences. Cancer cells produce several EV subtypes (exosomes, ectosomes), which differ in their ncRNA composition, properties and function. Several RNA biotypes have been identified in the cargo of brain tumor EVs, of which microRNAs are the most studied, but other species (snRNA, YRNA, tRNA, and lncRNA) are often more abundant. Of particular interest is the link between transforming oncogenes and the biogenesis, cargo, uptake and function of tumor-derived EV, including EV content of oncogenic RNA. The ncRNA repertoire of EVs isolated from cerebrospinal fluid and serum is being developed as a liquid biopsy platform in brain tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA and Brain Tumors)
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