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Non-Coding RNA, Volume 6, Issue 2 (June 2020) – 10 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): We hypothesized that circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) act as morphogenetic inhibitors in shaping the tumor border of cancers. Using a reaction diffusion model, we observed that the diffusion coefficient of miRNAs is a major factor influencing the invasion front configuration. Three different cell generations are represented: parental, F1 and F2. If the concertation of activator and miRNA inhibitor does not change in parental cells, F1 and F2 cells preserve the same fate type and the tumor border is smooth (left). If the activator (a) and miRNA inhibitor (h) diffuse into neighboring parental cells, new cell fate types emerge, and the tumor border becomes irregular (right). From a translational perspective, our observations can be used for better diagnosis of cancer aggressiveness. View this paper
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Review
The Roles of Long Noncoding RNAs HNF1α-AS1 and HNF4α-AS1 in Drug Metabolism and Human Diseases
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020024 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2958
Abstract
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are RNAs with a length of over 200 nucleotides that do not have protein-coding abilities. Recent studies suggest that lncRNAs are highly involved in physiological functions and diseases. lncRNAs HNF1α-AS1 and HNF4α-AS1 are transcripts of lncRNA genes HNF1α-AS1 and [...] Read more.
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are RNAs with a length of over 200 nucleotides that do not have protein-coding abilities. Recent studies suggest that lncRNAs are highly involved in physiological functions and diseases. lncRNAs HNF1α-AS1 and HNF4α-AS1 are transcripts of lncRNA genes HNF1α-AS1 and HNF4α-AS1, which are antisense lncRNA genes located in the neighborhood regions of the transcription factor (TF) genes HNF1α and HNF4α, respectively. HNF1α-AS1 and HNF4α-AS1 have been reported to be involved in several important functions in human physiological activities and diseases. In the liver, HNF1α-AS1 and HNF4α-AS1 regulate the expression and function of several drug-metabolizing cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes, which also further impact P450-mediated drug metabolism and drug toxicity. In addition, HNF1α-AS1 and HNF4α-AS1 also play important roles in the tumorigenesis, progression, invasion, and treatment outcome of several cancers. Through interacting with different molecules, including miRNAs and proteins, HNF1α-AS1 and HNF4α-AS1 can regulate their target genes in several different mechanisms including miRNA sponge, decoy, or scaffold. The purpose of the current review is to summarize the identified functions and mechanisms of HNF1α-AS1 and HNF4α-AS1 and to discuss the future directions of research of these two lncRNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Non-coding RNA)
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Article
How Does a Tumor Get Its Shape? MicroRNAs Act as Morphogens at the Cancer Invasion Front
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020023 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2609
Abstract
The generation and organization of the invasion front shape of neoplasms is an intriguing problem. The intimate mechanism is not yet understood, but the prevailing theory is that it represents an example of morphogenesis. Morphogenesis requires the presence of specific molecules, known as [...] Read more.
The generation and organization of the invasion front shape of neoplasms is an intriguing problem. The intimate mechanism is not yet understood, but the prevailing theory is that it represents an example of morphogenesis. Morphogenesis requires the presence of specific molecules, known as morphogens (activators and inhibitors), which can diffuse and elicit dose-dependent responses in their target cells. Due to their ability to modulate most of the coding transcriptome, their well-established role in embryogenesis, and their capacity to rapidly move between neighboring and distant cells, we propose microRNAs as inhibitors that could shape the cancer invasion front. In order to explain the genesis of the tumor border, we use Alan Turing’s reaction diffusion model, refined by Meinhardt and Gierer. This assumes the existence of an activator called a, and an inhibitor called h, which we hypothesize could be a freely moving microRNA. We used the fractal dimension as a measure of tumor border irregularity. We observed that the change in fractal dimension associates with variations in the diffusion coefficient of the activator (Da) or the inhibitor (Dh). We determined that the fractal dimension remains constant (i.e., the irregularity of the tumor border does not change) across a Dh interval, which becomes narrower as Da rises. We therefore conclude that a change in fractal dimension occurs when the balance between Da and Dh is disrupted. Biologically, this could be explained by a faulty distribution of the inhibitor caused by an abnormal density of the intercellular connection network. From a translational perspective, if experimentally confirmed, our observations can be used for a better diagnosis of cancer aggressiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Potential of Non-coding RNAs in Cancer)
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Review
MALAT1 Long Non-Coding RNA: Functional Implications
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020022 - 03 Jun 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 4365
Abstract
The mammalian genome is pervasively transcribed and the functional significance of many long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) transcripts are gradually being elucidated. Metastasis Associated Lung Adenocarcinoma Transcript 1 (MALAT1) is one of the most well-studied lncRNAs. MALAT1 is a highly conserved nuclear [...] Read more.
The mammalian genome is pervasively transcribed and the functional significance of many long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) transcripts are gradually being elucidated. Metastasis Associated Lung Adenocarcinoma Transcript 1 (MALAT1) is one of the most well-studied lncRNAs. MALAT1 is a highly conserved nuclear retained lncRNA that is abundantly expressed in cells and tissues and has been shown to play a role in regulating genes at both the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels in a context-dependent manner. However, Malat1 has been shown to be dispensable for normal development and viability in mice. Interestingly, accumulating evidence suggests that MALAT1 plays an important role in numerous diseases including cancer. Here, we discuss the current state-of-knowledge in regard to MALAT1 with respect to its function, role in diseases, and the potential therapeutic opportunities for targeting MALAT1 using antisense oligonucleotides and small molecules. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA and Intracellular Structures)
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Brief Report
Human Brain Shows Recurrent Non-Canonical MicroRNA Editing Events Enriched for Seed Sequence with Possible Functional Consequence
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020021 - 02 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3509
Abstract
RNA editing is a post-transcriptional modification, which can provide tissue-specific functions not encoded in DNA. Adenosine-to-inosine is the predominant editing event and, along with cytosine-to-uracil changes, constitutes canonical editing. The rest is non-canonical editing. In this study, we have analysed non-canonical editing of [...] Read more.
RNA editing is a post-transcriptional modification, which can provide tissue-specific functions not encoded in DNA. Adenosine-to-inosine is the predominant editing event and, along with cytosine-to-uracil changes, constitutes canonical editing. The rest is non-canonical editing. In this study, we have analysed non-canonical editing of microRNAs in the human brain. We have performed massively parallel small RNA sequencing of frontal cortex (FC) and corpus callosum (CC) pairs from nine normal individuals (post-mortem). We found 113 and 90 unique non-canonical editing events in FC and CC samples, respectively. More than 70% of events were in the miRNA seed sequence—implicating an altered set of target mRNAs and possibly resulting in a functional consequence. Up to 15% of these events were recurring and found in at least three samples, also supporting the biological relevance of such variations. Two specific sequence variations, C-to-A and G-to-U, accounted for over 80% of non-canonical miRNA editing events—and revealed preferred sequence motifs. Our study is one of the first reporting non-canonical editing in miRNAs in the human brain. Our results implicate miRNA non-canonical editing as one of the contributing factors towards transcriptomic diversity in the human brain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNAs: Variations and Disease)
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Review
Genome-Wide Technologies to Study RNA–Chromatin Interactions
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020020 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3551
Abstract
An increasing number of studies have revealed that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in gene regulation and nuclear organization. Although the mechanisms are still largely unknown, many lncRNAs have been shown to interact with chromatin. Thus, one approach to understanding the [...] Read more.
An increasing number of studies have revealed that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in gene regulation and nuclear organization. Although the mechanisms are still largely unknown, many lncRNAs have been shown to interact with chromatin. Thus, one approach to understanding the function of these lncRNAs is to identify their sites of genomic interaction. Hybridization capture methods using oligonucleotide probes have been used for years to study chromatin-associated RNA. Recently, several groups have developed novel methods based on proximity ligation to investigate RNA–chromatin interactions at a genome-wide scale. This review discusses these technologies and highlights their advantages and disadvantages for the consideration of potential users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Coding RNA and Intracellular Structures)
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Article
HOX Transcript Antisense RNA HOTAIR Abrogates Vasculogenic Mimicry by Targeting the AngiomiR-204/FAK Axis in Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020019 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3198
Abstract
HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) is an oncogenic long non-coding RNA frequently overexpressed in cancer. HOTAIR can enhance the malignant behavior of tumors by sponging microRNAs with tumor suppressor functions. Vasculogenic mimicry is a hypoxia-activated process in which tumor cells form three-dimensional (3D) [...] Read more.
HOX transcript antisense RNA (HOTAIR) is an oncogenic long non-coding RNA frequently overexpressed in cancer. HOTAIR can enhance the malignant behavior of tumors by sponging microRNAs with tumor suppressor functions. Vasculogenic mimicry is a hypoxia-activated process in which tumor cells form three-dimensional (3D) channel-like networks, resembling endothelial blood vessels, to obtain nutrients. However, the role of HOTAIR in vasculogenic mimicry and the underlying mechanisms are unknown in human cancers. In the current study, we investigated the relevance of HOTAIR in hypoxia-induced vasculogenic mimicry in metastatic MDA-MB-231 and invasive Hs-578t triple negative breast cancer cells. Analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database using cBioPortal confirmed that HOTAIR was upregulated in clinical breast tumors relative to normal mammary tissues. Our quantitative RT-PCR assays showed a significant increase in HOTAIR levels after 48 h hypoxia relative to normoxia in breast cancer cell lines. Remarkably, knockdown of HOTAIR significantly abolished the hypoxia-induced vasculogenic mimicry which was accompanied by a reduction in the number of 3D channel-like networks and branch points. Likewise, HOTAIR silencing leads to reduced cell migration abilities of cancer cells. Bioinformatic analysis predicted that HOTAIR has a potential binding site for tumor suppressor miR-204. Luciferase reporter assays confirmed that HOTAIR is a competitive endogenous sponge of miR-204. Congruently, forced inhibition of HOTAIR in cells resulted in augmented miR-204 levels in breast cancer cells. Further bioinformatic analysis suggested that miR-204 can bind to the 3′ untranslated region of focal adhesion kinase 1 (FAK) transcript involved in cell migration. Western blot and luciferase reporter assays confirmed that FAK is a novel target of miR-204. Finally, silencing of HOTAIR resulted in low levels of cytoplasmic FAK protein and alterations in the organization of cellular cytoskeleton and focal adhesions. In summary, our results showed, for the first time, that HOTAIR mitigates cell migration and vasculogenic mimicry by targeting the miR-204/FAK axis in triple negative breast cancer cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Potential of Non-coding RNAs in Cancer)
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Communication
Expression Profile of Long Non-Coding RNAs during Early Postnatal Development of Mouse Spinal Cord
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020018 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2989 | Retraction
Abstract
Out of respect for the institution’s wishes, in agreement with the Non-Coding RNA Editorial Office, and in agreement with the author, this article has been removed from the public record and marked as retracted. Please refer to the retraction note. Full article
Meeting Report
A Year in the Life of the EU-CardioRNA COST Action: CA17129 Catalysing Transcriptomics Research in Cardiovascular Disease
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020017 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3414
Abstract
The EU-CardioRNA Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action is a European-wide consortium established in 2018 with 31 European country members and four associate member countries to build bridges between translational researchers from academia and industry who conduct research on non-coding RNAs, cardiovascular [...] Read more.
The EU-CardioRNA Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) Action is a European-wide consortium established in 2018 with 31 European country members and four associate member countries to build bridges between translational researchers from academia and industry who conduct research on non-coding RNAs, cardiovascular diseases and similar research areas. EU-CardioRNA comprises four core working groups (WG1–4). In the first year since its launch, EU-CardioRNA met biannually to exchange and discuss recent findings in related fields of scientific research, with scientific sessions broadly divided up according to WG. These meetings are also an opportunity to establish interdisciplinary discussion groups, brainstorm ideas and make plans to apply for joint research grants and conduct other scientific activities, including knowledge transfer. Following its launch in Brussels in 2018, three WG meetings have taken place. The first of these in Lisbon, Portugal, the second in Istanbul, Turkey, and the most recent in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Each meeting includes a scientific session from each WG. This meeting report briefly describes the highlights and key take-home messages from each WG session in this first successful year of the EU-CardioRNA COST Action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Regulatory RNAs in Cardiovascular Development and Disease)
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Article
Intratumoral Heterogeneity of Expression of 16 miRNA in Luminal Cancer of the Mammary Gland
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020016 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2270
Abstract
The purpose of this work is to determine the intratumoral distribution of miRNA expression profiles in luminal breast cancer (BC). The study included 33 certain BC cases of the luminal A or luminal B (Her2-) subtypes. The relative expression levels of miRNA-20a; -21; [...] Read more.
The purpose of this work is to determine the intratumoral distribution of miRNA expression profiles in luminal breast cancer (BC). The study included 33 certain BC cases of the luminal A or luminal B (Her2-) subtypes. The relative expression levels of miRNA-20a; -21; -125b; -126; -200b; -181a; -205; -221; -222; -451a; -99a; -145; -200a; -214; -30a; -191; and small nuclear RNAs U6, U54, and U58 were measured by RT-qPCR in four intratumor areas in each of 33 luminal BC specimens and in surrounding normal mammary gland tissues. Comparative analysis of miRNA expression levels between normal mammary gland tissue and different intratumor areas revealed that only four miRNAs (miRNA-21, -200b, -200a, -191) appear as consistently differentiating markers. A comparative analysis of miRNA expression levels between normal mammary gland tissue and the tumor border revealed statistically significant differences for ten miRNAs; 10 miRNAs show differential expression between normal mammary gland tissue and central tumor specimens; 9 miRNAs show differential expression between normal mammary gland tissue and tumor periphery 1; 13 miRNAs show differential expression between normal mammary gland tissue and tumor periphery 2. After comparing the tumor periphery 1 and tumor center, we found statistically significant differences in expression between five miRNAs and after comparing the tumor periphery 2 and tumor center, differences were observed for 12 miRNAs. MiRNA expression levels are subject to considerable variation, depending on the intratumor area. This may explain the inconsistency in miRNA expression estimates in BC coming from different laboratories. Full article
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Article
Dynamic Expression of Long Non-Coding RNAs Throughout Parasite Sexual and Neural Maturation in Schistosoma Japonicum
Non-Coding RNA 2020, 6(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna6020015 - 01 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2870
Abstract
Schistosoma japonicum is a flatworm that causes schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease. S. japonicum RNA-Seq analyses has been previously reported in the literature on females and males obtained during sexual maturation from 14 to 28 days post-infection in mouse, resulting in the identification [...] Read more.
Schistosoma japonicum is a flatworm that causes schistosomiasis, a neglected tropical disease. S. japonicum RNA-Seq analyses has been previously reported in the literature on females and males obtained during sexual maturation from 14 to 28 days post-infection in mouse, resulting in the identification of protein-coding genes and pathways, whose expression levels were related to sexual development. However, this work did not include an analysis of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Here, we applied a pipeline to identify and annotate lncRNAs in 66 S. japonicum RNA-Seq publicly available libraries, from different life-cycle stages. We also performed co-expression analyses to find stage-specific lncRNAs possibly related to sexual maturation. We identified 12,291 S. japonicum expressed lncRNAs. Sequence similarity search and synteny conservation indicated that some 14% of S. japonicum intergenic lncRNAs have synteny conservation with S. mansoni intergenic lncRNAs. Co-expression analyses showed that lncRNAs and protein-coding genes in S. japonicum males and females have a dynamic co-expression throughout sexual maturation, showing differential expression between the sexes; the protein-coding genes were related to the nervous system development, lipid and drug metabolism, and overall parasite survival. Co-expression pattern suggests that lncRNAs possibly regulate these processes or are regulated by the same activation program as that of protein-coding genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Non-coding RNA)
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