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Non-Coding RNA, Volume 8, Issue 1 (February 2022) – 20 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that act as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Differently to other ncRNAs, miRNAs are generated from specific transcriptional units which are processed by a specific set of endonucleases. The contribution of structural biology to understanding miRNA biogenesis and function has been essential for the dissection of their roles in cell biology and human disease. In this review, we analyze the progress of structural biology techniques applied to the characterization of the molecular players involved in miRNA biogenesis and their regulatory actions. View this paper
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Article
Structural and Functional Insight into the Mechanism of Bacillus subtilis 6S-1 RNA Release from RNA Polymerase
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010020 - 16 Feb 2022
Viewed by 864
Abstract
Here we investigated the refolding of Bacillus subtilis 6S-1 RNA and its release from σA-RNA polymerase (σA-RNAP) in vitro using truncated and mutated 6S-1 RNA variants. Truncated 6S-1 RNAs, only consisting of the central bubble (CB) flanked by two [...] Read more.
Here we investigated the refolding of Bacillus subtilis 6S-1 RNA and its release from σA-RNA polymerase (σA-RNAP) in vitro using truncated and mutated 6S-1 RNA variants. Truncated 6S-1 RNAs, only consisting of the central bubble (CB) flanked by two short helical arms, can still traverse the mechanistic 6S RNA cycle in vitro despite ~10-fold reduced σA-RNAP affinity. This indicates that the RNA’s extended helical arms including the ‘−35′-like region are not required for basic 6S-1 RNA functionality. The role of the ‘central bubble collapse helix’ (CBCH) in pRNA-induced refolding and release of 6S-1 RNA from σA-RNAP was studied by stabilizing mutations. This also revealed base identities in the 5’-part of the CB (5’-CB), upstream of the pRNA transcription start site (nt 40), that impact ground state binding of 6S-1 RNA to σA-RNAP. Stabilization of the CBCH by the C44/45 double mutation shifted the pRNA length pattern to shorter pRNAs and, combined with a weakened P2 helix, resulted in more effective release from RNAP. We conclude that formation of the CBCH supports pRNA-induced 6S-1 RNA refolding and release. Our mutational analysis also unveiled that formation of a second short hairpin in the 3′-CB is detrimental to 6S-1 RNA release. Furthermore, an LNA mimic of a pRNA as short as 6 nt, when annealed to 6S-1 RNA, retarded the RNA’s gel mobility and interfered with σA-RNAP binding. This effect incrementally increased with pLNA 7- and 8-mers, suggesting that restricted conformational flexibility introduced into the 5’-CB by base pairing with pRNAs prevents 6S-1 RNA from adopting an elongated shape. Accordingly, atomic force microscopy of free 6S-1 RNA versus 6S-1:pLNA 8- and 14-mer complexes revealed that 6S-1:pRNA hybrid structures, on average, adopt a more compact structure than 6S-1 RNA alone. Overall, our findings also illustrate that the wild-type 6S-1 RNA sequence and structure ensures an optimal balance of the different functional aspects involved in the mechanistic cycle of 6S-1 RNA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Studies of Ribozymes and Regulatory ncRNA Machineries)
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Article
Interdependent Transcription of a Natural Sense/Antisense Transcripts Pair (SLC34A1/PFN3)
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010019 - 11 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1065
Abstract
Natural antisense transcripts (NATs) constitute a significant group of regulatory, long noncoding RNAs. They are prominently expressed in testis but are also detectable in other organs. NATs are transcribed at low levels and co-expressed with related protein coding sense transcripts. Nowadays NATs are [...] Read more.
Natural antisense transcripts (NATs) constitute a significant group of regulatory, long noncoding RNAs. They are prominently expressed in testis but are also detectable in other organs. NATs are transcribed at low levels and co-expressed with related protein coding sense transcripts. Nowadays NATs are generally considered as regulatory, long noncoding RNAs without closer focus on the inevitable interference between sense and antisense expression. This work describes a cellular system where sense and antisense transcription of a specific locus (SLC34A1/PFN3) is induced using epigenetic modifiers and CRISPR-Cas9. The renal cell lines HEK293 and HKC-8 do not express SLC34A1/PFN3 under normal culture conditions. Five-day exposure to dexamethasone significantly stimulates sense transcript (SLC34A1) levels and antisense (PFN3) minimally; the effect is only seen in HEK293 cells. Enhanced expression is paralleled by reduced sense promoter methylation and an increase in activating histone marks. Expression is further modulated by cassettes that stimulate the expression of sense or antisense transcript but disrupt protein coding potential. Constitutive expression of a 5′-truncated SLC34A1 transcript increases sense expression independent of dexamethasone induction but also stimulates antisense expression. Concordant expression is confirmed with the antisense knock-in that also enhances sense expression. The antisense effect acts on transcription in cis since transient transfection with sense or antisense constructs fails to stimulate the expression of the opposite transcript. These results suggest that bi-directional transcription of the SLC34A1/PFN3 locus has a stimulatory influence on the expression of the opposite transcript involving epigenetic changes of the promoters. In perspective of extensive, previous research into bi-directionally transcribed SLC34A loci, the findings underpin a hypothesis where NATs display different biological roles in soma and germ cells. Accordingly, we propose that in somatic cells, NATs act like lncRNAs–with the benefit of close proximity to a potential target gene. In germ cells, however, recent evidence suggests different biological roles for NATs that require RNA complementarity and double-stranded RNA formation. Full article
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Article
HiMoRNA: A Comprehensive Database of Human lncRNAs Involved in Genome-Wide Epigenetic Regulation
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010018 - 08 Feb 2022
Viewed by 891
Abstract
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play an important role in genome regulation. Specifically, many lncRNAs interact with chromatin, recruit epigenetic complexes and in this way affect large-scale gene expression programs. However, the experimental data about lncRNA-chromatin interactions is still limited. The majority of experimental [...] Read more.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play an important role in genome regulation. Specifically, many lncRNAs interact with chromatin, recruit epigenetic complexes and in this way affect large-scale gene expression programs. However, the experimental data about lncRNA-chromatin interactions is still limited. The majority of experimental protocols do not provide any insight into the mechanics of lncRNA-based genome-wide epigenetic regulation. Here we present the HiMoRNA (Histone-Modifying RNA) database, a resource containing correlated lncRNA–epigenetic changes in specific genomic locations genome-wide. HiMoRNA integrates a large amount of multi-omics data to characterize the effects of lncRNA on epigenetic modifications and gene expression. The current release of HiMoRNA includes more than five million associations in humans for ten histone modifications in multiple genomic loci and 4145 lncRNAs. HiMoRNA provides a user-friendly interface to facilitate browsing, searching and retrieving of lncRNAs associated with epigenetic profiles of various chromatin loci. Analysis of the HiMoRNA data suggests that several lncRNA including JPX might be involved not only in regulation of XIST locus but also in direct establishment or maintenance of X-chromosome inactivation. We believe that HiMoRNA is a convenient and valuable resource that can provide valuable biological insights and greatly facilitate functional annotation of lncRNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematic Analysis of lncRNA Structures and Functions)
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Article
miR-294 and miR-410 Negatively Regulate Tnfa, Arginine Transporter Cat1/2, and Nos2 mRNAs in Murine Macrophages Infected with Leishmania amazonensis
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010017 - 06 Feb 2022
Viewed by 956
Abstract
MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that regulate cellular processes by the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, including immune responses. The shift in the miRNA profiling of murine macrophages infected with Leishmania amazonensis can change inflammatory response and metabolism. L-arginine availability and its conversion [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that regulate cellular processes by the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression, including immune responses. The shift in the miRNA profiling of murine macrophages infected with Leishmania amazonensis can change inflammatory response and metabolism. L-arginine availability and its conversion into nitric oxide by nitric oxide synthase 2 (Nos2) or ornithine (a polyamine precursor) by arginase 1/2 regulate macrophage microbicidal activity. This work aimed to evaluate the function of miR-294, miR-301b, and miR-410 during early C57BL/6 bone marrow-derived macrophage infection with L. amazonensis. We observed an upregulation of miR-294 and miR-410 at 4 h of infection, but the levels of miR-301b were not modified. This profile was not observed in LPS-stimulated macrophages. We also observed decreased levels of those miRNAs target genes during infection, such as Cationic amino acid transporters 1 (Cat1/Slc7a1), Cat2/Slc7a22 and Nos2; genes were upregulated in LPS stimuli. The functional inhibition of miR-294 led to the upregulation of Cat2 and Tnfa and the dysregulation of Nos2, while miR-410 increased Cat1 levels. miR-294 inhibition reduced the number of amastigotes per infected macrophage, showing a reduction in the parasite growth inside the macrophage. These data identified miR-294 and miR-410 biomarkers for a potential regulator in the inflammatory profiles of microphages mediated by L. amazonensis infection. This research provides novel insights into immune dysfunction contributing to infection outcomes and suggests the use of the antagomiRs/inhibitors of miR-294 and miR-410 as new therapeutic strategies to modulate inflammation and to decrease parasitism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-coding RNA: 5th Anniversary)
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Review
Non-Coding RNAs in the Crosstalk between Breast Cancer Cells and Tumor-Associated Macrophages
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010016 - 06 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1027
Abstract
Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) play a pivotal role in regulating the tumor microenvironment (TME) by controlling gene expression at multiple levels. In tumors, ncRNAs can mediate the crosstalk between cancer cells and other cells in the TME, such as immune cells, stromal cells, and [...] Read more.
Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) play a pivotal role in regulating the tumor microenvironment (TME) by controlling gene expression at multiple levels. In tumors, ncRNAs can mediate the crosstalk between cancer cells and other cells in the TME, such as immune cells, stromal cells, and endothelial cells, influencing tumor development and progression. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are among the most abundant inflammatory cells infiltrating solid cancers that promote tumorigenesis, and their infiltration correlates with a poor prognosis in many tumors. Cancer cells produce different ncRNAs that orchestrate TAM recruitment and polarization toward a tumor-promoting phenotype. Tumor-reprogrammed macrophages shape the TME by promoting angiogenesis and tissue remodeling, and suppressing the anti-tumor activity of adaptive immune cells. TAMs can also produce ncRNA molecules that boost cancer cell proliferation and direct their phenotype and metabolic changes facilitating cancer progression and metastasis. This review will focus on the crosstalk between cancer cells and TAMs mediated by microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs during breast cancer (BC) initiation and progression. Full article
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Article
Stage-Specific Non-Coding RNA Expression Patterns during In Vitro Human B Cell Differentiation into Antibody Secreting Plasma Cells
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010015 - 05 Feb 2022
Viewed by 796
Abstract
The differentiation of B cells into antibody secreting plasma cells (PCs) is governed by a strict regulatory network that results in expression of specific transcriptomes along the activation continuum. In vitro models yielding significant numbers of PCs phenotypically identical to the in vivo [...] Read more.
The differentiation of B cells into antibody secreting plasma cells (PCs) is governed by a strict regulatory network that results in expression of specific transcriptomes along the activation continuum. In vitro models yielding significant numbers of PCs phenotypically identical to the in vivo state enable investigation of pathways, metabolomes, and non-coding (ncRNAs) not previously identified. The objective of our study was to characterize ncRNA expression during human B cell activation and differentiation. To achieve this, we used an in vitro system and performed RNA-seq on resting and activated B cells and PCs. Characterization of coding gene transcripts, including immunoglobulin (Ig), validated our system and also demonstrated that memory B cells preferentially differentiated into PCs. Importantly, we identified more than 980 ncRNA transcripts that are differentially expressed across the stages of activation and differentiation, some of which are known to target transcription, proliferation, cytoskeletal, autophagy and proteasome pathways. Interestingly, ncRNAs located within Ig loci may be targeting both Ig and non-Ig-related transcripts. ncRNAs associated with B cell malignancies were also identified. Taken together, this system provides a platform to study the role of specific ncRNAs in B cell differentiation and altered expression of those ncRNAs involved in B cell malignancies. Full article
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Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Non-Coding RNA in 2021
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010014 - 29 Jan 2022
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Rigorous peer-reviews are the basis of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Article
FibroDB: Expression Analysis of Protein-Coding and Long Non-Coding RNA Genes in Fibrosis
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010013 - 28 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1251
Abstract
Most long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are expressed at lower levels than protein-coding genes and their expression is often restricted to specific cell types, certain time points during development, and various stress and disease conditions, respectively. To revisit this long-held concept, we focused on [...] Read more.
Most long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are expressed at lower levels than protein-coding genes and their expression is often restricted to specific cell types, certain time points during development, and various stress and disease conditions, respectively. To revisit this long-held concept, we focused on fibroblasts, a common cell type in various organs and tissues. Using fibroblasts and changes in their expression profiles during fibrosis as a model system, we show that the overall expression level of lncRNA genes is significantly lower than that of protein-coding genes. Furthermore, we identified lncRNA genes whose expression is upregulated during fibrosis. Using dermal fibroblasts as a model, we performed loss-of-function experiments and show that the knockdown of the lncRNAs LINC00622 and LINC01711 result in gene expression changes associated with cellular and inflammatory responses, respectively. Since there are no lncRNA databases focused on fibroblasts and fibrosis, we built a web application, FibroDB, to further promote functional and mechanistic studies of fibrotic lncRNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Non-coding RNA Databases and Resources)
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Article
Promoter-Bound Full-Length Intronic Circular RNAs-RNA Polymerase II Complexes Regulate Gene Expression in the Human Parasite Entamoeba histolytica
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010012 - 27 Jan 2022
Viewed by 970
Abstract
Ubiquitous eukaryotic non-coding circular RNAs are involved in numerous co- and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. Recently, we reported full-length intronic circular RNAs (flicRNAs) in Entamoeba histolytica, with 3′ss–5′ss ligation points and 5′ss GU-rich elements essential for their biogenesis and their suggested role in [...] Read more.
Ubiquitous eukaryotic non-coding circular RNAs are involved in numerous co- and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. Recently, we reported full-length intronic circular RNAs (flicRNAs) in Entamoeba histolytica, with 3′ss–5′ss ligation points and 5′ss GU-rich elements essential for their biogenesis and their suggested role in transcription regulation. Here, we explored how flicRNAs impact gene expression regulation. Using CLIP assays, followed by qRT-PCR, we identified that the RabX13 control flicRNA and virulence-associated flicRNAs were bound to the HA-tagged RNA Pol II C-terminus domain in E. histolytica transformants. The U2 snRNA was also present in such complexes, indicating that they belonged to transcription initiation/elongation complexes. Correspondingly, inhibition of the second step of splicing using boric acid reduced flicRNA formation and modified the expression of their parental genes and non-related genes. flicRNAs were also recovered from chromatin immunoprecipitation eluates, indicating that the flicRNA-Pol II complex was formed in the promoter of their cognate genes. Finally, two flicRNAs were found to be cytosolic, whose functions remain to be uncovered. Here, we provide novel evidence of the role of flicRNAs in gene expression regulation in cis, apparently in a widespread fashion, as an element bound to the RNA polymerase II transcription initiation complex, in E. histolytica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue circRNAs in Cell and Organ Development)
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Article
Hsa-miR-183-5p Modulates Cell Adhesion by Repression of ITGB1 Expression in Prostate Cancer
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010011 - 18 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1116
Abstract
Prostate cancer is a major health problem worldwide. MiR-183 is an oncomiR and a candidate biomarker in prostate cancer, affecting various pathways responsible for disease initiation and progression. We sought to discover the most relevant processes controlled by miR-183 through an unbiased transcriptomic [...] Read more.
Prostate cancer is a major health problem worldwide. MiR-183 is an oncomiR and a candidate biomarker in prostate cancer, affecting various pathways responsible for disease initiation and progression. We sought to discover the most relevant processes controlled by miR-183 through an unbiased transcriptomic approach using prostate cell lines and patient tissues to identify miR-183 responsive genes and pathways. Gain of function experiments, reporter gene assays, and transcript and protein measurements were conducted to validate predicted functional effects and protein mediators. A total of 135 candidate miR-183 target genes overrepresenting cell adhesion terms were inferred from the integrated transcriptomic analysis. Cell attachment, spreading assays and focal adhesion quantification of miR-183-overexpressing cells confirmed the predicted reduction in cell adhesion. ITGB1 was validated as a major target of repression by miR-183 as well as a mediator of cell adhesion in response to miR-183. The reporter gene assay and PAR-CLIP read mapping suggest that ITGB1 may be a direct target of miR-183. The negative correlation between miR-183 and ITGB1 expression in prostate cancer cohorts supports their interaction in the clinical set. Overall, cell adhesion was uncovered as a major pathway controlled by miR-183 in prostate cancer, and ITGB1 was identified as a relevant mediator of this effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers from Non-coding RNA Reviewers)
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Review
A Structural View of miRNA Biogenesis and Function
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010010 - 18 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1310
Abstract
Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that act as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Since their discovery in 1993, they have been the subject of deep study due to their involvement in many important biological processes. Compared with other ncRNAs, [...] Read more.
Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that act as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Since their discovery in 1993, they have been the subject of deep study due to their involvement in many important biological processes. Compared with other ncRNAs, miRNAs are generated from devoted transcriptional units which are processed by a specific set of endonucleases. The contribution of structural biology methods for understanding miRNA biogenesis and function has been essential for the dissection of their roles in cell biology and human disease. In this review, we summarize the application of structural biology for the characterization of the molecular players involved in miRNA biogenesis (processors and effectors), starting from the X-ray crystallography methods to the more recent cryo-electron microscopy protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-coding RNA: 5th Anniversary)
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Article
DANSR: A Tool for the Detection of Annotated and Novel Small RNAs
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010009 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 841
Abstract
Existing small noncoding RNA analysis tools are optimized for processing short sequencing reads (17–35 nucleotides) to monitor microRNA expression. However, these strategies under-represent many biologically relevant classes of small noncoding RNAs in the 36–200 nucleotides length range (tRNAs, snoRNAs, etc.). To address this, [...] Read more.
Existing small noncoding RNA analysis tools are optimized for processing short sequencing reads (17–35 nucleotides) to monitor microRNA expression. However, these strategies under-represent many biologically relevant classes of small noncoding RNAs in the 36–200 nucleotides length range (tRNAs, snoRNAs, etc.). To address this, we developed DANSR, a tool for the detection of annotated and novel small RNAs using sequencing reads with variable lengths (ranging from 17–200 nt). While DANSR is broadly applicable to any small RNA dataset, we applied it to a cohort of matched normal, primary, and distant metastatic colorectal cancer specimens to demonstrate its ability to quantify annotated small RNAs, discover novel genes, and calculate differential expression. DANSR is available as an open source tool. Full article
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Article
Direct Comparison of Chol-siRNA Polyplexes and Chol-DsiRNA Polyplexes Targeting STAT3 in a Syngeneic Murine Model of TNBC
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010008 - 13 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1007
Abstract
RNA interference (RNAi) molecules have tremendous potential for cancer therapy but are limited by insufficient potency after intravenous (IV) administration. We previously found that polymer complexes (polyplexes) formed between 3′-cholesterol-modified siRNA (Chol-siRNA) or DsiRNA (Chol-DsiRNA) and the cationic diblock copolymer PLL[30]-PEG[5K] greatly increase [...] Read more.
RNA interference (RNAi) molecules have tremendous potential for cancer therapy but are limited by insufficient potency after intravenous (IV) administration. We previously found that polymer complexes (polyplexes) formed between 3′-cholesterol-modified siRNA (Chol-siRNA) or DsiRNA (Chol-DsiRNA) and the cationic diblock copolymer PLL[30]-PEG[5K] greatly increase RNAi potency against stably expressed LUC mRNA in primary syngeneic murine breast tumors after daily IV dosing. Chol-DsiRNA polyplexes, however, maintain LUC mRNA suppression for ~48 h longer after the final dose than Chol-siRNA polyplexes, which suggests that they are the better candidate formulation. Here, we directly compared the activities of Chol-siRNA polyplexes and Chol-DsiRNA polyplexes in primary murine 4T1 breast tumors against STAT3, a therapeutically relevant target gene that is overexpressed in many solid tumors, including breast cancer. We found that Chol-siSTAT3 polyplexes suppressed STAT3 mRNA in 4T1 tumors with similar potency (half-maximal ED50 0.3 mg/kg) and kinetics (over 96 h) as Chol-DsiSTAT3 polyplexes, but with slightly lower activity against total Stat3 protein (29% vs. 42% suppression) and tumor growth (11.5% vs. 8.6% rate-based T/C ratio) after repeated IV administration of equimolar, tumor-saturating doses every other day. Thus, both Chol-siRNA polyplexes and Chol-DsiRNA polyplexes may be suitable clinical candidates for the RNAi therapy of breast cancer and other solid tumors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in Non-coding RNA)
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Article
LncRNAs Are Differentially Expressed between Wildtype and Cell Line Strains of African Trypanosomes
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010007 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Trypanosoma brucei is a parasitic protist that causes African sleeping sickness. The establishment of T. brucei cell lines has provided a significant advantage for the majority of T. brucei research. However, these cell lines were isolated and maintained in culture for decades, occasionally [...] Read more.
Trypanosoma brucei is a parasitic protist that causes African sleeping sickness. The establishment of T. brucei cell lines has provided a significant advantage for the majority of T. brucei research. However, these cell lines were isolated and maintained in culture for decades, occasionally accumulating changes in gene expression. Since trypanosome strains have been maintained in culture for decades, it is possible that difference may have accumulated in fast-evolving non-coding RNAs between trypanosomes from the wild and those maintained extensively in cultures. To address this, we compared the lncRNA expression profile of trypanosomes maintained as cultured cell lines (CL) to those extracted from human patients, wildtype (WT). We identified lncRNAs from CL and WT from available transcriptomic data and demonstrate that CL and WT have unique sets of lncRNAs expressed. We further demonstrate that the unique and shared lncRNAs are differentially expressed between CL and WT parasites, and that these lncRNAs are more evenly up-regulated and down-regulated than protein-coding genes. We validated the expression of these lncRNAs using qPCR. Taken together, this study demonstrates that lncRNAs are differentially expressed between cell lines and wildtype T. brucei and provides evidence for potential evolution of lncRNAs, specifically in T. brucei maintained in culture. Full article
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Article
CLASH Analyst: A Web Server to Identify In Vivo RNA–RNA Interactions from CLASH Data
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010006 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 871
Abstract
Non-coding RNAs, such as miRNAs and piRNAs, play critical roles in gene regulation through base-pairing interactions with their target molecules. The recent development of the crosslinking, ligation, and sequencing of hybrids (CLASH) method has allowed scientists to map transcriptome-wide RNA–RNA interactions by identifying [...] Read more.
Non-coding RNAs, such as miRNAs and piRNAs, play critical roles in gene regulation through base-pairing interactions with their target molecules. The recent development of the crosslinking, ligation, and sequencing of hybrids (CLASH) method has allowed scientists to map transcriptome-wide RNA–RNA interactions by identifying chimeric reads consisting of fragments from regulatory RNAs and their targets. However, analyzing CLASH data requires scientists to use advanced bioinformatics, and currently available tools are limited for users with little bioinformatic experience. In addition, many published CLASH studies do not show the full scope of RNA–RNA interactions that were captured, highlighting the importance of reanalyzing published data. Here, we present CLASH Analyst, a web server that can analyze raw CLASH data within a fully customizable and easy-to-use interface. CLASH Analyst accepts raw CLASH data as input and identifies the RNA chimeras containing the regulatory and target RNAs according to the user’s interest. Detailed annotation of the captured RNA–RNA interactions is then presented for the user to visualize within the server or download for further analysis. We demonstrate that CLASH Analyst can identify miRNA- and piRNA-targeting sites reported from published CLASH data and should be applicable to analyze other RNA–RNA interactions. CLASH Analyst is freely available for academic use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Non-coding RNA Databases and Resources)
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Review
Secreted Non-Coding RNAs: Functional Impact on the Tumor Microenvironment and Clinical Relevance in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010005 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1078
Abstract
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast carcinoma characterized by poor prognosis and high rate of metastasis. Current treatment is based on chemo- and/or radiotherapy and surgery. TNBC is devoid of estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. Although precision medicine has come [...] Read more.
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast carcinoma characterized by poor prognosis and high rate of metastasis. Current treatment is based on chemo- and/or radiotherapy and surgery. TNBC is devoid of estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. Although precision medicine has come a long way to ameliorate breast cancer disease management, targeted therapies for the treatment of TNBC patients are still limited. Mounting evidence has shown that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) drive many oncogenic processes at the basis of increased proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis in TNBC, strongly contributing to tumor progression and resistance to treatments. Many of these ncRNAs are secreted in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and impinge on the activity of the diverse immune and stromal cell types infiltrating the TME. Importantly, secreted ncRNAs may be detected as circulating molecules in serum/plasma from cancer patients and are emerging a promising diagnostic/therapeutic tools in TNBC. This review aims to discuss novel insights about the role of secreted circulating ncRNAs in the intercellular communication in the tumor microenvironment and their potential clinical use as diagnostic and prognostic non-invasive biomarkers in TNBC. Full article
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Review
Long Non-Coding RNAs as Emerging Regulators of Pathogen Response in Plants
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010004 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are transcripts without protein-coding potential that contain more than 200 nucleotides that play important roles in plant survival in response to different stresses. They interact with molecules such as DNA, RNA, and protein, and play roles in the regulation [...] Read more.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are transcripts without protein-coding potential that contain more than 200 nucleotides that play important roles in plant survival in response to different stresses. They interact with molecules such as DNA, RNA, and protein, and play roles in the regulation of chromatin remodeling, RNA metabolism, and protein modification activities. These lncRNAs regulate the expression of their downstream targets through epigenetic changes, at the level of transcription and post-transcription. Emerging information from computational biology and functional characterization of some of them has revealed their diverse mechanisms of action and possible roles in biological processes such as flowering time, reproductive organ development, as well as biotic and abiotic stress responses. In this review, we have mainly focused on the role of lncRNAs in biotic stress response due to the limited availability of knowledge in this domain. We have discussed the available molecular mechanisms of certain known lncRNAs against specific pathogens. Further, considering that fungal, viral, and bacterial diseases are major factors in the global food crisis, we have highlighted the importance of lncRNAs against pathogen responses and the progress in plant research to develop a better understanding of their functions and molecular mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers from Non-coding RNA Reviewers)
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Editorial
The Non-Coding RNA Journal Club: Highlights on Recent Papers—10
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010003 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 939
Abstract
We are delighted to share with you our seventh Journal Club and highlight some of the most interesting papers published recently [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection The Non-Coding RNA Journal Club: Highlights on Recent Papers)
Article
Circulating miRNAs and Vascular Injury Markers Associate with Cardiovascular Function in Older Patients Reaching End-Stage Kidney Disease
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010002 - 10 Jan 2022
Viewed by 877
Abstract
The prevalence of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) is rapidly increasing and mostly occurring in patients aged 65 years or older. The main cause of death in these patients is cardiovascular disease (CVD). Novel markers of vascular integrity may thus be of clinical value [...] Read more.
The prevalence of end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) is rapidly increasing and mostly occurring in patients aged 65 years or older. The main cause of death in these patients is cardiovascular disease (CVD). Novel markers of vascular integrity may thus be of clinical value for identifying patients at high risk for CVD. Here we associated the levels of selected circulating angiogenic miRNAs, angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) and asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) with cardiovascular structure and function (as determined by cardiovascular MRI) in 67 older patients reaching ESKD that were included from ‘The Cognitive decline in Older Patients with End stage renal disease’ (COPE) prospective, multicentered cohort study. We first determined the association between the vascular injury markers and specific heart conditions and observed that ESKD patients with coronary heart disease have significantly higher levels of circulating ADMA and miR-27a. Moreover, circulating levels of miR-27a were higher in patients with atrial fibrillation. In addition, the circulating levels of the vascular injury markers were associated with measures of cardiovascular structure and function obtained from cardiovascular MRI: pulse wave velocity (PWV), ejection fraction (EF) and cardiac index (CI). We found Ang-2 and miR-27a to be strongly correlated to the PWV, while Ang-2 also associated with ejection fraction. Finally, we observed that in contrast to miR-27a, Ang-2 was not associated with a vascular cause of the primary kidney disease, suggesting Ang-2 may be an ESKD-specific marker of vascular injury. Taken together, among older patients with ESKD, aberrant levels of vascular injury markers (miR-27a, Ang-2 and ADMA) associated with impaired cardiovascular function. These markers may serve to identify individuals at higher risk of CVD, as well as give insight into the underlying (vascular) pathophysiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Regulatory RNAs in Cardiovascular Development and Disease)
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Article
Structural Probing with MNase Tethered to Ribosome Assembly Factors Resolves Flexible RNA Regions within the Nascent Pre-Ribosomal RNA
Non-Coding RNA 2022, 8(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/ncrna8010001 - 09 Jan 2022
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Abstract
The synthesis of ribosomes involves the correct folding of the pre-ribosomal RNA within pre-ribosomal particles. The first ribosomal precursor or small subunit processome assembles stepwise on the nascent transcript of the 35S gene. At the earlier stages, the pre-ribosomal particles undergo structural and [...] Read more.
The synthesis of ribosomes involves the correct folding of the pre-ribosomal RNA within pre-ribosomal particles. The first ribosomal precursor or small subunit processome assembles stepwise on the nascent transcript of the 35S gene. At the earlier stages, the pre-ribosomal particles undergo structural and compositional changes, resulting in heterogeneous populations of particles with highly flexible regions. Structural probing methods are suitable for resolving these structures and providing evidence about the architecture of ribonucleoprotein complexes. Our approach used MNase tethered to the assembly factors Nan1/Utp17, Utp10, Utp12, and Utp13, which among other factors, initiate the formation of the small subunit processome. Our results provide dynamic information about the folding of the pre-ribosomes by elucidating the relative organization of the 5′ETS and ITS1 regions within the 35S and U3 snoRNA around the C-terminal domains of Nan1/Utp17, Utp10, Utp12, and Utp13. Full article
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