MicroRNA-mediated positive feedback loop and optimized bistable switch in a cancer network Involving miR-17-92.
ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that play an important role in many key biological processes, including development, cell differentiation, the cell cycle and apoptosis, as central post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Recent studies have shown that miRNAs can act as oncogenes and tumor suppressors depending on the context. The present work focuses on the physiological significance of miRNAs and their role in regulating the switching behavior. We illustrate an abstract model of the Myc/E2F/miR-17-92 network presented by Aguda et al. (2008), which is composed of coupling between the E2F/Myc positive feedback loops and the E2F/Myc/miR-17-92 negative feedback loop. By systematically analyzing the network in close association with plausible experimental parameters, we show that, in the presence of miRNAs, the system bistability emerges from the system, with a bistable switch and a one-way switch presented by Aguda et al. instead of a single one-way switch. Moreover, the miRNAs can optimize the switching process. The model produces a diverse array of response-signal behaviors in response to various potential regulating scenarios. The model predicts that this transition exists, one from cell death or the cancerous phenotype directly to cell quiescence, due to the existence of miRNAs. It was also found that the network involving miR-17-92 exhibits high noise sensitivity due to a positive feedback loop and also maintains resistance to noise from a negative feedback loop.
Project description:It is well known that noise is inevitable in gene regulatory networks due to the low-copy numbers of molecules and local environmental fluctuations. The prediction of noise effects is a key issue in ensuring reliable transmission of information. Interlinked positive and negative feedback loops are essential signal transduction motifs in biological networks. Positive feedback loops are generally believed to induce a switch-like behavior, whereas negative feedback loops are thought to suppress noise effects. Here, by using the signal sensitivity (susceptibility) and noise amplification to quantify noise propagation, we analyze an abstract model of the Myc/E2F/MiR-17-92 network that is composed of a coupling between the E2F/Myc positive feedback loop and the E2F/Myc/miR-17-92 negative feedback loop. The role of the feedback loop on noise effects is found to depend on the dynamic properties of the system. When the system is in monostability or bistability with high protein concentrations, noise is consistently suppressed. However, the negative feedback loop reduces this suppression ability (or improves the noise propagation) and enhances signal sensitivity. In the case of excitability, bistability, or monostability, noise is enhanced at low protein concentrations. The negative feedback loop reduces this noise enhancement as well as the signal sensitivity. In all cases, the positive feedback loop acts contrary to the negative feedback loop. We also found that increasing the time scale of the protein module or decreasing the noise autocorrelation time can enhance noise suppression; however, the systems sensitivity remains unchanged. Taken together, our results suggest that the negative/positive feedback mechanisms in coupled feedback loop dynamically buffer noise effects rather than only suppressing or amplifying the noise.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs targeting multiple effectors of cell homeostasis and development, whose malfunctions are associated with major pathologies such as cancer. Herein we show that GAM/ZFp/ZNF512B works within an intricate gene regulatory network involving cell-cycle regulators, TGFβ effectors and oncogenic miRNAs of the miR-17-92 cluster. Thus, GAM impairs the transcriptional activation of the miR-17-92 promoter by c-Myc, downregulates miR-17-92 miRNAs differentially, and limits the activation of genes responsive to TGFβ canonical pathway. In contrast, TGFβ decreases GAM transcripts levels while differentially upregulating miR-17-92 miRNAs. In turn, miR-17, miR-20a and miR-92a-1 target GAM transcripts, thus establishing a feedback autoregulatory loop. GAM transcripts are also targeted by miRNAs of the let-7 family. GAM downregulates Drosha, the main effector of miRNA maturation in the nucleus, and interacts with it in a RNA-dependent manner. Finally, GAM modulates the levels of E2F1 and Ras, and increases apoptosis while reducing cell proliferation. We propose that GAM represents a new kind of vertebrate regulator aimed at balancing the opposite effects of regulators of cell homeostasis by increasing the robustness of gene circuitries controlling cell proliferation, differentiation and development.
Project description:Following estrogenic activation, the estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha) directly regulates the transcription of target genes via DNA binding. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) modulated by ERalpha have the potential to fine tune these regulatory systems and also provide an alternate mechanism that could impact on estrogen-dependent developmental and pathological systems. Through a microarray approach, we identify the subset of microRNAs (miRNAs) modulated by ERalpha, which include upregulation of miRNAs derived from the processing of the paralogous primary transcripts (pri-) mir-17-92 and mir-106a-363. Characterization of the mir-17-92 locus confirms that the ERalpha target protein c-MYC binds its promoter in an estrogen-dependent manner. We observe that levels of pri-mir-17-92 increase earlier than the mature miRNAs derived from it, implicating precursor cleavage modulation after transcription. Pri-mir-17-92 is immediately cleaved by DROSHA to pre-miR-18a, indicating that its regulation occurs during the formation of the mature molecule from the precursor. The clinical implications of this novel regulatory system were confirmed by demonstrating that pre-miR-18a was significantly upregulated in ERalpha-positive compared to ERalpha-negative breast cancers. Mechanistically, miRNAs derived from these paralogous pri-miRNAs (miR-18a, miR-19b, and miR-20b) target and downregulate ERalpha, while a subset of pri-miRNA-derived miRNAs inhibit protein translation of the ERalpha transcriptional p160 coactivator, AIB1. Therefore, different subsets of miRNAs identified act as part of a negative autoregulatory feedback loop. We propose that ERalpha, c-MYC, and miRNA transcriptional programs invoke a sophisticated network of interactions able to provide the wide range of coordinated cellular responses to estrogen.
Project description:The c-Myc oncoprotein regulates >15% of the human transcriptome and a limited number of microRNAs (miRNAs). Here, we establish that in a human B-lymphoid cell line, Myc-repressed, but not Myc-stimulated, genes are significantly enriched for predicted binding sites of Myc-regulated miRNAs, primarily those comprising the Myc-activated miR-17~92 cluster. Notably, gene set enrichment analysis demonstrates that miR-17?92 is a major regulator of B-cell receptor (BCR) pathway components. Many of them are immunoreceptor tyrosine inhibitory motif (ITIM)-containing proteins, and ITIM proteins CD22 and FCGR2B were found to be direct targets of miR-17?92. Consistent with the propensity of ITIM proteins to recruit phosphatases, either MYC or miR-17~92 expression was necessary to sustain phosphorylation of spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) and the B-cell linker protein (BLNK) upon ligation of the BCR. Further downstream, stimulation of the BCR response by miR-17-92 resulted in the enhanced calcium flux and elevated levels of Myc itself. Notably, inhibition of the miR-17~92 cluster in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) cell lines diminished the BCR response as measured by SYK and BLNK phosphorylation. Conversely, human DLBCLs of the BCR subtype express higher Myc and mir17hg transcript levels than other subtypes. Hence, the Myc-miR-17-92-BCR axis, frequently affected by genomic rearrangements, constitutes a novel lymphomagenic feed-forward loop.
Project description:miR-17 family microRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial for embryo development, however, their role in muscle development is still unclear. miR-20a-5p and miR-20b-5p belong to the miR-17 family and are transcribed from the miR-17~92 and miR-106a~363 clusters respectively. In this study, we found that miR-20a-5p and miR-20b-5p promoted myoblast differentiation and repressed myoblast proliferation by directly binding the 3' UTR of E2F transcription factor 1 (E2F1) mRNA. E2F1 is an important transcriptional factor for organism's normal development. Overexpression of E2F1 in myoblasts promoted myoblast proliferation and inhibited myoblast differentiation. Conversely, E2F1 inhibition induced myoblast differentiation and repressed myoblast proliferation. Moreover, E2F1 can bind directly to promoters of the miR-17~92 and miR-106a~363 clusters and activate their transcription, and E2F1 protein expression is correlated with the expression of pri-miR-17~92 and pri-miR-106a~363 during myoblast differentiation. These results suggested an auto-regulatory feedback loop between E2F1 and miR-20a-5p/20b-5p, and indicated that miR-20a-5p, miR-20b-5p and E2F1 are involved in myoblast proliferation and differentiation through the auto-regulation between E2F1 and miR-20a-5p/20b-5p. These findings provide new insight into the mechanism of muscle differentiation, and further shed light on the understanding of muscle development and muscle diseases.
Project description:PHLPP2, a member of the PH-domain leucine-rich repeat protein phosphatase (PHLPP) family, which targets oncogenic kinases, has been actively investigated as a tumor suppressor in solid tumors. Little is known, however, regarding its regulation in hematological malignancies. We observed that PHLPP2 protein expression, but not its mRNA, was suppressed in late differentiation stage acute myeloid leukemia (AML) subtypes. MicroRNAs (miR or miRNAs) from the miR-17-92 cluster, oncomir-1, were shown to inhibit PHLPP2 expression and these miRNAs were highly expressed in AML cells that lacked PHLPP2 protein. Studies showed that miR-17-92 cluster regulation was, surprisingly, independent of transcription factors c-MYC and E2F in these cells; instead all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA), a drug used for terminally differentiating AML subtypes, markedly suppressed miR-17-92 expression and increased PHLPP2 protein levels and phosphatase activity. Finally, we demonstrate that the effect of ATRA on miR-17-92 expression is mediated through its target, transcription factor C/EBP?, which interacts with the intronic promoter of the miR-17-92 gene to inhibit transactivation of the cluster. These studies reveal a novel mechanism for upregulation of the phosphatase activity of PHLPP2 through C/EBP?-mediated repression of the miR-17-92 cluster in terminally differentiating myeloid cells.
Project description:The microRNAs 19a and 19b, hereafter collectively referred to as miR-19a/b, were recognised to be the most important miRNAs in the oncomiRs-miR-17-92 cluster. However, the exact roles of miR-19a/b in cancers have not been elucidated. In the present study, miR-19a/b was found to be over-expressed in gastric cancer tissues and significantly associated with the patients' metastasis of gastric cancer. Using gain or loss-of-function in in vitro and in vivo experiments, a pro-metastatic function of miR-19a/b was observed in gastric cancer. Furthermore, reporter gene assay and western blot showed that MXD1 is a direct target of miR-19a/b. Functional assays showed that not only MXD1 had an opposite effect to miR-19a/b in the regulation of gastric cancer cells, but also overexpression of MXD1 reduced both miR-19a/b and c-Myc levels, indicating a potential positive feedback loop among miR-19a/b, MXD1 and c-Myc. In conclusion, miR-17-92 cluster members miR-19a/b facilitated gastric cancer cell migration, invasion and metastasis through targeting the antagonist of c-Myc -- MXD1, implicating a novel mechanism for the malignant phenotypes of gastric cancer.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a disease of progressive lung fibrosis with a high mortality rate. In organ repair and remodeling, epigenetic events are important. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally and can target epigenetic molecules important in DNA methylation. The miR-17~92 miRNA cluster is critical for lung development and lung epithelial cell homeostasis and is predicted to target fibrotic genes and DNA methyltransferase (DNMT)-1 expression.We investigated the miR-17~92 cluster expression and its role in regulating DNA methylation events in IPF lung tissue.Expression and DNA methylation patterns of miR-17~92 were determined in human IPF lung tissue and fibroblasts and fibrotic mouse lung tissue. The relationship between the miR-17~92 cluster and DNMT-1 expression was examined in vitro. Using a murine model of pulmonary fibrosis, we examined the therapeutic potential of the demethylating agent, 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine.Compared with control samples, miR-17~92 expression was reduced in lung biopsies and lung fibroblasts from patients with IPF, whereas DNMT-1 expression and methylation of the miR-17~92 promoter was increased. Several miRNAs from the miR-17~92 cluster targeted DNMT-1 expression resulting in a negative feedback loop. Similarly, miR-17~92 expression was reduced in the lungs of bleomycin-treated mice. Treatment with 5'-aza-2'-deoxycytidine in a murine bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis model reduced fibrotic gene and DNMT-1 expression, enhanced miR-17~92 cluster expression, and attenuated pulmonary fibrosis.This study provides insight into the pathobiology of IPF and identifies a novel epigenetic feedback loop between miR-17~92 and DNMT-1 in lung fibrosis.
Project description:Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as critical regulators for gene expression in multiple levels and thus are involved in various physiological and pathological processes. Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) has been established to exert key roles in the diverse biological process through deacetylation of substrates, including DNA damage repair. Nevertheless, the regulatory relationship between SIRT1 and lncRNAs, and the effect of lncRNA on SIRT1-mediated functions were still far to be elucidated. We herein uncovered that lncRNA miR17HG was notably down-regulated in SIRT1-deficient cells, and significantly up-regulated after ectopic expression of SIRT1. Subsequently, the results of dual luciferase reporter (DLR) showed that SIRT1 dramatically enhanced the promoter activity of the miR-17-92 cluster. Furthermore, we specifically knocked down the previous demonstrated transcription factor for the miR-17-92 cluster, C-Myc, which was the validated substrate of SIRT1. As expected, miR17HG and miR-17-92 miRNAs were evidently down-regulated after silencing of C-Myc; and silencing of C-Myc significantly reversed the effect of SIRT1 on miR17HG expression, suggesting that SIRT1 endowed cells with elevated miR17HG expression through stabilization of C-Myc. What is more, silencing of miR17HG significantly inhibited the repair of DNA DSBs, while enforced expression of miR17HG promoted DSBs repair. Fascinatingly, overexpression of miR17HG evidently enhanced the deacetylation activity of SIRT1, while silencing of miR17HG conferred diminished deacetylation activity. In addition, the results of RIP unraveled the physical interaction between miR17HG and SIRT1. Taken together, we presented evidences that miR17HG and SIRT1 probably formed a positive feedback loop, which exerted a crucial effect on DSBs repair.
Project description:Recent studies have revealed the importance of multiple microRNAs (miRNAs) in promoting tumorigenesis, among which mir-17-92/Oncomir-1 exhibits potent oncogenic activity. Genomic amplification and elevated expression of mir-17-92 occur in several human B-cell lymphomas, and enforced mir-17-92 expression in mice cooperates with c-myc to promote the formation of B-cell lymphomas. Unlike classic protein-coding oncogenes, mir-17-92 has an unconventional gene structure, where one primary transcript yields six individual miRNAs. Here, we functionally dissected the individual components of mir-17-92 by assaying their tumorigenic potential in vivo. Using the Emu-myc model of mouse B-cell lymphoma, we identified miR-19 as the key oncogenic component of mir-17-92, both necessary and sufficient for promoting c-myc-induced lymphomagenesis by repressing apoptosis. The oncogenic activity of miR-19 is at least in part due to its repression of the tumor suppressor Pten. Consistently, miR-19 activates the Akt-mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) pathway, thereby functionally antagonizing Pten to promote cell survival. Our findings reveal the essential role of miR-19 in mediating the oncogenic activity of mir-17-92, and implicate the functional diversity of mir-17-92 components as the molecular basis for its pleiotropic effects during tumorigenesis.