Genome-wide analysis reveals diversity of rice intronic miRNAs in sequence structure, biogenesis and function.
ABSTRACT: Intronic microRNAs (in-miRNAs) as a class of miRNA family that regulates gene expression are still poorly understood in plants. In this study, we systematically identified rice in-miRNAs by re-mining eight published small RNA-sequencing datasets of rice. Furthermore, based on the collected expression, annotation, and putative target data, we investigated the structures, potential functions, and expression features of these in-miRNAs and the expression patterns of their host genes. A total of 153 in-miRNAs, which account for over 1/4 of the total rice miRNAs, were identified. In silico expression analysis showed that most of them (?63%) are tissue or stage-specific. However, a majority of their host genes, especially those containing clustered in-miRNAs, exhibit stable high-level expressions among 513 microarray datasets. Although in-miRNAs show diversity in function and mechanism, the DNA methylation directed by 24 nt in-miRNAs may be the main pathway that controls the expressions of target genes, host genes, and even themselves. These findings may enhance our understanding on special functions of in-miRNAs, especially in mediating DNA methylation that was concluded to affect the stability of expression and structure of host and target genes.
Project description:Approximately half of known human miRNAs are located in the introns of protein coding genes. Some of these intronic miRNAs are only expressed when their host gene is and, as such, their steady state expression levels are highly correlated with those of the host gene's mRNA. Recently host gene expression levels have been used to predict the targets of intronic miRNAs by identifying other mRNAs that they have consistent negative correlation with. This is a potentially powerful approach because it allows a large number of expression profiling studies to be used but needs refinement because mRNAs can be targeted by multiple miRNAs and not all intronic miRNAs are co-expressed with their host genes.Here we introduce InMiR, a new computational method that uses a linear-Gaussian model to predict the targets of intronic miRNAs based on the expression profiles of their host genes across a large number of datasets. Our method recovers nearly twice as many true positives at the same fixed false positive rate as a comparable method that only considers correlations. Through an analysis of 140 Affymetrix datasets from Gene Expression Omnibus, we build a network of 19,926 interactions among 57 intronic miRNAs and 3,864 targets. InMiR can also predict which host genes have expression profiles that are good surrogates for those of their intronic miRNAs. Host genes that InMiR predicts are bad surrogates contain significantly more miRNA target sites in their 3' UTRs and are significantly more likely to have predicted Pol II and Pol III promoters in their introns.We provide a dataset of 1,935 predicted mRNA targets for 22 intronic miRNAs. These prediction are supported both by sequence features and expression. By combining our results with previous reports, we distinguish three classes of intronic miRNAs: Those that are tightly regulated with their host gene; those that are likely to be expressed from the same promoter but whose host gene is highly regulated by miRNAs; and those likely to have independent promoters.
Project description:DNA methylation is thought to be extensively involved in the pathogenesis of many diseases, including major psychosis. However, most studies focus on DNA methylation alteration at promoters of protein-coding genes, despite the poor correlation between DNA methylation and gene expression.We analyzed differentially methylated regions and differentially expressed genes in patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and normal subjects. Gene expression and DNA methylation were analyzed with RNA-seq and MeDIP-seq of post-mortem brain tissue (brain region BA9) cohort in five schizophrenia, seven bipolar disorder cases and six controls, respectively.Here, we performed a large-scale integrative analysis using MeDIP-seq, coupled with RNA-seq, on brain samples from major psychotic and normal subjects and observed obvious discrepancy between DNA methylation and gene expression. We found that differentially methylated regions (DMRs) were distributed across different types of genomic elements, especially introns. These intronic DMRs were significantly enriched for diverse regulatory elements, such as enhancers and binding sites of certain transcriptional factors (e.g., Pol3). Notably, we found that parts of intronic DMRs overlapped with some intragenic miRNAs, such as hsa-mir-7-3. These intronic DMR-related miRNAs were found to target many differentially expressed genes. Moreover, functional analysis demonstrated that differential target genes of intronic DMR-related miRNAs were sufficient to capture many important biological processes in major psychosis, such as neurogenesis, suggesting that miRNAs may function as important linkers mediating the relationships between DNA methylation alteration and gene expression changes.Collectively, our study indicated that DNA methylation alteration could induce expression changes indirectly by affecting miRNAs and the exploration of DMR-related miRNAs and their targets enhanced understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying major psychosis.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are upstream gene regulators of plant development and hormone homeostasis through their directed cleavage or translational repression of the target mRNAs, which may play crucial roles in rice grain filling and determining the final grain weight and yield. In this study, high-throughput sequencing was performed to survey the dynamic expressions of miRNAs and their corresponding target genes at five distinct developmental stages of grain filling. In total, 445 known miRNAs and 45 novel miRNAs were detected with most of them expressed in a developmental stage dependent manner, and the majority of known miRNAs, which increased gradually with rice grain filling, showed negatively related to the grain filling rate. Detailed expressional comparisons revealed a clear negative correlation between most miRNAs and their target genes. It was found that specific miRNA cohorts are expressed in a developmental stage dependent manner during grain filling and the known functions of these miRNAs are involved in plant hormone homeostasis and starch accumulation, indicating that the expression dynamics of these miRNAs might play key roles in regulating rice grain filling.
Project description:Around 50% of all human microRNAs reside within introns of coding genes and are usually co-transcribed. Gene expression datasets, therefore, should contain a wealth of miRNA-relevant latent information, exploitable for many basic and translational research aims. The present study was undertaken to investigate this possibility. We developed an in silico approach to identify intronic-miRNAs relevant to breast cancer, using public gene expression datasets. This led to the identification of a miRNA signature for aggressive breast cancer, and to the characterization of novel roles of selected miRNAs in cancer-related biological phenotypes. Unexpectedly, in a number of cases, expression regulation of the intronic-miRNA was more relevant than the expression of their host gene. These results provide a proof of principle for the validity of our intronic miRNA mining strategy, which we envision can be applied not only to cancer research, but also to other biological and biomedical fields.
Project description:BACKGROUND: MicroRNA-mediated control of gene expression via translational inhibition has substantial impact on cellular regulatory mechanisms. About 37% of mammalian microRNAs appear to be located within introns of protein coding genes, linking their expression to the promoter-driven regulation of the host gene. In our study we investigate this linkage towards a relationship beyond transcriptional co-regulation. RESULTS: Using measures based on both annotation and experimental data, we show that intronic microRNAs tend to support their host genes by regulation of target gene expression with significantly correlated expression patterns. We used expression data of three differentiating cell types and compared gene expression profiles of host and target genes. Many microRNA target genes show expression patterns significantly correlated with the expressions of the microRNA host genes. By calculating functional similarities between host and predicted microRNA target genes based on GO annotations, we confirm that many microRNAs link host and target gene activity in an either synergistic or antagonistic manner. CONCLUSIONS: These two regulatory effects may result from fine tuning of target gene expression functionally related to the host or knock-down of remaining opponent target gene expression. This finding allows to extend the common practice of mapping large scale gene expression data to protein associated genes with functionality of co-expressed intronic microRNAs.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Haloperidol has been extensively used in various psychiatric conditions. It has also been reported to induce severe side effects. We aimed to evaluate whether haloperidol can influence host methylome, and if so what are the possible mechanisms for it in neuronal cells. Impact on host methylome and miRNAs can have wide spread alterations in gene expression, which might possibly help in understanding how haloperidol may impact treatment response or induce side effects. METHODS:SK-N-SH, a neuroblasoma cell line was treated with haloperidol at 10?m concentration for 24 hours and global DNA methylation was evaluated. Methylation at global level is maintained by methylation maintenance machinery and certain miRNAs. Therefore, the expression of methylation maintenance genes and their putative miRNA expression profiles were assessed. These global methylation alterations could result in gene expression changes. Therefore genes expressions for neurotransmitter receptors, regulators, ion channels and transporters were determined. Subsequently, we were also keen to identify a strong candidate miRNA based on biological and in-silico approach which can reflect on the pharmacoepigenetic trait of haloperidol and can also target the altered neuroscience panel of genes used in the study. RESULTS:Haloperidol induced increase in global DNA methylation which was found to be associated with corresponding increase in expression of various epigenetic modifiers that include DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B and MBD2. The expression of miR-29b that is known to putatively regulate the global methylation by modulating the expression of epigenetic modifiers was observed to be down regulated by haloperidol. In addition to miR-29b, miR-22 was also found to be downregulated by haloperidol treatment. Both these miRNA are known to putatively target several genes associated with various epigenetic modifiers, pharmacogenes and neurotransmission. Interestingly some of these putative target genes involved in neurotransmission were observed to be upregulated while CHRM2 gene expression was down regulated. CONCLUSIONS:Haloperidol can influence methylation traits thereby inducing a pharmacoepigenomic response, which seems to be regulated by DNMTs and their putative miRNA expression. Increased methylation seems to influence CHRM2 gene expression while microRNA could influence neurotransmission, pharmacogene expression and methylation events. Altered expression of various therapeutically relevant genes and miRNA expression, could account for their role in therapeutic response or side effects.
Project description:BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNA) are an abundant and ubiquitous class of small RNAs that play prominent roles in gene regulation. A significant fraction of miRNA genes reside in the introns of the host genes in the same orientation and are thought to be co-processed from the host gene mRNAs and thus depend on the host gene promoter for their expression. However, several lines of evidence for independent expression of intronic miRNAs exist in the literature but the extent of this independence remains unclear. RESULTS: We performed a systematic analysis of genomic regions surrounding intronic miRNAs in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and found that, in many cases, there are extended intronic sequences immediately upstream of the miRNAs that are well-conserved between the nematodes. We have generated transcriptional green fluorescent protein reporter fusions in transgenic C. elegans lines and demonstrated that, in all seven investigated cases, the conserved sequences show promoter properties and produce specific expression patterns that are different from the host gene expression patterns. The observed expression patterns are corroborated by the published small RNA sequencing data. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis reveals that the number of intronic miRNAs that do not rely on their host genes for expression is substantially higher than previously appreciated. At least one-third of the same-strand intronic miRNAs in C. elegans posses their own promoters and, thus, could be transcribed independently from their host genes. These findings provide a new insight into the regulation of miRNA genes and will be useful for the analysis of interactions between miRNAs and their host genes.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that down-regulate gene expression by silencing specific target mRNAs. While many miRNAs are transcribed from their own genes, nearly half map within introns of 'host' genes, the significance of which remains unclear. We report that transcriptional activation of apoptosis-associated tyrosine kinase (AATK), essential for neuronal differentiation, also generates miR-338 from an AATK gene intron that silences a family of mRNAs whose protein products are negative regulators of neuronal differentiation. We conclude that an intronic miRNA, transcribed together with the host gene mRNA, may serve the interest of its host gene by silencing a cohort of genes that are functionally antagonistic to the host gene itself.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Nitrogen [N] is a critical limiting nutrient for plants and has to be exogenously supplied to many crops, to achieve high yield with significant economic and environmental costs, specifically for rice. Development of low-input nitrogen sustainable crop is necessary for sustainable agriculture. Identification of regulatory elements associated with low-N tolerance is imperative for formulating innovative approaches for developing low-N tolerant crop plants, using gene manipulation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to play crucial roles in the modulation of gene expression in plants under various environmental conditions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: MiRNAs associated with low-N tolerance have not been identified so far. In this study, we investigated microarray-based miRNA expression in low-N tolerant and low-N sensitive rice genotypes under low N condition. Expressions of 32 miRNAs differed significantly in the two genotypes. Of these 32 miRNAs, expressions of nine miRNAs were further validated experimentally in leaves as well as in roots. Of these differentially expressed miRNAs, six miRNAs (miR156, miR164, miR528, miR820, miR821 and miR1318) were reported in leaves and four (miR164, miR167, miR168 and miR528) in roots. Target genes of all the 32 miRNAs were predicted, which encode transcription factors, and proteins associated with metabolic processes or stress responses. Expression levels of some of the corresponding miRNA targets were analysed and found to be significantly higher in low N-tolerant genotype than low-N sensitive genotype. These findings suggested that miRNAs played an important role in low-N tolerance in rice. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Genome-wide differences in expression of miRNA in low N-tolerant and low N-sensitive rice genotypes were reported. This provides a platform for selection as well as manipulation of genotypes for better N utilization efficiency.
Project description:Environmental factors contribute to the etiology of cleft palate (CP). Environmental factors can also affect gene expression via alterations in DNA methylation suggesting a possible mechanism for the induction of CP. Identification of genes methylated during development of the secondary palate provides the basis for examination of the means by which environmental factors may adversely influence palatal ontogeny. We previously characterized the methylome of the developing murine secondary palate focusing primarily on protein- encoding genes. We now extend this study to include methylated microRNA (miRNA) genes. A total of 42 miRNA genes were found to be stably methylated in developing murine palatal tissue. Twenty eight of these were localized within host genes. Gene methylation was confirmed by pyrosequencing of selected miRNA genes. Integration of methylated miRNA gene and expression datasets identified 62 miRNAs, 69% of which were non-expressed. For a majority of genes (83%), upstream CpG islands (CGIs) were highly methylated suggesting down-regulation of CGI-associated promoters. DAVID and IPA analyses indicated that both expressed and non-expressed miRNAs target identical signaling pathways and biological processes associated with palatogenesis. Furthermore, these analyses also identified novel signaling pathways whose roles in palatogenesis remain to be elucidated. In summary, we identify methylated miRNA genes in the developing murine secondary palate, correlate miRNA gene methylation with expression of their cognate miRNA transcripts, and identify pathways and biological processes potentially mediated by these miRNAs.