Disruption of microRNA biogenesis confers resistance to ER stress-induced cell death upstream of the mitochondrion.
ABSTRACT: Global downregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is a common feature of human tumors and has been shown to enhance cancer progression. Several components of the miRNA biogenesis machinery (XPO5, DICER and TRBP) have been shown to act as haploinsufficient tumor suppressors. How the deregulation of miRNA biogenesis promotes tumor development is not clearly understood. Here we show that loss of miRNA biogenesis increased resistance to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced cell death. We observed that HCT116 cells with a DICER hypomorphic mutation (Exn5/Exn5) or where DICER or DROSHA were knocked down were resistant to ER stress-induced cell death. Extensive analysis revealed little difference in the unfolded protein response (UPR) of WT compared to Exn5/Exn5 HCT116 cells upon ER stress treatment. However, analysis of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway showed that resistance occurred upstream of the mitochondria. In particular, BAX activation and dissipation of mitochondrial membrane potential was attenuated, and there was altered expression of BCL-2 family proteins. These observations demonstrate a key role for miRNAs as critical modulators of the ER stress response. In our model, downregulation of miRNA biogenesis delays ER stress-induced apoptosis. This suggests that disrupted miRNA biogenesis may contribute to cancer progression by inhibiting ER stress-induced cell death.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a major class of conserved non-coding RNAs that have a wide range of functions during development and disease. Biogenesis of canonical miRNAs depend on the cytoplasmic processing of pre-miRNAs to mature miRNAs by the Dicer endoribonuclease. Once mature miRNAs are generated, the miRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC), or miRISC, incorporates one strand of miRNAs as a template for recognizing complementary target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) to dictate post-transcriptional gene expression. Besides regulating miRNA biogenesis, Dicer is also part of miRISC to assist in activation of the complex. Dicer associates with other regulatory miRISC co-factors such as trans-activation responsive RNA-binding protein 2 (Tarbp2) to regulate miRNA-based RNA interference. Although the functional role of miRNAs within epidermal keratinocytes has been extensively studied within embryonic mouse skin, its contribution to the normal function of hair follicle bulge stem cells (BSCs) during post-natal hair follicle development is unclear. With this question in mind, we sought to ascertain whether Dicer-Tarpb2 plays a functional role within BSCs during induced anagen development by utilizing conditional knockout mouse models. Our findings suggest that Dicer, but not Tarbp2, functions within BSCs to regulate induced anagen (growth phase) development of post-natal hair follicles. These findings strengthen our understanding of miRNA-dependency within hair follicle cells during induced anagen development.
Project description:Homeostatic mechanisms regulate the abundance of several components in small-RNA pathways. We used Drosophila and mammalian systems to demonstrate a conserved homeostatic system in which the status of miRNA biogenesis controls Argonaute protein stability. Clonal analyses of multiple mutants of core Drosophila miRNA factors revealed that stability of the miRNA effector AGO1 is dependent on miRNA biogenesis. Reciprocally, ectopic transcription of miRNAs within in vivo clones induced accumulation of AGO1, as did genetic interference with the ubiquitin-proteasome system. In mouse cells, we found that the stability of Ago2 declined in Dicer-knockout cells and was rescued by proteasome blockade or introduction of either Dicer plasmid or Dicer-independent miRNA constructs. Notably, Dicer-dependent miRNA constructs generated pre-miRNAs that bound Ago2 but did not rescue Ago2 stability. We conclude that Argonaute levels are finely tuned by cellular availability of mature miRNAs and the ubiquitin-proteasome system.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that affect cellular processes by controlling gene expression. Recent studies have shown that hypoxia downregulates Drosha and Dicer, key enzymes in miRNA biogenesis, causing a decreased pool of miRNAs in cancer and resulting in increased tumor growth and metastasis. Here we demonstrate a previously unrecognized mechanism by which hypoxia downregulates Dicer. We found that miR-630, which is upregulated under hypoxic conditions, targets and downregulates Dicer expression. In an orthotopic mouse model of ovarian cancer, delivery of miR-630 using 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (DOPC) nanoliposomes resulted in increased tumor growth and metastasis, and decreased Dicer expression. Treatment with the combination of anti-miR-630 and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor antibody in mice resulted in rescue of Dicer expression and significantly decreased tumor growth and metastasis. These results indicate that targeting miR-630 is a promising approach to overcome Dicer deregulation in cancer. As demonstrated in the study, use of DOPC nanoliposomes for anti-miR delivery serves as a better alternative approach to cell line-based overexpression of sense or antisense miRNAs, while avoiding potential in vitro selection effects. Findings from this study provide a new understanding of miRNA biogenesis downregulation observed under hypoxia and suggest therapeutic avenues to target this dysregulation in cancer.
Project description:Interest in RNA dysfunction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) recently aroused upon discovering causative mutations in RNA-binding protein genes. Here, we show that extensive down-regulation of miRNA levels is a common molecular denominator for multiple forms of human ALS. We further demonstrate that pathogenic ALS-causing mutations are sufficient to inhibit miRNA biogenesis at the Dicing step. Abnormalities of the stress response are involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, including ALS. Accordingly, we describe a novel mechanism for modulating microRNA biogenesis under stress, involving stress granule formation and re-organization of DICER and AGO2 protein interactions with their partners. In line with this observation, enhancing DICER activity by a small molecule, enoxacin, is beneficial for neuromuscular function in two independent ALS mouse models. Characterizing miRNA biogenesis downstream of the stress response ties seemingly disparate pathways in neurodegeneration and further suggests that DICER and miRNAs affect neuronal integrity and are possible therapeutic targets.
Project description:Hippocampal sclerosis (HS) is a common pathological finding in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and is associated with altered expression of genes controlling neuronal excitability, glial function, neuroinflammation and cell death. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding RNAs, function as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression and are critical for normal brain development and function. Production of mature miRNAs requires Dicer, an RNAase III, loss of which has been shown to cause neuronal and glial dysfunction, seizures, and neurodegeneration. Here we investigated miRNA biogenesis in hippocampal and neocortical resection specimens from pharmacoresistant TLE patients and autopsy controls. Western blot analysis revealed protein levels of Dicer were significantly lower in certain TLE patients with HS. Dicer levels were also reduced in the hippocampus of mice subject to experimentally-induced epilepsy. To determine if Dicer loss was associated with altered miRNA processing, we profiled levels of 380 mature miRNAs in control and TLE-HS samples. Expression of nearly 200 miRNAs was detected in control human hippocampus. In TLE-HS samples there was a large-scale reduction of miRNA expression, with 51% expressed at lower levels and a further 24% not detectable. Primary transcript (pri-miRNAs) expression levels for several tested miRNAs were not different between control and TLE-HS samples. These findings suggest loss of Dicer and failure of mature miRNA expression may be a feature of the pathophysiology of HS in patients with TLE.
Project description:Assembly of microRNA ribonucleoproteins (miRNPs) or RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs) is essential for the function of miRNAs and initiates from processing of precursor miRNAs (pre-miRNAs) by Dicer or by Ago2. Here, we report an in vitro miRNP/RISC assembly assay programmed by pre-miRNAs from mammalian cell lysates. Combining in vivo studies in Dicer Knockout cells reconstituted with wild-type or catalytically inactive Dicer, we find that the miRNA loading complex (miRLC) is the primary machinery linking pre-miRNA processing to miRNA loading. We show that a miRNA precursor deposit complex (miPDC) plays a crucial role in Dicer-independent miRNA biogenesis and promotes miRNP assembly of certain Dicer-dependent miRNAs. Furthermore, we find that 5'-uridine, 3'-mid base pairing, and 5'-mid mismatches within pre-miRNAs promote their assembly into miPDC. Our studies provide a comprehensive view of miRNP/RISC assembly pathways in mammals, and our assay provides a versatile platform for further mechanistic dissection of such pathways in mammals.
Project description:Biogenesis of canonical microRNAs (miRNAs) involves multiple steps: nuclear processing of primary miRNA (pri-miRNA) by DROSHA, nuclear export of precursor miRNA (pre-miRNA) by Export in 5 (XPO5), and cytoplasmic processing of pre-miRNA by DICER. To gain a deeper understanding of the contribution of each of these maturation steps, we deleted DROSHA, XPO5, and DICER in the same human cell line, and analyzed their effects on miRNA biogenesis. Canonical miRNA production was completely abolished in DROSHA-deleted cells, whereas we detected a few DROSHA-independent miRNAs including three previously unidentified noncanonical miRNAs (miR-7706, miR-3615, and miR-1254). In contrast to DROSHA knockout, many canonical miRNAs were still detected without DICER albeit at markedly reduced levels. In the absence of DICER, pre-miRNAs are loaded directly onto AGO and trimmed at the 3' end, yielding miRNAs from the 5' strand (5p miRNAs). Interestingly, in XPO5 knockout cells, most miRNAs are affected only modestly, suggesting that XPO5 is necessary but not critical for miRNA maturation. Our study demonstrates an essential role of DROSHA and an important contribution of DICER in the canonical miRNA pathway, and reveals that the function of XPO5 can be complemented by alternative mechanisms. Thus, this study allows us to understand differential contributions of key biogenesis factors, and provides with valuable resources for miRNA research.
Project description:The precise regulation of microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis seems to be critically important for the proper functioning of all eukaryotic organisms. Even small changes in the levels of specific miRNAs can initiate pathological processes, including carcinogenesis. Accordingly, there is a great need to develop effective methods for the regulation of miRNA biogenesis and activity. In this study, we focused on the final step of miRNA biogenesis; i.e., miRNA processing by Dicer. To test our hypothesis that RNA molecules can function not only as Dicer substrates but also as Dicer regulators, we previously identified by SELEX a pool of RNA oligomers that bind to human Dicer. We found that certain of these RNA oligomers could selectively inhibit the formation of specific miRNAs. Here, we show that these specific inhibitors can simultaneously bind both Dicer and pre-miRNAs. These bifunctional riboregulators interfere with miRNA maturation by affecting pre-miRNA structure and sequestering Dicer. Based on these observations, we designed a set of short oligomers (12 nucleotides long) that were capable of influencing pre-miRNA processing in vitro, both in reactions involving recombinant human Dicer and in cytosolic extracts. We propose that the same strategy may be used to develop effective and selective regulators to control the production of any miRNA. Overall, our findings indicate that the interactions between pre-miRNAs and other RNAs may form very complex regulatory networks that modulate miRNA biogenesis and consequently gene expression.
Project description:Recent studies have demonstrated a potent anticancer potential of medicinal fungus Antrodia cinnamomea, especially against hepatocarcinoma. These studies, however, were performed with prolonged treatments, and the early anticancer events remain missing. To probe the early anticancer mechanisms of A. cinnamomea, we treated SK-Hep-1 liver cancer cell with A. cinnamomea fruiting body extract for 2 and 4 hours, sequenced RNA samples with next-generation sequencing approach, and profiled the genome-wide miRNA and mRNA transcriptomes. Results unmistakably associated the early anticancer effect of A. cinnamomea fruiting body extract with a global downregulation of miRNAs which occurred solely in the A. cinnamomea fruiting body extract-treated SK-Hep-1 cells. Moreover, the inhibitory effect of A. cinnamomea fruiting body extract upon cancer miRNAs imposed no discrimination against any particular miRNA species, with oncomirs miR-21, miR-191 and major oncogenic clusters miR-17-92 and miR-106b-25 among the most severely downregulated. Western blotting further indicated a decrease in Drosha and Dicer proteins which play a key role in miRNA biogenesis, together with an increase of XRN2 known to participate in miRNA degradation pathway. Transcriptome profiling followed by GO and pathway analyses indicated that A. cinnamomea induced apoptosis, which was tightly associated with a downregulation of PI3K/AKT and MAPK pathways. Phosphorylation assay further suggested that JNK and c-Jun were closely involved in the apoptotic process. Taken together, our data indicated that the anticancer effect of A. cinnamomea can take place within a few hours by targeting multiple proteins and the miRNA system. A. cinnamomea indiscriminately induced a global downregulation of miRNAs by simultaneously inhibiting the key enzymes involved in miRNA maturation and activating XRN2 protein involved in miRNA degradation. Collapsing of the miRNA system together with downregulation of cell growth and survival pathways and activation of JNK signaling unleash the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathways, leading to the cancer cell death.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are conserved small non-coding RNAs that play an important role in the regulation of gene expression and participate in a variety of biological processes. The biogenesis of miRNAs is tightly controlled at multiple steps, such as transcription of miRNA genes, processing by Drosha and Dicer, and transportation of precursor miRNAs (pre-miRNAs) from the nucleus to the cytoplasm by exportin-5 (XPO5). Given the critical role of nuclear export of pre-miRNAs in miRNA biogenesis, any alterations of XPO5, resulting from either genetic mutation, epigenetic change, abnormal expression level or posttranslational modification, could affect miRNA expression and thus have profound effects on tumorigenesis. Importantly, XPO5 phosphorylation by ERK kinase and its cis/trans isomerization by the prolyl isomerase Pin1 impair XPO5's nucleo-to-cytoplasmic transport ability of pre-miRNAs, leading to downregulation of mature miRNAs in hepatocellular carcinoma. In this review, we focus on how XPO5 transports pre-miRNAs in the cells and summarize the dysregulation of XPO5 in human tumors.