Identification of distinct miRNA target regulation between breast cancer molecular subtypes using AGO2-PAR-CLIP and patient datasets.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Various microRNAs (miRNAs) are up- or downregulated in tumors. However, the repression of cognate miRNA targets responsible for the phenotypic effects of this dysregulation in patients remains largely unexplored. To define miRNA targets and associated pathways, together with their relationship to outcome in breast cancer, we integrated patient-paired miRNA-mRNA expression data with a set of validated miRNA targets and pathway inference. RESULTS:To generate a biochemically-validated set of miRNA-binding sites, we performed argonaute-2 photoactivatable-ribonucleoside-enhanced crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (AGO2-PAR-CLIP) in MCF7 cells. We then defined putative miRNA-target interactions using a computational model, which ranked and selected additional TargetScan-predicted interactions based on features of our AGO2-PAR-CLIP binding-site data. We subselected modeled interactions according to the abundance of their constituent miRNA and mRNA transcripts in tumors, and we took advantage of the variability of miRNA expression within molecular subtypes to detect miRNA repression. Interestingly, our data suggest that miRNA families control subtype-specific pathways; for example, miR-17, miR-19a, miR-25, and miR-200b show high miRNA regulatory activity in the triple-negative, basal-like subtype, whereas miR-22 and miR-24 do so in the HER2 subtype. An independent dataset validated our findings for miR-17 and miR-25, and showed a correlation between the expression levels of miR-182 targets and overall patient survival. Pathway analysis associated miR-17, miR-19a, and miR-200b with leukocyte transendothelial migration. CONCLUSIONS:We combined PAR-CLIP data with patient expression data to predict regulatory miRNAs, revealing potential therapeutic targets and prognostic markers in breast cancer.
Project description:Experimental evidence indicates that about 60% of miRNA-binding activity does not follow the canonical rule about the seed matching between miRNA and target mRNAs, but rather a non-canonical miRNA targeting activity outside the seed or with a seed-like motifs. Here, we propose a new unbiased method to identify canonical and non-canonical miRNA-binding sites from peaks identified by Ago2 Cross-Linked ImmunoPrecipitation associated to high-throughput sequencing (CLIP-seq). Since the quality of peaks is of pivotal importance for the final output of the proposed method, we provide a comprehensive benchmarking of four peak detection programs, namely CIMS, PIPE-CLIP, Piranha and Pyicoclip, on four publicly available Ago2-HITS-CLIP datasets and one unpublished in-house Ago2-dataset in stem cells. We measured the sensitivity, the specificity and the position accuracy toward miRNA binding sites identification, and the agreement with TargetScan. Secondly, we developed a new pipeline, called miRBShunter, to identify canonical and non-canonical miRNA-binding sites based on de novo motif identification from Ago2 peaks and prediction of miRNA::RNA heteroduplexes. miRBShunter was tested and experimentally validated on the in-house Ago2-dataset and on an Ago2-PAR-CLIP dataset in human stem cells. Overall, we provide guidelines to choose a suitable peak detection program and a new method for miRNA-target identification.
Project description:Micro RNAs (miRNAs) regulate the expression of target genes posttranscriptionally by pairing incompletely with mRNA in a sequence-specific manner. About 30% of human genes are regulated by miRNAs, and a single miRNA is capable of reducing the production of hundreds of proteins by means of incomplete pairing upon miRNA-mRNA binding. Lately, evidence implicating miRNAs in the development of lung cancers has been emerging. In particular, miR-19a, which is highly expressed in malignant lung cancer cells, is considered the key miRNA for tumorigenesis. However, its direct targets remain underreported. In the present study, we focused on six potential miR-19a target genes selected by miRNA target prediction software. To evaluate these genes as direct miR-19a target genes, we performed luciferase, pull-down, and western blot assays. The luciferase activity of plasmids with each miR-19a-binding site was observed to decrease, while increased luciferase activity was observed in the presence of anti-miR-19a locked nucleic acid (LNA). The pull-down assay showed biotinylated miR-19a to bind to AGO2 protein and to four of six potential target mRNAs. Western blot analysis showed that the expression levels of the four genes changed depending on treatment with miR-19a mimic or anti-miR-19a-LNA. Finally, FOXP1, TP53INP1, TNFAIP3, and TUSC2 were identified as miR-19a targets. To examine the function of these four target genes in lung cancer cells, LK79 (which has high miR-19a expression) and A549 (which has low miR-19a expression) were used. The expression of the four target proteins was higher in A549 than in LK79 cells. The four miR-19a target cDNA expression vectors suppressed cell viability, colony formation, migration, and invasion of A549 and LK79 cells, but LK79 cells transfected with FOXP1 and TP53INP1 cDNAs showed no difference compared to the control cells in the invasion assay.
Project description:RNA editing, a widespread post-transcriptional mechanism, has emerged as a new player in cancer biology. Recent studies have reported key roles for individual miRNA editing events, but a comprehensive picture of miRNA editing in human cancers remains largely unexplored. Here, we systematically characterized the miRNA editing profiles of 8595 samples across 20 cancer types from miRNA sequencing data of The Cancer Genome Atlas and identified 19 adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing hotspots. We independently validated 15 of them by perturbation experiments in several cancer cell lines. These miRNA editing events show extensive correlations with key clinical variables (e.g., tumor subtype, disease stage, and patient survival time) and other molecular drivers. Focusing on the RNA editing hotspot in miR-200b, a key tumor metastasis suppressor, we found that the miR-200b editing level correlates with patient prognosis opposite to the pattern observed for the wild-type miR-200b expression. We further experimentally showed that, in contrast to wild-type miRNA, the edited miR-200b can promote cell invasion and migration through its impaired ability to inhibit ZEB1/ZEB2 and acquired concomitant ability to repress new targets, including LIFR, a well-characterized metastasis suppressor. Our study highlights the importance of miRNA editing in gene regulation and suggests its potential as a biomarker for cancer prognosis and therapy.
Project description:Increased local immune and inflammatory responses in obese individuals with periodontitis may explain the aggressive clinical presentation and altered treatment response when compared to that of normal weight subjects. Our goal was to identify any differences in microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles of gingival tissue in periodontitis when obesity is present, which may suggest novel molecular pathways that this miRNA network may affect. Total RNA was extracted from gingival tissue biopsies collected from normal weight and obese individuals with periodontitis; miRNA expression profiling was performed with Affymetrix GeneChip miRNA 3.0 arrays; and results were validated with quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). In silico identification of previously confirmed miRNA gene targets was conducted through miRTarBase and miRWalk databases, and pathway enrichment analysis identified enriched miRNA gene sets. Expression of selected genes in the same biopsy samples was tested with qRT-PCR. The gingival tissue miRNA profile of obese patients, compared to that of normal weight patients, showed 13 upregulated and 22 downregulated miRNAs, among which miR-200b was validated by qRT-PCR to be significantly increased in obesity. Functional analysis of 51 experimentally validated miR-200b gene targets identified enrichment of genes involved in cell motility, differentiation, DNA binding, response to stimulus, and vasculature development pathways not previously identified in the obesity-specific disease profile. Furthermore, the expression of the miR-200b gene targets ZEB1/2, GATA2, and KDR was confirmed by qRT-PCR as being lower in obese patients with periodontitis versus normal weight patients, suggesting a role of miR-200b in regulation of a set of gene targets and biological pathways relevant to wound healing and angiogenesis. Functional studies to explore the role of miR-200b in the above processes may offer new insights on putative therapeutic targets for this group of patients.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNA regulators that control gene expression mainly through post-transcriptional silencing. We previously identified miR-205 in a signature for human cervical cancer using a deep sequencing approach. In this study, we confirmed that miR-205 expression was frequently higher in human cervical cancer than their matched normal tissue samples. Functionally, we demonstrate that miR-205 promotes cell proliferation and migration in human cervical cancer cells. To further understand the biological roles of miR-205, we performed in vivo crosslinking and Argonaute 2 immunoprecipitation of miRNA ribonucleoprotein complexes followed by microarray analysis (CLIP-Chip) to identify its potential mRNA targets. Applying CLIP-Chip on gain- and loss-of-function experiments, we identified a set of transcripts as potential targets of miR-205. Several targets are functionally involved in cellular proliferation and migration. Two of them, CYR61 and CTGF, were further validated by Western blot analysis and quantification of mRNA enrichment in the Ago2 immunoprecipitates using qRT-PCR. Furthermore, both CYR61 and CTGF were downregulated in cervical cancer tissues. In summary, our findings reveal novel functional roles and targets of miR-205 in human cervical cancer, which may provide new insights about its role in cervical carcinogenesis and its potential value for clinical diagnosis.
Project description:microRNAs (miRNAs) are considered promising cancer biomarkers, showing high reliability, sensitivity and stability. Our study aimed to identify associations between whole blood miRNA profiles, presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and clinical outcome in post-operative early breast cancer patients (EBC) to assess the utility of miRNAs as prognostic markers in this setting.A total of 48 post-operative patients, recruited in frame of the SUCCESS A trial, were included in this retrospective study and tested with a panel of 8 miRNAs (miR-10b, -19a, - 21, - 22, -20a, - 127, - 155, -200b). Additional 17 female healthy donors with no previous history of cancer were included in the study as negative controls. Blood samples were collected at different time points (pre-adjuvant therapy, post-adjuvant therapy, 2 years follow up), total RNA was extracted and the relative concentration of each miRNA was measured by quantitative PCR and compared in patients stratified on blood collection time or CTC detection. Furthermore, we compared miRNA profiles of patients, for each time point separately, and healthy donors. CTCs were visualized and quantified with immunocytochemistry analysis. Data were analyzed using non-parametric statistical tests.In our experimental system, miR-19a, miR-22 and miR-127 showed the most promising results, differentiating patients at different time points and from healthy controls, while miR-20a, miR-21 and miR-200b did not show any difference among the different groups. miR-10b and miR-155 were never detectable in our experimental system. With respect to patients' clinical characteristics, we found a significant correlation between miR-200b and lymph node status and between miR-20a and tumor type. Furthermore, miR-127 correlated with the presence of CTCs. Finally, we found a borderline significance between Progression Free Survival and miR-19a levels.This pilot study suggests that profiling whole blood miRNAs could help to better stratify post-operative EBC patients without any sign of metastasis to prevent later relapse or metastatic events.
Project description:Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) involves loss of an epithelial phenotype and activation of a mesenchymal one. Enhanced expression of genes associated with a mesenchymal transition includes ZEB1/2, TWIST, and FOXC1. miRNAs are known regulators of gene expression and altered miRNA expression is known to enhance EMT in breast cancer. Here we demonstrate that the tumor suppressive miRNA family, miR-200, is not expressed in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell lines and that miR-200b-3p over-expression represses EMT, which is evident through decreased migration and increased CDH1 expression. Despite the loss of migratory capacity following re-expression of miR-200b-3p, no subsequent loss of the conventional miR-200 family targets and EMT markers ZEB1/2 was observed. Next generation RNA-sequencing analysis showed that enhanced expression of pri-miR-200b lead to ectopic expression of both miR-200b-3p and miR-200b-5p with multiple isomiRs expressed for each of these miRNAs. Furthermore, miR-200b-5p was expressed in the receptor positive, epithelial breast cancer cell lines but not in the TNBC (mesenchymal) cell lines. In addition, a compensatory mechanism for miR-200b-3p/200b-5p targeting, where both miRNAs target the RHOGDI pathway leading to non-canonical repression of EMT, was demonstrated. Collectively, these data are the first to demonstrate dual targeting by miR-200b-3p and miR-200b-5p and a previously undescribed role for microRNA processing and strand expression in EMT and TNBC, the most aggressive breast cancer subtype.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ?19-22 nucleotides (nt) long regulatory RNAs that regulate gene expression by recognizing and binding to complementary sequences on mRNAs. The key step in revealing the function of a miRNA, is the identification of miRNA target genes. Recent biochemical advances including PAR-CLIP and HITS-CLIP allow for improved miRNA target predictions and are widely used to validate miRNA targets. Here, we present miRTar2GO, which is a model, trained on the common rules of miRNA-target interactions, Argonaute (Ago) CLIP-Seq data and experimentally validated miRNA target interactions. miRTar2GO is designed to predict miRNA target sites using more relaxed miRNA-target binding characteristics. More importantly, miRTar2GO allows for the prediction of cell-type specific miRNA targets. We have evaluated miRTar2GO against other widely used miRNA target prediction algorithms and demonstrated that miRTar2GO produced significantly higher F1 and G scores. Target predictions, binding specifications, results of the pathway analysis and gene ontology enrichment of miRNA targets are freely available at http://www.mirtar2go.org.
Project description:Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human herpesvirus linked to a number of B cell cancers and lymphoproliferative disorders. During latent infection, EBV expresses 25 viral pre-microRNAs (miRNAs) and induces the expression of specific host miRNAs, such as miR-155 and miR-21, which potentially play a role in viral oncogenesis. To date, only a limited number of EBV miRNA targets have been identified; thus, the role of EBV miRNAs in viral pathogenesis and/or lymphomagenesis is not well defined. Here, we used photoactivatable ribonucleoside-enhanced crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (PAR-CLIP) combined with deep sequencing and computational analysis to comprehensively examine the viral and cellular miRNA targetome in EBV strain B95-8-infected lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). We identified 7,827 miRNA-interaction sites in 3,492 cellular 3'UTRs. 531 of these sites contained seed matches to viral miRNAs. 24 PAR-CLIP-identified miRNA:3'UTR interactions were confirmed by reporter assays. Our results reveal that EBV miRNAs predominantly target cellular transcripts during latent infection, thereby manipulating the host environment. Furthermore, targets of EBV miRNAs are involved in multiple cellular processes that are directly relevant to viral infection, including innate immunity, cell survival, and cell proliferation. Finally, we present evidence that myc-regulated host miRNAs from the miR-17/92 cluster can regulate latent viral gene expression. This comprehensive survey of the miRNA targetome in EBV-infected B cells represents a key step towards defining the functions of EBV-encoded miRNAs, and potentially, identifying novel therapeutic targets for EBV-associated malignancies.
Project description:Medulloblastoma is a highly aggressive brain tumor that typically affects children, while in adults it represents ~1% of all brain tumors. Little is known about microRNA expression profile of the rare adult medulloblastoma. The main aim of this study was to identify peculiar differences in microRNA expression between childhood and adult medulloblastoma. Medulloblastomas were profiled for microRNA expression using the Exiqon Human miRNome panel (I + II) analyzing 752 microRNAs in a training set of six adult and six childhood cases. Then, the most differentially expressed microRNAs were validated in a total of 21 adult and 19 childhood cases. Eight microRNAs (miR-196b-5p, miR-183-5p, miR-200b-3p, miR-196a-5p, miR-193a-3p, miR-29c-3p, miR-33b-5p, and miR-200a-3p) were differentially expressed in medulloblastoma of adults and children. Analysis of the validation set confirmed that miR-196b-5p and miR-200b-3p were significantly overexpressed in medulloblastoma of adults as compared with those of children. We followed an in silico approach to investigate direct targets and the pathways involved for the two microRNAs (miR-196b and miR-200b) differently expressed between adult and childhood medulloblastoma. Adult and childhood medulloblastoma have different miRNA expression profiles. In particular, the differential dysregulation of miR-196b-5p and miR-200b-3p characterizes the miRNA profile of adult medulloblastoma and suggests potential targets for novel diagnostic, prognostic, or therapeutic strategies.