A tRNA-derived fragment competes with mRNA for ribosome binding and regulates translation during stress.
ABSTRACT: Posttranscriptional processing of RNA molecules is a common strategy to enlarge the structural and functional repertoire of RNomes observed in all 3 domains of life. Fragmentation of RNA molecules of basically all functional classes has been reported to yield smaller non-protein coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that typically possess different roles compared with their parental transcripts. Here we show that a valine tRNA-derived fragment (Val-tRF) that is produced under certain stress conditions in the halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii is capable of binding to the small ribosomal subunit. As a consequence of Val-tRF binding mRNA is displaced from the initiation complex which results in global translation attenuation in vivo and in vitro. The fact that the archaeal Val-tRF also inhibits eukaryal as well as bacterial protein biosynthesis implies a functionally conserved mode of action. While tRFs and tRNA halves have been amply identified in recent RNA-seq project, Val-tRF described herein represents one of the first functionally characterized tRNA processing products to date.
Project description:In a deep sequencing analysis of small RNAs prepared from a living fossil, the tadpole shrimp Triops cancriformis, a 32-nt small RNA was specifically detected in the adult stage. A nucleotide sequence comparison between the 32-nt small RNA and predicted tRNA sequences in the draft nuclear genomic DNA showed that the small RNA was derived from tRNA(Gly)(GCC). To determine the overall features of the tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs) of T. cancriformis, the small RNA sequences in each of the six developmental stages (egg, 1st-4th instar larvae, and adult) were compared with the mitochondrial and nuclear tRNA sequences.We found that the tRFs were derived from mitochondrial and nuclear tRNAs corresponding to 16 and 39 anticodons, respectively. The total read number of nuclear tRFs was approximately 400 times larger than the number of mitochondrial tRFs. Interestingly, the main regions in each parental tRNA from which these tRFs were derived differed, depending on the parental anticodon. Mitochondrial tRF(Ser)(GCU)s were abundantly produced from the 5' half regions of the parental tRNA, whereas mitochondrial tRF(Val)(UAC)s were mainly produced from the 3' end regions. Highly abundant nuclear tRFs, tRF(Gly)(GCC)s, tRF(Gly)(CCC)s, tRF(Glu)(CUC)s, and tRF(Lys)(CUU)s were derived from the 5' half regions of the parental tRNAs. Further analysis of the tRF read counts in the individual developmental stages suggested that the expression of mitochondrial and nuclear tRFs differed during the six stages. Based on these data, we precisely summarized the positions of the tRFs in their parental tRNAs and their expression changes during development.Our results reveal the entire dynamics of the tRFs from both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of T. cancriformis and indicate that the majority of tRFs in the cell are derived from nuclear tRNAs. This study provides the first examples of developmentally expressed mitochondrial tRFs.
Project description:tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs) are a new classification of small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) derived from the specific cleavage of precursors and mature tRNAs. Accumulating recent evidence has shown that tRFs are frequently abnormal in several cancers. Nevertheless, the role of tRFs in gastric cancer and its mechanism remain unclear. In this study, we found abnormal expression of tRF-3017A (derived from tRNA-Val-TAC) in gastric cancer tissues and cell lines and confirmed its effect on promoting the invasion and migration of gastric cancer cells through functional experiments <i>in vitro</i>. Analysis of clinicopathologic data showed patients with higher tRF-3017A were associated with significantly higher lymph node metastasis. Mechanistic investigation implies that tRF-3017A regulates the tumor suppressor gene NELL2 through forming the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) with Argonaute (AGO) proteins. In this study, we found that higher tRF-3017A were associated with significantly higher lymph node metastasis in gastric cancer patients and the tRF-3017A may play a role in promoting the migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells by silencing tumor suppressor NELL2.
Project description:tRNA-derived small fragments (tRFs) and tRNA halves have emerging functions in different biological pathways, such as regulating gene expression, protein translation, retrotransposon activity, transgenerational epigenetic changes and response to environmental stress. However, small RNAs like tRFs and microRNAs in the maternal-fetal interface during gestation have not been studied extensively. Here we investigated the small RNA composition of mouse placenta/decidua, which represents the interface where the mother communicates with the foetus, to determine whether there are specific differences in tRFs and microRNAs during fetal development and in response to maternal immune activation (MIA). Global tRF expression pattern, just like microRNAs, can distinguish tissue types among placenta/decidua, fetal brain and fetal liver. In particular, 5' tRNA halves from tRNA<sup>Gly</sup>, tRNA<sup>Glu</sup>, tRNA<sup>Val</sup> and tRNA<sup>Lys</sup> are abundantly expressed in the normal mouse placenta/decidua. Moreover, tRF and microRNA levels in the maternal-fetal interface change dynamically over the course of embryonic development. To see if stress alters non-coding RNA expression at the maternal-fetal interface, we treated pregnant mice with a viral infection mimetic, which has been shown to promote autism-related phenotypes in the offspring. Acute changes in the levels of specific tRFs and microRNAs were observed 3-6 h after MIA and are suppressed thereafter. A group of 5' tRNA halves is down-regulated by MIA, whereas a group of 18-nucleotide tRF-3a is up-regulated. In conclusion, tRFs show tissue-specificity, developmental changes and acute response to environmental stress, opening the possibility of them having a role in the fetal response to MIA.
Project description:tRNA related RNA fragments (tRFs), also known as tRNA-derived RNAs (tdRNAs), are abundant small RNAs reported to be associated with Argonaute proteins, yet their function is unclear. We show that endogenous 18 nucleotide tRFs derived from the 3' ends of tRNAs (tRF-3) post-transcriptionally repress genes in HEK293T cells in culture. tRF-3 levels increase upon parental tRNA overexpression. This represses target genes with a sequence complementary to the tRF-3 in the 3' UTR. The tRF-3-mediated repression is Dicer-independent, Argonaute-dependent, and the targets are recognized by sequence complementarity. Furthermore, tRF-3:target mRNA pairs in the RNA induced silencing complex associate with GW182 proteins, known to repress translation and promote the degradation of target mRNAs. RNA-seq demonstrates that endogenous target genes are specifically decreased upon tRF-3 induction. Therefore, Dicer-independent tRF-3s, generated upon tRNA overexpression, repress genes post-transcriptionally through an Argonaute-GW182 containing RISC via sequence matches with target mRNAs.
Project description:In the expanding repertoire of small noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), tRNA-derived RNA fragments (tRFs) have been identified in all domains of life. Their existence in plants has been already proven but no detailed analysis has been performed. Here, short tRFs of 19-26 nucleotides were retrieved from Arabidopsis thaliana small RNA libraries obtained from various tissues, plants submitted to abiotic stress or fractions immunoprecipitated with ARGONAUTE 1 (AGO1). Large differences in the tRF populations of each extract were observed. Depending on the tRNA, either tRF-5D (due to a cleavage in the D region) or tRF-3T (via a cleavage in the T region) were found and hot spots of tRNA cleavages have been identified. Interestingly, up to 25% of the tRFs originate from plastid tRNAs and we provide evidence that mitochondrial tRNAs can also be a source of tRFs. Very specific tRF-5D deriving not only from nucleus-encoded but also from plastid-encoded tRNAs are strongly enriched in AGO1 immunoprecipitates. We demonstrate that the organellar tRFs are not found within chloroplasts or mitochondria but rather accumulate outside the organelles. These observations suggest that some organellar tRFs could play regulatory functions within the plant cell and may be part of a signaling pathway.
Project description:Elevated levels of transfer RNA (tRNA) fragments were recently identified in plasma samples from people with epilepsy in advance of a seizure, indicting a potential novel class of circulating biomarker. Current methods for detection and quantitation of tRNA fragments (tRFs) include northern blotting, RNA sequencing or custom Taqman-based PCR assays. The development of a simple, at home or clinic-based test, would benefit from a simple and reliable method to detect the tRFs using small volumes of biofluids. Here we describe an electrochemical direct detection method based on electrocatalytic platinum nanoparticles to detect 3 specific tRFs: 5'AlaTGC, 5'GlyGCC, and 5'GluCTC. Using synthetic tRF mimics we showed this system was linear over 9 orders of magnitude with sub-attomolar limits of detection. Specificity was tested using naturally occurring mismatched tRF mimics. Finally, we quantified tRF levels in patient plasma and showed that our detection system recapitulates results obtained by qPCR. We have designed a tRF detection system with high sensitivity and specificity capable of quantifying tRFs in low volumes of plasma using benchtop apparatus. This is an important step in the development of a point-of-care device for quantifying tRFs in whole blood.
Project description:Background: The progress of next-generation sequencing technologies has unveiled various non-coding RNAs that have previously been considered products of random degradation and attracted only minimal interest. Among small RNA families, microRNA (miRNAs) have traditionally been considered key post-transcriptional regulators. However, recent studies have reported evidence for widespread presence of fragments of tRNA molecules (tRFs) across a range of organisms and tissues, and of tRF involvement in Argonaute complexes. Methods:To elucidate potential tRF functionality, we compared available RNA sequencing datasets derived from the brains of young, mid-aged and old rats. Using sliding 7-mer windows along a tRF, we searched for putative seed sequences with high numbers of conserved complementary sites within 3' UTRs of 23 vertebrate genomes. We analyzed Gene Ontology term enrichment of predicted tRF targets and compared their transcript levels with targets of miRNAs in the context of age. Results and Discussion: We detected tRFs originating from 3'- and 5'-ends of tRNAs in rat brains at significant levels. These fragments showed dynamic changes: 3' tRFs monotonously increased with age, while 5' tRFs displayed less consistent patterns. Furthermore, 3' tRFs showed a narrow size range compared to 5' tRFs, suggesting a difference in their biogenesis mechanisms. Similar to our earlier results in Drosophila and compatible with other experimental findings, we found "seed" sequence locations on both ends of different tRFs. Putative targets of these fragments were found to be enriched in neuronal and developmental functions. Comparison of tRFs and miRNAs increasing in abundance with age revealed small, but distinct changes in brain target transcript levels for these two types of small RNA, with the higher proportion of tRF targets decreasing with age. We also illustrated the utility of tRF analysis for annotating tRNA genes in sequenced genomes.
Project description:Varicose veins (VVs) is a common disease presenting with chronic venous insufficiency. tRNA?derived fragments (tRFs) are associated with a variety of pathological conditions. However, the functions of tRFs in VVs have not been elucidated to date. The present study aimed to identify the key tRFs and investigate their potential roles in VVs. Small RNA sequencing (RNA?seq) was performed to investigate the expression of tRFs in tissues of patients with VVs and their matched adjacent normal veins tissues (ANVs). Reverse transcription?quantitative PCR (RT?qPCR) was used to confirm the differential expression of tRFs. A total of 13,789 tRFs were identified by small RNA?seq, including 45 differentially expressed tRFs (DETs), which comprised 14 upregulated and 31 downregulated tRFs in VV tissues compared with ANVs. In addition, DETs were mainly involved in the function of epidermal growth factor receptor and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor signaling pathways in VVs. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analysis revealed that the target genes of DETs were predominantly involved in Wnt and mitogen?activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways, as well as calcium signaling. Additionally, two upregulated tRFs (tRF?36?F900BY4D84KRIME and tRF?23?87R8WP9IY) and one downregulated tRF (tRF?40?86J8WPMN1E8Y7Z2R) were further validated by RT?qPCR, and a signaling pathway regulation network of their target genes confirmed their involvement in the calcium, Wnt and MAPK signaling pathways. The results of the present study identified three DETs (tRF?36?F900BY4D84KRIME, tRF?23?87R8WP9IY and tRF?40?86J8WPMN1E8Y7Z2R), which may have crucial roles in the occurrence and progression of VVs by regulating Wnt and MAPK signaling, as well as calcium signaling. The present results may provide a basis for further investigation of the functional roles of tRFs in VVs.
Project description:tRNA fragments (tRFs) and tRNA halves have been implicated in various cellular processes, including gene silencing, translation, stress granule assembly, cell differentiation, retrotransposon activity, symbiosis, apoptosis, and more. Overexpressed angiogenin (ANG) cleaves tRNA anticodons and produces tRNA halves similar to those produced in response to stress. However, it is not clear whether endogenous ANG is essential for producing the stress-induced tRNA halves. It is also not clear whether smaller tRFs are generated from the tRNA halves. Here, using global short RNA-Seq approach, we found that ANG overexpression selectively cleaves a subset of tRNAs, including tRNAGlu, tRNAGly, tRNALys, tRNAVal, tRNAHis, tRNAAsp, and tRNASeC to produce tRNA halves and tRF-5s that are 26-30 bases long. Surprisingly, ANG knockout revealed that the majority of stress-induced tRNA halves, except for the 5' half from tRNAHisGTG and the 3' half from tRNAAspGTC, are ANG independent, suggesting there are other RNases that produce tRNA halves. We also found that the 17-25 bases-long tRF-3s and tRF-5s that could enter into Argonaute complexes are not induced by ANG overexpression, suggesting that they are generated independently from tRNA halves. Consistent with this, ANG knockout did not decrease tRF-3 levels or gene-silencing activity. We conclude that ANG cleaves specific tRNAs and is not the only RNase that creates tRNA halves and that the shorter tRFs are not generated from the tRNA halves or from independent tRNA cleavage by ANG.
Project description:tRNAs and tRNA-derived RNA fragments (tRFs) play various roles in many cellular processes outside of protein synthesis. However, comprehensive investigations of tRNA/tRF regulation are rare. In this study, we used new algorithms to extensively analyze the publicly available data from 1332 ChIP-Seq and 42 small-RNA-Seq experiments in human cell lines and tissues to investigate the transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulatory mechanisms of tRNAs. We found that histone acetylation, cAMP, and pluripotency pathways play important roles in the regulation of the tRNA gene transcription in a cell-specific manner. Analysis of RNA-Seq data identified 950 high-confidence tRFs, and the results suggested that tRNA pools are dramatically distinct across the samples in terms of expression profiles and tRF composition. The mismatch analysis identified new potential modification sites and specific modification patterns in tRNA families. The results also show that RNA library preparation technologies have a considerable impact on tRNA profiling and need to be optimized in the future.