Discovering the 3' UTR-mediated regulation of alpha-synuclein.
ABSTRACT: Recent evidence indicates a link between Parkinson's Disease (PD) and the expression of a-synuclein (SNCA) isoforms with different 3' untranslated regions (3'UTRs). Yet, the post-transcriptional mechanisms regulating SNCA expression are unknown. Using a large-scale in vitro /in silico screening we identified RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) that interact with SNCA 3' UTRs. We identified two RBPs, ELAVL1 and TIAR, that bind with high affinity to the most abundant and translationally active 3' UTR isoform (575 nt). Knockdown and overexpression experiments indicate that both ELAVL1 and TIAR positively regulate endogenous SNCA in vivo. The mechanism of regulation implies mRNA stabilization as well as enhancement of translation in the case of TIAR. We observed significant alteration of both TIAR and ELAVL1 expression in motor cortex of post-mortem brain donors and primary cultured fibroblast from patients affected by PD and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). Moreover, trans expression quantitative trait loci (trans-eQTLs) analysis revealed that a group of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TIAR genomic locus influences SNCA expression in two different brain areas, nucleus accumbens and hippocampus. Our study sheds light on the 3' UTR-mediated regulation of SNCA and its link with PD pathogenesis, thus opening up new avenues for investigation of post-transcriptional mechanisms in neurodegeneration.
Project description:The SNCA (Synuclein Alpha) gene represents a major risk gene for Parkinson's disease (PD) and SNCA polymorphisms have been associated with the common sporadic form of PD. Numerous Genome-Wide Association Studies showed strong signals located in the SNCA 3' UTR (untranslated region) region indicating that variants in 3' UTRs of PD-associated genes could contribute to neurodegeneration and may regulate the risk for PD. Genetic variants in 3' UTR can affect miRNA activity and consequently change the translation process. The aim of this study was to access the differences in 3' UTR variants of SNCA genes in a cohort of PD patients and control subjects from Croatia. The cohort consisted of 52 PD patients and 23 healthy control subjects. Differences between 3' UTR allele and genotype frequencies were accessed through next generation sequencing approach from whole blood samples. In our study, we identified four previously reported single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and one insertion in the 3' UTR region of SNCA gene, namely rs1045722, rs3857053, rs577490090, rs356165, and rs777296100, and five variants not reported in the literature, namely rs35270750, rs529553259, rs377356638, rs571454522, and rs750347645. Our results indicate a significantly higher occurrence of the rs571454522 variant in the PD population. To the best of our knowledge, this variant has not been reported until now in the literature. We analyzed our results in the context of previous research, creating a brief overview of the importance of 3' UTR variants of the SNCA gene. Further studies will be needed to gain a more profound insight regarding their role in PD development, which will help to assess the role and impact of post-transcriptional regulation on disease pathology.
Project description:<h4>Objectives</h4>Insulin expression is highly controlled on the posttranscriptional level. The RNA binding proteins (RBPs) responsible for this result are still largely unknown.<h4>Methods and results</h4>To identify RBPs that bind to insulin mRNA we performed mass spectrometry analysis on proteins that bound synthetic oligonucloetides mimicing the 5'- and the 3'-untranslated regions (UTRs) of rat and human insulin mRNA <i>in vitro</i>. We observed that the RBPs heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) U, polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB), hnRNP L and T-cell restricted intracellular antigen 1-related protein (TIA-1-related protein; TIAR) bind to insulin mRNA sequences, and that the <i>in vitro</i> binding affinity of these RBPs changed when INS-1 cells were exposed to glucose, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) or nitric oxide. High glucose exposure resulted in a modest increase in PTB and TIAR binding to an insulin mRNA sequence. The inducer of nitrosative stress DETAnonoate increased markedly hnRNP U and TIAR mRNA binding. An increased PTB to TIAR binding ratio <i>in vitro</i> correlated with higher insulin mRNA levels and insulin biosynthesis rates in INS-1 cells. To further investigate the importance of RNA-binding proteins for insulin mRNA stability, we decreased INS-1 and EndoC-?H1 cell levels of PTB and TIAR by RNAi. In both cell lines, decreased levels of PTB resulted in lowered insulin mRNA levels while decreased levels of TIAR resulted in increased insulin mRNA levels. Thapsigargin-induced stress granule formation was associated with a redistribution of TIAR from the cytosol to stress granules.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These experiments indicate that alterations in insulin mRNA stability and translation correlate with differential RBP binding. We propose that the balance between PTB on one hand and TIAR on the other participates in the control of insulin mRNA stability and utilization for insulin biosynthesis.
Project description:Upon pathogen detection, the innate immune system triggers signaling events leading to upregulation of pro-inflammatory and anti-microbial mRNA transcripts. RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) interact with these critical mRNAs and regulate their fates at the post-transcriptional level. One such RBP is ELAVL1. Although significant progress has been made in understanding how embryonic lethal vision-like protein 1 (ELAVL1) regulates mRNAs, its target repertoire and binding distribution within an immunological context remain poorly understood. We overlap four high-throughput approaches to define its context-dependent targets and determine its regulatory impact during immune activation. ELAVL1 transitions from binding overwhelmingly intronic sites to 3' UTR sites upon immune stimulation of cells, binding previously and newly expressed mRNAs. We find that ELAVL1 mediates the RNA stability of genes that regulate pathways essential to pathogen sensing and cytokine production. Our findings reveal the importance of examining RBP regulatory impact under dynamic transcriptomic events to understand their post-transcriptional regulatory roles within specific biological circuitries.
Project description:Innate immune response is triggered by pathogen components, like lipopolysaccharides (LPS) of gram-negative bacteria. LPS initiates Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling, which involves mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF?B) in different pathway branches and ultimately induces inflammatory cytokine and chemokine expression, macrophage migration and phagocytosis. Timely gene transcription and post-transcriptional control of gene expression confer the adequate synthesis of signaling molecules. As trans-acting factors RNA binding proteins (RBPs) contribute significantly to the surveillance of gene expression. RBPs are involved in the regulation of mRNA processing, localization, stability and translation. Thereby they enable rapid cellular responses to inflammatory mediators and facilitate a coordinated systemic immune response. Specific RBP binding to conserved sequence motifs in their target mRNAs is mediated by RNA binding domains, like Zink-finger domains, RNA recognition motifs (RRM), and hnRNP K homology domains (KH), often arranged in modular arrays. In this review, we focus on RBPs Tristetraprolin (TTP), human antigen R (HUR), T-cell intracellular antigen 1 related protein (TIAR), and heterogeneous ribonuclear protein K (hnRNP K) in LPS induced macrophages as primary responding immune cells. We discuss recent experiments employing RNA immunoprecipitation and microarray analysis (RIP-Chip) and newly developed individual-nucleotide resolution crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (iCLIP), photoactivatable ribonucleoside-enhanced crosslinking (PAR-iCLIP) and RNA sequencing techniques (RNA-Seq). The global mRNA interaction profile analysis of TTP, HUR, TIAR, and hnRNP K exhibited valuable information about the post-transcriptional control of inflammation related gene expression with a broad impact on intracellular signaling and temporal cytokine expression.
Project description:Alternative polyadenylation (APA) is a post-transcriptional mechanism to generate diverse mRNA transcripts with different 3'UTRs from the same gene. In this study, we systematically searched for the APA events with differential expression in public mouse microarray data. Hundreds of genes with over-represented differential APA events and the corresponding experiments were identified. We further revealed that global APA differential expression occurred prevalently in tissues such as brain comparing to peripheral tissues, and biological processes such as development, differentiation and immune responses. Interestingly, we also observed widespread differential APA events in RNA-binding protein (RBP) genes such as Rbm3, Eif4e2 and Elavl1. Given the fact that RBPs are considered as the main regulators of differential APA expression, we constructed a co-expression network between APAs and RBPs using the microarray data. Further incorporation of CLIP-seq data of selected RBPs showed that Nova2 represses and Mbnl1 promotes the polyadenylation of closest poly(A) sites respectively. Altogether, our study is the first microarray meta-analysis in a mammal on the regulation of APA by RBPs that integrated massive mRNA expression data under a wide-range of biological conditions. Finally, we present our results as a comprehensive resource in an online website for the research community.
Project description:Alpha-synuclein (?-SYN) is one of the key contributors in Parkinson's disease (PD) pathogenesis. Despite the fact that increased ?-SYN levels are considered one of the key contributors in developing PD, the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of ?-SYN still needs to be elucidated. Since the 3' untranslated regions (3'UTRs) of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) have important roles in translation, localization, and stability of mRNAs through RNA binding proteins (RBPs) and microRNAs (miRNAs), it is important to identify the exact length of 3'UTRs of transcripts in order to understand the precise regulation of gene expression. Currently annotated human ?-SYN mRNA has a relatively long 3'UTR (2529 nucleotides [nt]) with several isoforms. RNA-sequencing and epigenomics data have suggested, however, the possible existence of even longer transcripts which extend beyond the annotated ?-SYN 3'UTR sequence. Here, we have discovered the novel extended form of ?-SYN 3'UTR (3775 nt) in the substantia nigra of human postmortem brain samples, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived dopaminergic neurons, and other human neuronal cell lines. Interestingly, the longer variant reduced ?-SYN translation. The extended ?-SYN 3'UTR was significantly lower in iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons from sporadic PD patients than controls. On the other hand, ?-SYN protein levels were much higher in PD cases, showing the strong negative correlation with the extended 3'UTR. These suggest that dysregulation of the extended ?-SYN 3'UTR might contribute to the pathogenesis of PD.
Project description:Translation regulation plays important roles in both normal physiological conditions and diseases states. This regulation requires cis-regulatory elements located mostly in 5' and 3' UTRs and trans-regulatory factors (e.g., RNA binding proteins (RBPs)) which recognize specific RNA features and interact with the translation machinery to modulate its activity. In this paper, we discuss important aspects of 5' UTR-mediated regulation by providing an overview of the characteristics and the function of the main elements present in this region, like uORF (upstream open reading frame), secondary structures, and RBPs binding motifs and different mechanisms of translation regulation and the impact they have on gene expression and human health when deregulated.
Project description:In Parkinson disease, the second most common neurodegenerative disorder in humans, increased alpha-synuclein (SNCA) levels are pathogenic, as evidenced by gene copy number mutations and increased alpha-synuclein levels detected in some familial and sporadic PD cases, respectively. Gene expression can be regulated at the post-transcriptional level by elements in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of mRNAs. The goal of this study was to determine whether the 3'UTR of human SNCA can affect gene expression. Comparative sequence analysis revealed very high conservation across the entire 3'UTR of human SNCA over millions of years, suggesting the presence of multiple functionally important domains. EST and RT-PCR analyses showed that four different polyadenylation events occur in the 3'UTR of human SNCA. Finally, using luciferase assays, we examined the effect of the minor allele of five naturally occurring single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 3'UTR of SNCA on gene expression. The minor allele of SNP rs17016074 increased luciferase expression by 32% in a transient transfection assay in SHSY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Understanding the role of the 3'UTR of human SNCA and identifying functionally important naturally occurring SNPs using reporter assays can complement disease association studies in humans, uncovering potential susceptibility or protective polymorphisms in Parkinson disease. Our findings demonstrate that the 3'UTR of human SNCA, as a whole, and rs17016074, in particular, are loci of potential clinical importance for Parkinson disease.
Project description:Alpha-synuclein (SNCA) is a major risk gene for Parkinson's disease (PD) and increased SNCA gene dosage results in a parkinsonian syndrome in affected families. Regulatory regions relevant for SNCA expression include the 3' untranslated region (UTR), which among other regulatory elements contains several micro-RNA-binding sites. Interestingly, variants located in the 3' region of SNCA have been associated with PD in two genome-wide association studies. To test whether private mutations in this region contribute to PD, we sequenced the 3'UTR of SNCA in 1285 PD patients and 1120 age/sex-matched healthy controls. We found two rare variants, the one corresponding to the single nucleotide polymorphism rs145304567 and the novel variant c.*1004_1008delTTTTT. Although rs145304567 affects the putative-binding site of microRNA (miRNA) -433, the allele distribution was similar in PD patients and controls, and the expression of SNCA mRNA was not related to the genotype. Furthermore, a regulatory effect of miRNA-433 on SNCA expression levels was not detected.
Project description:Human papillomavirus (HPV) positive head and neck cancer displayed specific transcription landscape but the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully determined. Here, we interestingly found that HPV infection could globally elongate the 3'-untranslated regions (3'UTRs) in the majority of alternative polyadenylation (APA)-containing genes. Counterintuitively, the 3'UTR elongation does not affect their resident gene expression. Rather, they significantly increase the number of binding sites for RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and subsequently upregulate a group of oncogenic genes by absorbing RBPs. A significant fraction of HPV affected genes are regulated through such mechanism that is 3'UTR-mediated recruitment of RBPs. As an example, we observed that HPV infection increases the length of 3'UTR of RBM25 transcript and hence recruits much more RNA binding protein including FUS and DGCR8. Consequently, in the absence of FUS and DGCR8 regulation, PD-1 was rescued and up-regulated after HPV infection. Taken together, our findings not only suggest a novel paradigm of how oncogenic viruses shape tumor transcriptome by modifying the 3'UTR, but also present a previously unrecognized layer of APA-RBP interplay in this molecular hierarchy. Modification of the pool of RBP-binding motif might expand our understandings into virus-associated carcinogenesis.