AZIN1 RNA editing confers cancer stemness and enhances oncogenic potential in colorectal cancer.
ABSTRACT: Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, a process mediated by adenosine deaminases that act on the RNA (ADAR) gene family, is a recently discovered epigenetic modification dysregulated in human cancers. However, the clinical significance and the functional role of RNA editing in colorectal cancer (CRC) remain unclear. We have systematically and comprehensively investigated the significance of the expression status of ADAR1 and of the RNA editing levels of antizyme inhibitor 1 (AZIN1), one of the most frequently edited genes in cancers, in 392 colorectal tissues from multiple independent CRC patient cohorts. Both ADAR1 expression and AZIN1 RNA editing levels were significantly elevated in CRC tissues when compared with corresponding normal mucosa. High levels of AZIN1 RNA editing emerged as a prognostic factor for overall survival and disease-free survival and were an independent risk factor for lymph node and distant metastasis. Furthermore, elevated AZIN1 editing identified high-risk stage II CRC patients. Mechanistically, edited AZIN1 enhances stemness and appears to drive the metastatic processes. We have demonstrated that edited AZIN1 functions as an oncogene and a potential therapeutic target in CRC. Moreover, AZIN1 RNA editing status could be used as a clinically relevant prognostic indicator in CRC patients.
Project description:Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is a recently described epigenetic modification, which is believed to constitute a key oncogenic mechanism in human cancers. However, its functional role in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) within the tumor microenvironment (TME) and its clinical significance remains unclear. Herein, we systematically analyzed a large cohort of 627 colorectal cancer (CRC) specimens, and investigated the expression pattern of ADAR1 and its biological significance on the antizyme inhibitor 1 (AZIN1) RNA editing levels. Both ADAR1 expression and AZIN1 RNA editing levels were significantly elevated in CRC tissues vs. normal mucosa, and these findings correlated with the increased expression of mesenchymal markers, Vimentin (??=?0.44) and Fibroblast activation protein (??=?0.38). Intriguingly, ADAR1 expression was specifically upregulated in both cancer cells and fibroblasts from cancerous lesions. Conditioned medium from cancer cells led to induction of ADAR1 expression and activation of AZIN1 RNA editing in fibroblasts (p?<?0.05). Additionally, edited AZIN1 enhanced the invasive potential of fibroblasts. In conclusion, we provide novel evidence that hyper-editing of AZIN1 enhances the invasive potential of CAFs within the TME in colon and is an important predictor of tumor invasiveness in CRC.
Project description:A better understanding of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) pathogenesis at the molecular level will facilitate the discovery of tumor-initiating events. Transcriptome sequencing revealed that adenosine-to-inosine (A?I) RNA editing of AZIN1 (encoding antizyme inhibitor 1) is increased in HCC specimens. A?I editing of AZIN1 transcripts, specifically regulated by ADAR1 (encoding adenosine deaminase acting on RNA-1), results in a serine-to-glycine substitution at residue 367 of AZIN1, located in ?-strand 15 (?15) and predicted to cause a conformational change, induced a cytoplasmic-to-nuclear translocation and conferred gain-of-function phenotypes that were manifested by augmented tumor-initiating potential and more aggressive behavior. Compared with wild-type AZIN1 protein, the edited form has a stronger affinity to antizyme, and the resultant higher AZIN1 protein stability promotes cell proliferation through the neutralization of antizyme-mediated degradation of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) and cyclin D1 (CCND1). Collectively, A?I RNA editing of AZIN1 may be a potential driver in the pathogenesis of human cancers, particularly HCC.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is catalyzed by adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes. Recent evidence suggests that RNA editing of antizyme inhibitor 1 (AZIN1) RNA is emerging as a key epigenetic alteration underlying cancer pathogenesis. METHODS:We evaluated AZIN1 RNA editing levels, and the expression of its regulator, ADAR1, in 280 gastric tissues from 140 patients, using a RNA editing site-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays. We also analyzed the clinical significance of these results as disease biomarkers in gastric cancer (GC) patients. RESULTS:Both AZIN1 RNA editing levels and ADAR1 expression were significantly elevated in GC tissues compared with matched normal mucosa (P?<?0.0001, 0.0008, respectively); and AZIN1 RNA editing was positively correlated with ADAR1 expression. Elevated expression of ADAR1 significantly correlated with poor overall survival (P?=?0.034), while hyper-edited AZIN1 emerged as an independent prognostic factor for OS and disease-free survival in GC patients [odds ratio (OR):1.98, 95% CI 1.17-3.35, P?=?0.011, OR: 4.55, 95% CI 2.12-9.78, P?=?0.0001, respectively]. Increased AZIN1 RNA editing and ADAR1 over-expression were significantly correlated with key clinicopathological factors, such as advanced T stage, presence of lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, and higher TNM stages in GC patients. Logistic regression analysis revealed that hyper-editing status of AZIN1 RNA was an independent risk factor for lymph node metastasis in GC patients [hazard ratio (HR):3.03, 95% CI 1.19-7.71, P?=?0.02]. CONCLUSIONS:AZIN1 RNA editing levels may be an important prognostic biomarker in GC patients, and may serve as a key clinical decision-making tool for determining preoperative treatment strategies in GC patients.
Project description:Among several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that correlate with fibrosis progression in chronic HCV, an SNP in the antizyme inhibitor (AzI) gene is most strongly associated with slow fibrosis progression. Our aim was to identify the mechanism(s) underlying this observation by exploring the impact of the AzI SNP on hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activity. Seven novel AZIN1 splice variants ("SV2-8") were cloned by polymerase chain reaction from the LX2 human HSC line. Expression of a minigene in LX2 containing the AZIN1 slow-fibrosis SNP yielded a 1.67-fold increase in AZIN1 splice variant 2 (AZIN1 SV2) messenger RNA (mRNA) (P = 0.05). In healthy human leukocytes, the SNP variant also correlated with significantly increased SV2 mRNA. Cells (293T) transfected with short hairpin RNA (shRNA) complementary to the exonic splicing chaperone SRp40 expressed 30% less SRp40 (P = 0.044) and 43% more AzI SV2 (P = 0.021) than control shRNA-expressing cells, mimicking the effect of the sequence variant. LX2 cells transfected with AZIN1 full-length complementary DNA expressed 35% less collagen I mRNA (P = 0.09) and 18% less ?-smooth muscle actin mRNA (P = 0.09). Transient transfection of AZIN1 SV2 complementary DNA into LX2 cells reduced collagen I gene expression by 64% (P = 0.001) and ?-smooth muscle actin by 43% (P = 0.005) compared to vector-transfected controls, paralleling changes in protein expression. Both AZIN1 and AZIN-SV2 mRNAs are detectable in normal human liver and reduced in HCV cirrhotic livers. The AZIN1-SV2 acts via a polyamine-independent pathway, as it neither interacts with antizyme nor affects the ability of AZIN1 lacking this variant to neutralize antizyme.An SNP variant in the AZIN1 gene leads to enhanced generation of a novel alternative splice form that modifies the fibrogenic potential of HSCs.
Project description:RNA editing catalyzed by ADAR1 and ADAR2 involves the site-specific conversion of adenosine to inosine within imperfectly duplexed RNA. ADAR1- and ADAR2-mediated editing occurs within transcripts of glutamate receptors (GluR) in the brain and in hepatitis delta virus (HDV) RNA in the liver. Although the Q/R site within the GluR-B premessage is edited more efficiently by ADAR2 than it is by ADAR1, the converse is true for the +60 site within this same transcript. ADAR1 and ADAR2 are homologs having two common functional regions, an N-terminal double-stranded RNA-binding domain and a C-terminal deaminase domain. It is neither understood why only certain adenosines within a substrate molecule serve as targets for ADARs, nor is it known which domain of an ADAR confers its specificity for particular editing sites. To assess the importance of several aspects of RNA sequence and structure on editing, we evaluated 20 different mutated substrates, derived from four editing sites, for their ability to be edited by either ADAR1 or ADAR2. We found that when these derivatives contained an A:C mismatch at the editing site, editing by both ADARs was enhanced compared to when A:A or A:G mismatches or A:U base pairs occurred at the same site. Hence substrate recognition and/or catalysis by ADARs could involve the base that opposes the edited adenosine. In addition, by using protein chimeras in which the deaminase domains were exchanged between ADAR1 and ADAR2, we found that this domain played a dominant role in defining the substrate specificity of the resulting enzyme.
Project description:Adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADAR1 and ADAR2) are human RNA-editing adenosine deaminases responsible for the conversion of adenosine to inosine at specific locations in cellular RNAs. Since inosine is recognized during translation as guanosine, this often results in the expression of protein sequences different from those encoded in the genome. While our knowledge of the ADAR2 structure and catalytic mechanism has grown over the years, our knowledge of ADAR1 has lagged. This is due, at least in part, to the lack of well defined, small RNA substrates useful for mechanistic studies of ADAR1. Here, we describe an ADAR1 substrate RNA that can be prepared by a combination of chemical synthesis and enzymatic ligation. Incorporation of adenosine analogs into this RNA and analysis of the rate of ADAR1 catalyzed deamination revealed similarities and differences in the way the ADARs recognize the edited nucleotide. Importantly, ADAR1 is more dependent than ADAR2 on the presence of N7 in the edited base. This difference between ADAR1 and ADAR2 appears to be dependent on the identity of a single amino acid residue near the active site. Thus, this work provides an important starting point in defining mechanistic differences between two functionally distinct human RNA editing ADARs.
Project description:Adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADARs) are involved in editing of adenosine residues to inosine in double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although this editing recodes and alters functions of several mammalian genes, its most common targets are noncoding repeat sequences, indicating the involvement of this editing system in currently unknown functions other than recoding of protein sequences. Here we show that specific adenosine residues of certain microRNA (miRNA) precursors are edited by ADAR1 and ADAR2. Editing of pri-miR-142, the precursor of miRNA-142, expressed in hematopoietic tissues, resulted in suppression of its processing by Drosha. The edited pri-miR-142 was degraded by Tudor-SN, a component of RISC and also a ribonuclease specific to inosine-containing dsRNAs. Consequently, mature miRNA-142 expression levels increased substantially in ADAR1 null or ADAR2 null mice. Our results demonstrate a new function of RNA editing in the control of miRNA biogenesis.
Project description:Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) plays a key role in folate metabolism and is a target molecule of methotrexate. An increase in the cellular expression level of DHFR is one of the mechanisms of tumor resistance to methotrexate. The present study investigated the possibility that adenosine-to-inosine RNA editing, which causes nucleotide conversion by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) enzymes, might modulate DHFR expression. In human breast adenocarcinoma-derived MCF-7 cells, 26 RNA editing sites were identified in the 3'-UTR of DHFR. Knockdown of ADAR1 decreased the RNA editing levels of DHFR and resulted in a decrease in the DHFR mRNA and protein levels, indicating that ADAR1 up-regulates DHFR expression. Using a computational analysis, miR-25-3p and miR-125a-3p were predicted to bind to the non-edited 3'-UTR of DHFR but not to the edited sequence. The decrease in DHFR expression by the knockdown of ADAR1 was restored by transfection of antisense oligonucleotides for these miRNAs, suggesting that RNA editing mediated up-regulation of DHFR requires the function of these miRNAs. Interestingly, we observed that the knockdown of ADAR1 decreased cell viability and increased the sensitivity of MCF-7 cells to methotrexate. ADAR1 expression levels and the RNA editing levels in the 3'-UTR of DHFR in breast cancer tissues were higher than those in adjacent normal tissues. Collectively, the present study demonstrated that ADAR1 positively regulates the expression of DHFR by editing the miR-25-3p and miR-125a-3p binding sites in the 3'-UTR of DHFR, enhancing cellular proliferation and resistance to methotrexate.
Project description:The RNA-specific adenosine deaminase (ADAR1) and the RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) are both interferon-inducible double-stranded (ds) RNA-binding proteins. ADAR1, an RNA editing enzyme that converts adenosine to inosine, possesses three copies of a dsRNA-binding motif (dsRBM). PKR, a regulator of translation, has two copies of the highly conserved dsRBM motif. To assess the functional selectivity of the dsRBM motifs in ADAR1, we constructed and characterized chimeric proteins in which the dsRBMs of ADAR1 were substituted with those of PKR. Recombinant PKR-ADAR1 chimeras retained significant RNA adenosine deaminase activity measured with a synthetic dsRNA substrate when the spacer region between the RNA-binding and catalytic domains of the deaminase was exactly preserved. However, with natural substrates, substitution of the first two dsRBMs of ADAR1 with those from PKR dramatically reduced site-selective editing activity at the R/G and (+)60 sites of the glutamate receptor B subunit pre-RNA and completely abolished editing of the serotonin 2C receptor (5-HT(2C)R) pre-RNA at the A site. Chimeric deaminases possessing only the two dsRBMs from PKR were incapable of editing either glutamate receptor B subunit or 5-HT(2C)R natural sites but edited synthetic dsRNA. Finally, RNA antagonists of PKR significantly inhibited the activity of chimeric PKR-ADAR1 proteins relative to wild-type ADAR1, further demonstrating the functional selectivity of the dsRBM motifs.
Project description:RNA editing changes the read-out of genetic information, increasing the number of different protein products that can be made from a single gene. One form involves the deamination of adenosine to form inosine, which is subsequently translated as guanosine. The reaction requires a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) substrate and is catalyzed by the adenosine deaminase that act on dsRNA (ADAR) family of enzymes. These enzymes possess dsRNA-binding domains (DRBM) and a catalytic domain. ADAR1 so far has been found only in vertebrates and is characterized by two Z-DNA-binding motifs, the biological function of which remains unknown. Here the role of the various functional domains of ADAR1 in determining the editing efficiency and specificity of ADAR1 is examined in cell-based assays. A variety of dsRNA substrates was tested. It was found that a 15-bp dsRNA stem with a single base mismatch was sufficient for editing. The particular adenosine modified could be varied by changing the position of the mismatch. Editing efficiency could be increased by placing multiple pyrimidines 5' to the edited adenosine. With longer substrates, editing efficiency also increased and was partly due to the use of DRBMs. Additional editing sites were also observed that clustered on the complementary strand 11-15 bp from the first. An unexpected finding was that the DRBMs are not necessary for the editing of the shorter 15-bp substrates. However, mutation of the Z-DNA-binding domains of ADAR1 decreased the efficiency with which such a substrate was edited.