Age- and sex-dependent changes in levels of circulating brain-enriched microRNAs during normal aging.
ABSTRACT: Aging is a major risk factor for many common and life-threatening pathologies. The development of reliable biomarkers of aging should lead to a better understanding of aging-associated processes and facilitate the development of therapeutic regimens that delay aging. Levels of 38 brain-enriched microRNAs (miRNA) circulating in plasma were measured by quantitative RT-PCR in two age groups: 26-35 and 56-65 years old. An miRNA-pair approach was used for data normalization and determination of effective miRNA biomarker ratios. Nineteen miRNAs, comprising miRNA pairs and pair combinations (classifiers) that effectively differentiated the age and sex (individual pairs: 74-95% and 68-95%, respectively; classifiers: up to 100% accuracy) groups, were selected for further analysis of plasma samples from 5 donor age groups: 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56-65 and 66-75 years old. Dynamic changes in the plasma concentrations of certain miRNAs occurred at different ages in females and males, with peaks in the 46-55-year-old and 56-65-year-old groups, respectively. This finding suggests that the changes in miRNA levels can reflect centrally regulated processes, including changes in hormone levels during menopause. Certain miRNAs and miRNA pairs correlated with age in the sex-stratified groups at different ages and should be investigated further as potentially promising biomarkers of brain aging.
Project description:Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the X-linked gene MECP2 (methyl-CpG-binding protein 2). Minimally invasive and accurate biomarkers of disease progression and treatment response could facilitate screening of therapeutic compounds in animal models, enrollment of better-defined participants into clinical trials, and treatment monitoring. In this study, we used a targeted approach based on analysis of brain-enriched microRNAs (miRNAs) circulating in plasma to identify miRNA biomarkers of RTT using Mecp2-mutant mice as a model system and human plasma samples. An "miRNA pair" approach, i.e. the ratio between two miRNAs, was used for data normalization. Specific miRNA pairs and their combinations (classifiers) analyzed in plasma differentiated wild-type from Mecp2 male and female mice with >90% accuracy. Individual miRNA pairs were more effective in distinguishing male (homozygous) animals than female (heterozygous) animals, suggesting that disease severity correlated with the levels of the miRNA biomarkers. In the human study, 30 RTT patients were compared with age-matched controls. The results of this study showed that miRNA classifiers were able to differentiate RTT patients from controls with 85-100% sensitivity. In addition, a comparison of various age groups demonstrated that the dynamics in levels of miRNAs appear to be associated with disease development (involvement of liver, muscle and lipid metabolism in the pathology). Importantly, certain miRNA biomarker pairs were common to both the animal models and human subjects, indicating the similarity between the underlying pathological processes. The data generated in this feasibility study suggest that circulating miRNAs have the potential to be developed as markers of RTT progression and treatment response. Larger clinical studies are needed to further evaluate the findings presented here.
Project description:Backgroud:It has been shown that aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) and transcriptional factors (TFs) is tightly associated with the development of HCC. Therefore, in order to further understand the pathogenesis of HCC, it is necessary to systematically study the relationship between the expression of miRNAs, TF and genes. In this study, we aim to identify the potential transcriptomic markers of HCC through analyzing common microarray datasets, and further establish the differential co-expression network of miRNAs-TF-mRNA to screen for key miRNAs as candidate diagnostic markers for HCC. Method:We first downloaded the mRNA and miRNA expression profiles of liver cancer from the GEO database. After pretreatment, we used a linear model to screen for differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and miRNAs. Further, we used weighed gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) to construct the differential gene co-expression network for these DEGs. Next, we identified mRNA modules significantly related to tumorigenesis in this network, and evaluated the relationship between mRNAs and TFs by TFBtools. Finally, the key miRNA was screened out in the mRNA-TF-miRNA ternary network constructed based on the target TF of differentially expressed miRNAs, and was further verified with external data set. Results:A total of 465 DEGs and 215 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified through differential genes expression analysis, and WGCNA was used to establish a co-expression network of DEGs. One module that closely related to tumorigenesis was obtained, including 33 genes. Next, a ternary network was constructed by selecting 256 pairs of mRNA-TF pairs and 100 pairs of miRNA-TF pairs. Network mining revealed that there were significant interactions between 18 mRNAs and 25 miRNAs. Finally, we used another independent data set to verify that miRNA hsa-mir-106b and hsa-mir-195 are good classifiers of HCC and might play key roles in the progression of HCC. Conclusion:Our data indicated that two miRNAs-hsa-mir-106b and hsa-mir-195-are identified as good classifiers of HCC.
Project description:The knowledge about plant miRNAs has increased exponentially, with thousands of miRNAs been reported in different plant taxa using high throughput sequencing technologies and bioinformatic tools. Nevertheless, several groups of plants remain unexplored, and the gap of knowledge about conifer miRNAs is considerable. There is no sequence or functional information available on miRNAs in Araucariaceae. This group is represented in Brazil by only one species, Araucaria angustifolia, an endangered species known as Brazilian pine. In the present study, Brazilian pine has its transcriptome explored with respect to small RNAs, representing the first description in a member of the Araucariaceae family. The screening for conserved miRNAs in Brazilian pine revealed 115 sequences of 30 miRNA families. A total of 106 precursors sequences were predicted. Forty one comprised conserved miRNAs from 16 families, whereas 65 were annotated as novel miRNAs. The comparison of Brazilian pine precursors with sRNA libraries of other five conifer species indicates that 9 out 65 novel miRNAs are conserved among gymnosperms, while 56 seems to be specific for Brazilian pine or restricted to Araucariaceae family. Analysis comparing novel Brazilian pine miRNAs precursors and Araucaria cunninghamii RNA-seq data identified seven orthologs between both species. Mature miRNA identified by bioinformatics predictions were validated using stem-loop RT-qPCR assays. The expression pattern of conserved and novel miRNAs was analyzed in five different tissues of 3-month-old Araucaria seedlings. The present study provides insights about the nature and composition of miRNAs in an Araucariaceae species, with valuable information on miRNAs diversity and conservation in this taxon.
Project description:Purpose:To identify changes induced by environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in circulatory microRNA (miRNA) in plasma and ocular fluids of the Rhesus macaque and compare these changes to normal age-related changes. Tobacco smoke has been identified as the leading environmental risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Methods:All Rhesus macaques were housed at the California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC), University of California, Davis. Four groups of animals were used: Group 1 (1-3 years old), Group 2 (19-28 years old), Group 3 (10-16 years old), and Group 4 (middle aged, 9-14 years old). Group 4 was exposed to smoke for 1 month. Ocular fluids and plasma samples were collected, miRNAs isolated, and expression data obtained using Affymetrix miRNA GeneTitan Array Plates 4.0. Bioinformatics analysis was done on the Affymetrix Expression Console (EC), Transcriptome Analysis Software (TAS) using ANOVA for candidate miRNA selection, followed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Results:The expression of circulatory miRNAs showed statistically significant changes with age and ETS. In the plasma samples, 45 miRNAs were strongly upregulated (fold change >±1.5, p<0.05) upon ETS exposure. In the vitreous, three miRNAs were statistically significantly downregulated with ETS, and two of them (miR-6794 and miR-6790) were also statistically significantly downregulated with age. Some retinal layers exhibited a thinning trend measured with optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging. The pathways activated were IL-17A, VEGF, and recruitment of eosinophils, Th2 lymphocytes, and macrophages. Conclusions:ETS exposure of Rhesus macaques resulted in statistically significant changes in the expression of the circulatory miRNAs, distinct from those affected by aging. The pathways activated appear to be common for ETS and AMD pathogenesis. These data will be used to develop an animal model of early dry AMD.
Project description:Older individuals have a reduced capacity to induce muscle hypertrophy with resistance exercise (RE), which may contribute to the age-induced loss of muscle mass and function, sarcopenia. We tested the novel hypothesis that dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) may contribute to reduced muscle plasticity with aging. Skeletal muscle expression profiling of protein-coding genes and miRNA was performed in younger (YNG) and older (OLD) men after an acute bout of RE. 21 miRNAs were altered by RE in YNG men, while no RE-induced changes in miRNA expression were observed in OLD men. This striking absence in miRNA regulation in OLD men was associated with blunted transcription of mRNAs, with only 42 genes altered in OLD men vs. 175 in YNG men following RE, demonstrating a reduced adaptability of aging muscle to exercise. Integrated bioinformatics analysis identified miR-126 as an important regulator of the transcriptional response to exercise and reduced lean mass in OLD men. Manipulation of miR-126 levels in myocytes, in vitro, revealed its direct effects on the expression of regulators of skeletal muscle growth and activation of insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling. This work identifies a mechanistic role of miRNA in the adaptation of muscle to anabolic stimulation and reveals a significant impairment in exercise-induced miRNA/mRNA regulation with aging.
Project description:One of the most prominent immunological changes during human aging is the alteration in CD8 T-cell subset distribution, predominated by a loss of naïve CD8 T cells. The molecular mechanisms that contribute to the loss of naïve CD8 T-cells during aging remain unclear. Considering that many CD8 T-cell functions are influenced by microRNAs (miRNAs), we explored miRNA expression profiling to identify novel dysfunctions that contribute to naïve CD8 T-cell loss during aging. Here, we describe age-dependent miRNA expression changes in naïve, central memory, and effector memory CD8 T-cell subsets. Changes in old naïve CD8 T-cells partially resembled those driven by an underlying shift in cellular differentiation toward a young central memory phenotype. Pathways enriched for targets of age-dependent miRNAs included FOXO1, NF-?B, and PI3K-AKT signaling. Transcriptome analysis of old naïve CD8 T-cells yielded corresponding patterns that correlated to those seen with reduced FOXO1 or altered NF-?B activities. Of particular interest, IL-7R expression, controlled by FOXO1 signaling, declines on naïve CD8 T cells with age and directly correlates with the frequencies of naïve CD8 T cells. Thus, age-associated changes in miRNA networks may ultimately contribute to the failure in CD8 T-cell homeostasis exemplified by the loss in naïve cells.
Project description:As increasing experimental studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) are closely related to multiple biological processes and the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human diseases, a growing number of researchers are focusing on the identification of associations between miRNAs and diseases. Identifying such associations purely via experiments is costly and demanding, which prompts researchers to develop computational methods to complement the experiments. In this paper, a novel prediction model named Ensemble of Kernel Ridge Regression based MiRNA-Disease Association prediction (EKRRMDA) was developed. EKRRMDA obtained features of miRNAs and diseases by integrating the disease semantic similarity, the miRNA functional similarity and the Gaussian interaction profile kernel similarity for diseases and miRNAs. Under the computational framework that utilized ensemble learning and feature dimensionality reduction, multiple base classifiers that combined two Kernel Ridge Regression classifiers from the miRNA side and disease side, respectively, were obtained based on random selection of features. Then average strategy for these base classifiers was adopted to obtain final association scores of miRNA-disease pairs. In the global and local leave-one-out cross validation, EKRRMDA attained the AUCs of 0.9314 and 0.8618, respectively. Moreover, the model's average AUC with standard deviation in 5-fold cross validation was 0.9275 ± 0.0008. In addition, we implemented three different types of case studies on predicting miRNAs associated with five important diseases. As a result, there were 90% (Esophageal Neoplasms), 86% (Kidney Neoplasms), 86% (Lymphoma), 98% (Lung Neoplasms), and 96% (Breast Neoplasms) of the top 50 predicted miRNAs verified to have associations with these diseases.
Project description:Recent evidence supports a role for microRNAs (miRNAs) in regulating the life span of model organisms. However, little is known about how these small RNAs contribute to human aging. Here, we profiled the expression of over 800 miRNAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from young and old individuals by real-time RT-PCR analysis. This genome-wide assessment of miRNA expression revealed that the majority of miRNAs studied decreased in abundance with age. We identified nine miRNAs (miR-103, miR-107, miR-128, miR-130a, miR-155, miR-24, miR-221, miR-496, miR-1538) that were significantly lower in older individuals. Among them, five have been implicated in cancer pathogenesis. Predicted targets of several of these miRNAs, including PI3 kinase (PI3K), c-Kit and H2AX, were found to be elevated with advancing age, supporting a possible role for them in the aging process. Furthermore, we found that decreasing the levels of miR-221 was sufficient to cause a corresponding increase in the expression of the predicted target, PI3K. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that changes in miRNA expression occur with human aging and suggest that miRNAs and their predicted targets have the potential to be diagnostic indicators of age or age-related diseases.
Project description:The Ames dwarf (df/df) mice have extended longevity and can preserve the ovarian reserve longer than Normal (N) mice. Based on this, the aim of our study was to evaluate the ovarian microRNA (miRNA) profile in young and aged df/df and N mice. Ovarian tissue was collected at 5-6 months and at 21-22 months of age for miRNA sequencing. We detected a total of 404 miRNAs in the ovarian samples, from which the abundance of 22 and 33 miRNAs changed with age in N and df/df mice, respectively. Of these, only three miRNAs were commonly regulated with age between N and df/df mice, indicating a very divergent miRNA profile between genotypes. We also detected that 46 miRNAs were regulated between N and df/df mice, of which 23 were regulated exclusively in young mice, 12 exclusively in old mice and 12 commonly regulated at young and old ages. Many genes likely to be targeted by these miRNAs are involved in the FoxO, mTOR, PI3k/Akt and insulin signaling pathways. These results suggest that the aging process has a differential impact on the ovarian miRNA profile in df/df mice, and suggest that these miRNAs can be central players in the maintenance of a younger ovarian phenotype.
Project description:Recent studies have shown a role for miRNAs in aging and age-related diseases, and the modulation of miRNA expression by diet attracts attention as a new therapeutic strategy. Here, we focused on identifying specific exosomal miRNAs derived from serum of aged rats and the effect of short-term calorie restriction (CR) on their expression. Exosomes from serum of young (7-month), old (22-month), and old-CR Sprague Dawley rats were isolated and characterized by transmission electron microscopy analyses, dynamic light scattering measurements, and Western blotting. A total of 12 significantly expressed miRNAs in serum exosomes of young and old rats were identified by next generation sequencing. After analysis of qRT-PCR, we found that miR-500-3p and miR-770-3p expression was significantly upregulated by aging and downregulated by CR. Furthermore, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve revealed that the selected miRNAs represented high accuracy in discriminating old rats from young rats. Finally, PANTHER analysis predicted selected miRNAs targets genes involved in Wnt/chemokines and cytokines -related inflammatory signaling pathway and function as transcription factor. In conclusion, our results suggest that the expression of serum exosomal miR-500-3p and miR-770-3p was significantly increased with aging, whereas these were decreased by CR, and age-/CR-modulated exosomal miR-500-3p and miR-770-3p could potentially be used as informative biomarkers candidates for aging.