Beyond sequence homology: Cellular biology limits the potential of XIST to act as a miRNA sponge.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:The sponging of microRNAs by a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) away from their coding gene targets is a conceptually-simple, yet biologically-complex method of lncRNA-mediated gene regulation. Currently, predictions of genes that participate in sponge-based regulation are largely based on sequence homology alone, which may not adequately reflect the cellular environment in which lncRNA:miRNA pairs interact. The vast number of potential interactions generated by these predictions impedes the identification of functional gene regulatory relationships, which necessitates an approach that considers biological context. XIST, the female-specific lncRNA canonically involved in silencing the X chromosome, has been suggested by many studies to act as a miRNA sponge. The sex-specificity of XIST provides the opportunity to study the biological feasibility of proposed XIST-miRNA interactions. Here we take a comprehensive approach by considering factors that affect possible regulation through XIST-miRNA sponging. RESULTS:To identify the most feasible candidates in a particular tissue (lung adenocarcinomas), we considered protein-coding genes that (1) were positively correlated with XIST expression within sexes, (2) were targeted by miRNAs shared with XIST, and (3) expressed in lung adenocarcinoma. This revealed a robust set of 124 genes potentially positively regulated by XIST through the sequestration of 804 shared miRNAs. We then used the basic sex-specific nature of XIST to compare the changes in miRNA-target gene relationships in endogenously high-XIST and low-XIST systems to discover a high-confidence set of only 13 miRNA-gene pairs. As XIST is expressed exclusively in the nucleus, we validated the nuclear presence of several of these high-confidence miRNAs using RT-qPCR, confirming the co-localization required for XIST to interact with these species. CONCLUSIONS:We use a biology-driven approach to identify genes defended from miRNA-based inhibition by the lncRNA XIST. Importantly, we identify that only a small subset of miRNAs predicted by sequence homology alone have the capacity to mediate the XIST-target gene axis, as they are enriched in the nucleus and able to co-localize with XIST for sponging. Our results reinforce the necessary consideration of biological features in future studies of lncRNA:miRNA interactions.
Project description:Until now, existing methods for identifying lncRNA related miRNA sponge modules mainly rely on lncRNA related miRNA sponge interaction networks, which may not provide a full picture of miRNA sponging activities in biological conditions. Hence there is a strong need of new computational methods to identify lncRNA related miRNA sponge modules. In this work, we propose a framework, LMSM, to identify LncRNA related MiRNA Sponge Modules from heterogeneous data. To understand the miRNA sponging activities in biological conditions, LMSM uses gene expression data to evaluate the influence of the shared miRNAs on the clustered sponge lncRNAs and mRNAs. We have applied LMSM to the human breast cancer (BRCA) dataset from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). As a result, we have found that the majority of LMSM modules are significantly implicated in BRCA and most of them are BRCA subtype-specific. Most of the mediating miRNAs act as crosslinks across different LMSM modules, and all of LMSM modules are statistically significant. Multi-label classification analysis shows that the performance of LMSM modules is significantly higher than baseline's performance, indicating the biological meanings of LMSM modules in classifying BRCA subtypes. The consistent results suggest that LMSM is robust in identifying lncRNA related miRNA sponge modules. Moreover, LMSM can be used to predict miRNA targets. Finally, LMSM outperforms a graph clustering-based strategy in identifying BRCA-related modules. Altogether, our study shows that LMSM is a promising method to investigate modular regulatory mechanism of sponge lncRNAs from heterogeneous data.
Project description:X-inactive-specific transcript (XIST) is one of the firstly discovered long non-coding RNAs with prominent roles in the process of X inactivation. Moreover, this transcript contributes in the carcinogenic process in different tissues. In addition to interacting with chromatin modifying molecules, XIST can be served as a molecular sponge for miRNAs to modulate expression of miRNA targets. Most of the studies have indicated an oncogenic role for XIST. However, in prostate cancer, a single study has indicated a tumor suppressor role for this lncRNA. Similar result has been reported for XIST in oral squamous cell carcinoma. In hepatocellular carcinoma, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteosarcoma, and renal cell carcinoma, different studies have reported inconsistent results. In the present manuscript, we review function of XIST in the carcinogenesis.
Project description:Glioma is a worldwide malignancy, which displays significantly active metastasis and angiogenesis. Interaction between long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) has been shown to play crucial role in regulating tumor properties. However, the potential of lncRNA X-inactive specific transcript (XIST) to function as a miRNA regulator and its relevance in glioma tumorigenicity and angiogenesis have so far remained unclear. Expression analysis of lncRNA XIST in glioma cells revealed its significant up-regulation. Interestingly, silencing of XIST repressed both metastatic and pro-angiogenic ability in vitro as well as in vivo. Subsequent studies revealed that lncRNA XIST expression inversely correlated with miR-429 expression in glioma cells; miR-429 modulated XIST expression by directly targeting the XIST gene sequence. In addition, miR-429 inhibitor restored metastatic and pro-angiogenic ability of gliomas abolished by silencing XIST. Our data provide insight into the key roles of the lncRNA-miRNA functional network in gliomas, which can aid in developing new therapeutic strategies for gliomas through clinical trials.
Project description:Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a class of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by genetic and environmental risk factors. The pathogenesis of ASD has a strong genetic basis, consisting of rare de novo or inherited variants among a variety of multiple molecules. Previous studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in neurogenesis and brain development and are closely associated with the pathogenesis of ASD. However, the regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs in ASD are largely unclear. In this work, we present a stepwise method, ASDmiR, for the identification of underlying pathogenic genes, networks, and modules associated with ASD. First, we conduct a comparison study on 12 miRNA target prediction methods by using the matched miRNA, lncRNA, and mRNA expression data in ASD. In terms of the number of experimentally confirmed miRNA-target interactions predicted by each method, we choose the best method for identifying miRNA-target regulatory network. Based on the miRNA-target interaction network identified by the best method, we further infer miRNA-target regulatory bicliques or modules. In addition, by integrating high-confidence miRNA-target interactions and gene expression data, we identify three types of networks, including lncRNA-lncRNA, lncRNA-mRNA, and mRNA-mRNA related miRNA sponge interaction networks. To reveal the community of miRNA sponges, we further infer miRNA sponge modules from the identified miRNA sponge interaction network. Functional analysis results show that the identified hub genes, as well as miRNA-associated networks and modules, are closely linked with ASD. ASDmiR is freely available at https://github.com/chenchenxiong/ASDmiR.
Project description:Recent studies have suggested that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) can interact with microRNAs (miRNAs) and indirectly regulate miRNA targets though competing interactions. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions are still largely unknown. In this study, these lncRNA-miRNA-gene interactions were defined as lncRNA-associated competing triplets (LncACTs), and an integrated pipeline was developed to identify lncACTs that are active in cancer. Competing lncRNAs had sponge features distinct from non-competing lncRNAs. In the lncACT cross-talk network, disease-associated lncRNAs, miRNAs and coding-genes showed specific topological patterns indicative of their competence and control of communication within the network. The construction of global competing activity profiles revealed that lncACTs had high activity specific to cancers. Analyses of clustered lncACTs revealed that they were enriched in various cancer-related biological processes. Based on the global cross-talk network and cluster analyses, nine cancer-specific sub-networks were constructed. H19- and BRCA1/2-associated lncACTs were able to discriminate between two groups of patients with different clinical outcomes. Disease-associated lncACTs also showed variable competing patterns across normal and cancer patient samples. In summary, this study uncovered and systematically characterized global properties of human lncACTs that may have prognostic value for predicting clinical outcome in cancer patients.
Project description:Background:The abnormal expression of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), such as microRNAs and long ncRNAs, often contribute to the development of cancers. miR-200c functions as a tumour suppressor that impacts the growth of bladder cancer cells and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). LncRNA X inactive specific transcript (XIST) is highly expressed in tumour tissues, promotes cancer progression and might act as an miRNA molecular sponge. This study aimed to examine the relationship between lncRNA XIST and miR-200c and to assess their functions in the regulation of the stemness properties and tumourigenicity of human bladder cancer stem cell (BCSC)-like cells. Methods:Biological effects including cell clone formation, sphere formation, self-renewal properties and mouse tumourigenesis were examined in BCSC-like cells with miR-200c overexpression or XIST knockdown. Real-time PCR and western blotting were used to detect the expression changing of related factors in BCSC-like cells gene models. Dual luciferase reporter assay was used to examine the changes of XIST and miR-200c expression levels. Results:The results indicated that miR-200c overexpression and XIST knockdown could inhibit cell clone formation, self-renewal ability and EMT in BCSC-like cells. miR-200c knockdown could restore the tumour growth inhibition caused by XIST knockdown. Conclusion:LncRNA XIST may act as an inhibitor of miR-200c to regulate the stemness properties and tumourigenicity of bladder cancer cells, and our findings might reveal a potential strategy of targeting XIST for bladder cancer therapy.
Project description:Non-coding RNAs represent the largest part of transcribed mammalian genomes and prevalently exert regulatory functions. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) can modulate the activity of each other. Skeletal muscle is the most abundant tissue in mammals. It is composed of different cell types with myofibers that represent the smallest complete contractile system. Considering that lncRNAs and miRNAs are more cell type-specific than coding RNAs, to understand their function it is imperative to evaluate their expression and action within single myofibers. In this database, we collected gene expression data for coding and non-coding genes in single myofibers and used them to produce interaction networks based on expression correlations. Since biological pathways are more informative than networks based on gene expression correlation, to understand how altered genes participate in the studied phenotype, we integrated KEGG pathways with miRNAs and lncRNAs. The database also integrates single nucleus gene expression data on skeletal muscle in different patho-physiological conditions. We demonstrated that these networks can serve as a framework from which to dissect new miRNA and lncRNA functions to experimentally validate. Some interactions included in the database have been previously experimentally validated using high throughput methods. These can be the basis for further functional studies. Using database information, we demonstrate the involvement of miR-149, -214 and let-7e in mitochondria shaping; the ability of the lncRNA Pvt1 to mitigate the action of miR-27a via sponging; and the regulatory activity of miR-214 on Sox6 and Slc16a3. The MyoData is available at https://myodata.bio.unipd.it.
Project description:MOTIVATION:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important non-coding post-transcriptional regulators that are involved in many biological processes and human diseases. Individual miRNAs may regulate hundreds of genes, giving rise to a complex gene regulatory network in which transcripts carrying miRNA binding sites act as competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs). Several methods for the analysis of ceRNA interactions exist, but these do often not adjust for statistical confounders or address the problem that more than one miRNA interacts with a target transcript. RESULTS:We present SPONGE, a method for the fast construction of ceRNA networks. SPONGE uses 'multiple sensitivity correlation', a newly defined measure for which we can estimate a distribution under a null hypothesis. SPONGE can accurately quantify the contribution of multiple miRNAs to a ceRNA interaction with a probabilistic model that addresses previously neglected confounding factors and allows fast P-value calculation, thus outperforming existing approaches. We applied SPONGE to paired miRNA and gene expression data from The Cancer Genome Atlas for studying global effects of miRNA-mediated cross-talk. Our results highlight already established and novel protein-coding and non-coding ceRNAs which could serve as biomarkers in cancer. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION:SPONGE is available as an R/Bioconductor package (doi: 10.18129/B9.bioc.SPONGE). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Thyroid cancer is one of the most prevalent malignancies in endocrine system. Further understanding and revealing the molecular mechanism underlying thyroid cancer are indispensable for the development of effective diagnosis and treatments. In the present study, we attempted to provide novel basis for targeted therapy for thyroid cancer from the aspect of lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA interaction.<h4>Methods</h4>The expression and cellular function of XIST (X-inactive specific transcript) was determined. miRNAs which may be direct targets of XIST were screened for from online GEO database and miR-34a was selected. Next, the predicted binding between XIST and miR-34a, and the dynamic effect of XIST and miR-34a on downstream MET (hepatocyte growth factor receptor)-PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase)-AKT (?-serine/threonine-protein kinase) signaling was evaluated.<h4>Results</h4>XIST was significantly up-regulated in thyroid cancer tissues and cell lines; XIST knockdown suppressed the cell proliferation in vivo and the tumor growth in vitro. Based on online database and online tool prediction results, miR-34a was underexpressed in thyroid cancer and might be a direct target of XIST. Herein, we confirmed the negative interaction between XIST and miR-34a; moreover, XIST knockdown could reduce the protein levels of MET, a downstream target of miR-34a, and the phosphorylation of PI3K and AKT. In thyroid cancer tissues, MET mRNA and protein levels of MET were up-regulated; MET was positively correlated with XIST while negatively correlated with miR-34a, further confirming that XIST serves as a ceRNA for miR-34a through sponging miR-34a, competing with MET for miR-34a binding, and finally modulating thyroid cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth.<h4>Conclusion</h4>In the present study, we provided novel experimental basis for targeted therapy for thyroid cancer from the aspect of lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA interaction.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To reveal the involvement of molecules in the pathogenesis of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) by bioinformatics analyses. METHODS:The microarray data of B-ALL were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database and Qlucore Omics Explorer software was used to screen differentially expressed miRNA. Based on the differentially expressed miRNAs, we predicted the target genes, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA) and transcription factors (TFs). Then we constructed the miRNAs-centered comprehensive regulatory network. In addition, we performed functional enrichment analysis to analyze the functions of target genes. RESULTS:Of all the 15 differentially expressed miRNAs, 7 miRNAs were of overexpression, 8 miRNAs underexpressed. From the miRNAs comprehensive regulatory network, we found that hsa-miR-486-3p and hsa-miR-126 regulated a large number of target genes, hsa-miR-126 including target genes MYC. The hsa-miR-29a, hsa-miR-130a and hsa-miR-181c regu- lated a lot of lncRNAs containing X-inactive-specific transcript (XIST). The hsa-miR-181a-2, hsa-miR- 181b-2 and hsa-miR-663 were regulated by a host of TFs including caudal- related homeobox transcription fact2 (CDX2). Additionally, the target genes of has-miR-126 were enriched in Wnt pathways. CONCLUSIONS:The expression of hsa-miR-29a , hsa-miR-126 and has-miR-181 family were significantly different in B-ALL. Target gene of MYC, TFs of CDX2 and lncRNA of XIST may play important roles in the development of B-ALL, serving as a potential therapeutic target.