Identifying Structural Domains and Conserved Regions in the Long Non-Coding RNA lncTCF7.
ABSTRACT: Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) biology is a rapidly growing area of study. Thousands of lncRNAs are implicated as key players in cellular pathways and cancer biology. However, the structure-function relationships of these novel biomolecules are not well understood. Recent structural studies suggest that lncRNAs contain modular structural domains, which play a crucial role in their function. Here, we hypothesized that such structural domains exist in lncTCF7, a conserved lncRNA implicated in the development and progression of several cancers. To understand the structure-function relationship of lncTCF7, we characterized its secondary structure using chemical probing methods. Our model revealed structural domains and conserved regions in lncTCF7. One of the modular domains identified here coincides with a known protein-interacting domain. The model reported herein is, to our knowledge, the first structural model of lncTCF7 and thus will serve to direct future studies that will provide fundamental insights into the function of this lncRNA.
Project description:Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have multiple regulatory roles and are involved in many human diseases. A potential therapeutic strategy based on targeting lncRNAs was recently developed. To gain insight into the global relationship between small molecule drugs and their affected lncRNAs, we constructed a small molecule lncRNA network consisting of 1206 nodes (1033 drugs and 173 lncRNAs) and 4770 drug-lncRNA associations using LNCmap, which reannotated the microarray data from the Connectivity Map (CMap) database. Based on network biology, we found that the connected drug pairs tended to share the same targets, indications, and side effects. In addition, the connected drug pairs tended to have a similar structure. By inferring the functions of lncRNAs through their co-expressing mRNAs, we found that lncRNA functions related to the modular interface were associated with the mode of action or side effects of the corresponding connected drugs, suggesting that lncRNAs may directly/indirectly participate in specific biological processes after drug administration. Finally, we investigated the tissue-specificity of drug-affected lncRNAs and found that some kinds of drugs tended to have a broader influence (e.g. antineoplastic and immunomodulating drugs), whereas some tissue-specific lncRNAs (nervous system) tended to be affected by multiple types of drugs.
Project description:A novel class of transcripts, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), has recently emerged as a key player in several biological processes, and important roles for these molecules have been reported in a number of complex human diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, neurological disorders, and various cancers. However, the aberrant lncRNAs implicated in myasthenia gravis (MG) remain unknown. The aim of the present study was to explore the abnormal expression of lncRNAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and examine mRNA regulatory relationship networks among MG patients with or without thymoma.Microarray assays were performed, and the outstanding differences between lncRNAs or mRNA expression were verified through RT-PCR. The lncRNAs functions were annotated for the target genes using Gene Ontology (GO) and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) biological pathway. The potential regulatory relationships between the lncRNAs and target genes were analyzed using the 'cis' and 'trans' model. Outstanding lncRNAs were organized to generate a TF-lncRNA-gene network using Cytoscape software.The lncRNA and mRNA expression profile analysis revealed subsets of differentially expressed genes in MG patients with or without thymoma. A total of 12 outstanding dysregulated expression lncRNAs, such as lncRNA oebiotech_11933, were verified through real-time PCR. Several GO terms including the cellular response to interferon-?, platelet degranulation, chemokine receptor binding and cytokine interactions were very important in MG pathogenesis. The chromosome locations of some lncRNAs and associated co-expression genes were demonstrated using 'cis' analysis. The results of the 'trans' analysis revealed that some TFs (i.e., CTCF, TAF1and MYC) regulate lncRNA and gene expression. The outstanding lncRNAs in each group were implicated in the regulation of the TF-lncRNA-target gene network.The results of the present study provide a perspective on lncRNA expression in MG. We identify a subset of aberrant lncRNAs and mRNAs as potential biomarkers for the diagnosis of MG. The GO and KEGG pathway analysis provides an annotation to determine the functions of these lncRNAs. The results of the 'cis' and 'trans' analyses provide information concerning the modular regulation of lncRNAs.
Project description:Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are an important class of transcripts that regulate gene expression on many levels, yet their mechanisms of action remain poorly understood. Previous studies have indicated that these RNAs can serve as modular scaffolds to recruit a variety of protein complexes and coordinate their distinct functions. XIST, a founding member of the lncRNA family, controls the inactivation of an entire X chromosome in placental mammals. Here we develop and integrate several orthogonal structure-interaction analysis methods to demonstrate that XIST RNA-protein complex folds into a modular architecture that is conserved in evolution. The discrete XIST RNA domains interact with distinct sets of effector proteins to orchestrate the X chromosome inactivation (XCI). The modular architecture plays an essential role, in addition to the sequence motifs, in determining the specificity of RBP binding and m6A modification. Together, this work builds a comprehensive structure-function model for the XIST RNA-protein complex, and establishes a paradigm for mechanistic studies of lncRNA functions. Overall design: Cells are crosslinked with AMT and RNA is extracted from cells by RNase digestion. Crosslinked RNA fragments are selected from total RNA by 2D gel electrophoresis. Purified crosslinked RNA duplexes are proximity ligated and crosslinking is reversed. Then the chimeric RNA molecules are converted into cDNA libraries for high-throughput sequencing.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although several studies have provided insights into the role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), the majority of them have unknown function. Recent evidence has shown the importance of both lncRNAs and chromatin interactions in transcriptional regulation. Although network-based methods, mainly exploiting gene-lncRNA co-expression, have been applied to characterize lncRNA of unknown function by means of 'guilt-by-association', no strategy exists so far which identifies mRNA-lncRNA functional modules based on the 3D chromatin interaction graph. RESULTS:To better understand the function of chromatin interactions in the context of lncRNA-mediated gene regulation, we have developed a multi-step graph analysis approach to examine the RNA polymerase II ChIA-PET chromatin interaction network in the K562 human cell line. We have annotated the network with gene and lncRNA coordinates, and chromatin states from the ENCODE project. We used centrality measures, as well as an adaptation of our previously developed Markov State Models (MSM) clustering method, to gain a better understanding of lncRNAs in transcriptional regulation. The novelty of our approach resides in the detection of fuzzy regulatory modules based on network properties and their optimization based on co-expression analysis between genes and gene-lncRNA pairs. This results in our method returning more bona fide regulatory modules than other state-of-the art approaches for clustering on graphs. CONCLUSIONS:Interestingly, we find that lncRNA network hubs tend to be significantly enriched in evolutionary conserved lncRNAs and enhancer-like functions. We validated regulatory functions for well known lncRNAs, such as MALAT1 and the enhancer-like lncRNA FALEC. In addition, by investigating the modular structure of bigger components we mine putative regulatory functions for uncharacterized lncRNAs.
Project description:Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), defined as nontranslated transcripts greater than 200 nucleotides in length, are often differentially expressed throughout developmental stages, tissue types, and disease states. The identification, visualization, and suppression/overexpression of these sequences have revealed impacts on a wide range of biological processes, including epigenetic regulation. Biochemical investigations on select systems have revealed striking insight into the biological roles of lncRNAs and lncRNA:protein complexes, which in turn prompt even more unanswered questions. To begin, multiple protein- and RNA-centric technologies have been employed to isolate lncRNA:protein and lncRNA:chromatin complexes. LncRNA interactions with the multi-subunit protein complex PRC2, which acts as a transcriptional silencer, represent some of the few cases where the binding affinity, selectivity, and activity of a lncRNA:protein complex have been investigated. At the same time, recent reports of full-length lncRNA secondary structures suggest the formation of complex structures with multiple independent folding domains and pave the way for more detailed structural investigations and predictions of lncRNA three-dimensional structure. This review will provide an overview of the methods and progress made to date as well as highlight new methods that promise to further inform the molecular recognition, specificity, and function of lncRNAs.
Project description:Long noncoding ribonucleic acids (lncRNAs) are a subclass of regulatory noncoding ribonucleic acids for which expression and function in human endothelial cells and angiogenic processes is not well studied.The authors discovered hypoxia-sensitive human lncRNAs via next-generation ribonucleic acid sequencing and microarray approaches. To address their functional importance in angiogenic processes, several endothelial lncRNAs were characterized for their angiogenic characteristics in vitro and ex vivo.Ribonucleic acid sequencing and microarray-derived data showed specific endothelial lncRNA expression changes after hypoxia. Validation experiments confirmed strong hypoxia-dependent activation of 2 intergenic lncRNAs: LINC00323 and MIR503HG.Silencing of these lncRNA transcripts led to angiogenic defects, including repression of growth factor signaling and/or the key endothelial transcription factor GATA2. Endothelial loss of these hypoxia-driven lncRNAs impaired cell-cycle control and inhibited capillary formation. The potential clinical importance of these endothelial lncRNAs to vascular structural integrity was demonstrated in an ex vivo model of human induced pluripotent stem cell-based engineered heart tissue.The authors report an expression atlas of human hypoxia-sensitive lncRNAs and identified 2 lncRNAs with important functions to sustain endothelial cell biology. LncRNAs hold great promise to serve as important future therapeutic targets of cardiovascular disease.
Project description:Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), which is a kind of noncoding RNA, is generally characterized as being more than 200 nucleotide transcripts in length. LncRNAs exhibit many biological activities, including, but not limited to, cancer development. In this review, a search of the PubMed database was performed to identify relevant studies published in English. The term "lncRNA or long non-coding RNA" was combined with a range of search terms related to the core focus of the review: mechanism, structure, regulation, and cancer. The eligibility of the retrieved studies was mainly based on the abstract. The decision as to whether or not the study was included in this review was made after a careful assessment of its content. The reference lists were also checked to identify any other study that could be relevant to this review. We first summarized the molecular mechanisms of lncRNAs in tumorigenesis, including competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) mechanisms, epigenetic regulation, decoy and scaffold mechanisms, mRNA and protein stability regulation, transcriptional and translational regulation, miRNA processing regulation, and the architectural role of lncRNAs, which will help a broad audience better understand how lncRNAs work in cancer. Second, we introduced recent studies to elucidate the structure of lncRNAs, as there is a link between lncRNA structure and function and visualizing the architectural domains of lncRNAs is vital to understanding their function. Third, we explored emerging evidence for regulators of lncRNA expression, lncRNA turnover, and lncRNA modifications (including 5-methylcytidine, N6-methyladenosine, and adenosine to inosine editing), highlighting the dynamics of lncRNAs. Finally, we used autophagy in cancer as an example to interpret the diverse mechanisms of lncRNAs and introduced clinical trials of lncRNA-based cancer therapies.
Project description:Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) constitute a significant fraction of the transcriptome, playing important roles in development and disease. However, our understanding of structure-function relationships for this emerging class of RNAs has been limited to secondary structures. Here, we report the 3-D atomistic structural study of epigenetic lncRNA, Braveheart (Bvht), and its complex with CNBP (Cellular Nucleic acid Binding Protein). Using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), we elucidate the ensemble of Bvht RNA conformations in solution, revealing that Bvht lncRNA has a well-defined, albeit flexible 3-D structure that is remodeled upon CNBP binding. Our study suggests that CNBP binding requires multiple domains of Bvht and the RHT/AGIL RNA motif. We show that RHT/AGIL, previously shown to interact with CNBP, contains a highly flexible loop surrounded by more ordered helices. As one of the largest RNA-only 3-D studies, the work lays the foundation for future structural studies of lncRNA-protein complexes.
Project description:Whole genome transcriptomic analyses have identified numerous long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) transcripts that are increasingly implicated in cancer biology. LncRNAs are found to promote essential cancer cell functions such as proliferation, invasion, and metastasis, with the potential to serve as novel biomarkers of various cancers and to further reveal uncharacterized aspects of tumor biology. However, the biological and molecular mechanisms as well as the clinical applications of lncRNAs in diverse diseases are not completely understood, and remain to be fully explored. LncRNAs may be critical players and regulators in prostate cancer carcinogenesis and progression, and could serve as potential biomarkers for prostate cancer. This review focuses on lncRNA biomarkers that are already available for clinical use and provides an overview of lncRNA biomarkers that are under investigation for clinical development in prostate cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Many long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been implicated in general and cell type-specific molecular regulation. Here, we asked what underlies the fundamental basis for the seemingly random appearance of nuclear lncRNA condensates in cells, and we sought compounds that can promote the disintegration of lncRNA condensates in vivo. RESULTS:As a basis for comparing lncRNAs and cellular properties among different cell types, we screened lncRNAs in human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) that were differentiated to an atlas of cell lineages. We found that paraspeckles, which form by aggregation of the lncRNA NEAT1, are scaled by the size of the nucleus, and that small DNA-binding molecules promote the disintegration of paraspeckles and other lncRNA condensates. Furthermore, we found that paraspeckles regulate the differentiation of hPSCs. CONCLUSIONS:Positive correlation between the size of the nucleus and the number of paraspeckles exist in numerous types of human cells. The tethering and structure of paraspeckles, as well as other lncRNAs, to the genome can be disrupted by small molecules that intercalate in DNA. The structure-function relationship of lncRNAs that regulates stem cell differentiation is likely to be determined by the dynamics of nucleus size and binding site accessibility.