The Contribution of lincRNAs at the Interface between Cell Cycle Regulation and Cell State Maintenance.
ABSTRACT: Cell cycle progression is controlled by the interplay of established cell cycle regulators. Changes in these regulators' activity underpin differences in cell cycle kinetics between cell types. We investigated whether long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) contribute to embryonic stem cell cycle adaptations. Using single-cell RNA sequencing data for mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) staged as G1, S, or G2/M we found differentially expressed lincRNAs are enriched among cell cycle-regulated genes. These lincRNAs (CC-lincRNAs) are co-expressed with genes involved in cell cycle regulation. We tested the impact of two CC-lincRNA candidates and show using CRISPR activation that increasing their expression is associated with deregulated cell cycle progression. Interestingly, CC-lincRNAs are often differentially expressed between G1 and S, their promoters are enriched in pluripotency transcription factor (TF) binding sites, and their transcripts are frequently co-regulated with genes involved in the maintenance of pluripotency, suggesting a contribution of CC-lincRNAs to mESC cell cycle adaptations.
Project description:Although thousands of large intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) have been identified in mammals, few have been functionally characterized, leading to debate about their biological role. To address this, we performed loss-of-function studies on most lincRNAs expressed in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and characterized the effects on gene expression. Here we show that knockdown of lincRNAs has major consequences on gene expression patterns, comparable to knockdown of well-known ES cell regulators. Notably, lincRNAs primarily affect gene expression in trans. Knockdown of dozens of lincRNAs causes either exit from the pluripotent state or upregulation of lineage commitment programs. We integrate lincRNAs into the molecular circuitry of ES cells and show that lincRNA genes are regulated by key transcription factors and that lincRNA transcripts bind to multiple chromatin regulatory proteins to affect shared gene expression programs. Together, the results demonstrate that lincRNAs have key roles in the circuitry controlling ES cell state.
Project description:Long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) are emerging as integral components of signaling pathways in various cancer types. In neuroblastoma, only a handful of lincRNAs are known as upstream regulators or downstream effectors of oncogenes. Here, we exploit RNA sequencing data of primary neuroblastoma tumors, neuroblast precursor cells, neuroblastoma cell lines and various cellular perturbation model systems to define the neuroblastoma lincRNome and map lincRNAs up- and downstream of neuroblastoma driver genes MYCN, ALK and PHOX2B. Each of these driver genes controls the expression of a particular subset of lincRNAs, several of which are associated with poor survival and are differentially expressed in neuroblastoma tumors compared to neuroblasts. By integrating RNA sequencing data from both primary tumor tissue and cancer cell lines, we demonstrate that several of these lincRNAs are expressed in stromal cells. Deconvolution of primary tumor gene expression data revealed a strong association between stromal cell composition and driver gene status, resulting in differential expression of these lincRNAs. We also explored lincRNAs that putatively act upstream of neuroblastoma driver genes, either as presumed modulators of driver gene activity, or as modulators of effectors regulating driver gene expression. This analysis revealed strong associations between the neuroblastoma lincRNAs MIAT and MEG3 and MYCN and PHOX2B activity or expression. Together, our results provide a comprehensive catalogue of the neuroblastoma lincRNome, highlighting lincRNAs up- and downstream of key neuroblastoma driver genes. This catalogue forms a solid basis for further functional validation of candidate neuroblastoma lincRNAs.
Project description:Cell signaling events triggered by androgen hormone in prostate cells is dependent on activation of the androgen receptor (AR) transcription factor. Androgen hormone binding to AR promotes its displacement from the cytoplasm to the nucleus and AR binding to DNA motifs, thus inducing activatory and inhibitory transcriptional programs through a complex regulatory mechanism not yet fully understood. In this work, we performed RNA-seq deep-sequencing of LNCaP prostate cancer cells and found over 7000 expressed long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs), of which ?4000 are novel lincRNAs, and 258 lincRNAs have their expression activated by androgen. Immunoprecipitation of AR, followed by large-scale sequencing of co-immunoprecipitated RNAs (RIP-Seq) has identified in the LNCaP cell line a total of 619 lincRNAs that were significantly enriched (FDR < 10%, DESeq2) in the anti-Androgen Receptor (antiAR) fraction in relation to the control fraction (non-specific IgG), and we named them Androgen-Receptor-Associated lincRNAs (ARA-lincRNAs). A genome-wide analysis showed that protein-coding gene neighbors to ARA-lincRNAs had a significantly higher androgen-induced change in expression than protein-coding genes neighboring lincRNAs not associated to AR. To find relevant epigenetic signatures enriched at the ARA-lincRNAs' transcription start sites (TSSs) we used a machine learning approach and identified that the ARA-lincRNA genomic loci in LNCaP cells are significantly enriched with epigenetic marks that are characteristic of in cis enhancer RNA regulators, and that the H3K27ac mark of active enhancers is conspicuously enriched at the TSS of ARA-lincRNAs adjacent to androgen-activated protein-coding genes. In addition, LNCaP topologically associating domains (TADs) that comprise chromatin regions with ARA-lincRNAs exhibit transcription factor contents, epigenetic marks and gene transcriptional activities that are significantly different from TADs not containing ARA-lincRNAs. This work highlights the possible involvement of hundreds of lincRNAs working in synergy with the AR on the genome-wide androgen-induced gene regulatory program in prostate cells.
Project description:Advances in transcriptomics have led to the discovery of a large number of long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs), which are now recognized as important regulators of diverse cellular processes. Although originally thought to be non-coding, recent studies have revealed that many lincRNAs are bound by ribosomes, with a few lincRNAs even having ability to generate micropeptides. The question arises: how widespread the translation of lincRNAs may be and whether such translation is likely to be functional. To better understand biological relevance of lincRNA translation, we systematically characterized lincRNAs with ribosome occupancy by the expression, structural, sequence, evolutionary and functional features for eight human cell lines, revealed that lincRNAs with ribosome occupancy have remarkably distinctive properties compared with those without ribosome occupancy, indicating that translation has important biological implication in categorizing and annotating lincRNAs. Further analysis revealed lincRNAs exhibit remarkable cell-type specificity with differential translational repertoires and substantial discordance in functionality. Collectively, our analyses provide the first attempt to characterize global and cell-type specific properties of translation of lincRNAs in human cells, highlighting that translation of lincRNAs has clear molecular, evolutionary and functional implications. This study will facilitate better understanding of the diverse functions of lincRNAs.
Project description:While thousands of large intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) have been identified in mammals, few have been functionally characterized leading to debate about their biological role. To address this, we performed loss-of-function studies on most lincRNAs expressed in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC) and characterized the effects on gene expression. Here we show that knockdown of lincRNAs have major consequences on gene expression patterns, comparable to knockdown of well-known ESC regulators. Notably, lincRNAs primarily affect gene expression in trans. We identify dozens of lincRNAs whose knockdown causes an exit from the pluripotent state or upregulation of lineage commitment programs. We integrate lincRNAs into the molecular circuitry of ESCs and show that lincRNA genes are regulated by key transcription factors and that lincRNA transcripts physically bind to multiple chromatin regulatory proteins to affect shared gene expression programs. Together, the results demonstrate that lincRNAs have key roles in the circuitry controlling ESC state. We generated five lentiviral-based shRNAs targeting each of the 237 lincRNAs previously identified in ESCs. These shRNAs successfully targeted 147 lincRNAs and reduced their expression by an average of ~75% compared to endogenous levels in ESCs. As positive controls, we generated shRNAs targeting ~50 genes encoding regulatory proteins, including both transcription factor and chromatin factor genes that have been shown to play critical roles in ESC regulation; we obtained validated hairpins against 40 of these genes. As negative controls, we performed independent infections with lentiviruses containing 27 different shRNAs with no known cellular target RNA.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) have been recognized in recent years as key regulators of biological processes. However, lincRNAs in goat remain poorly characterized both across various tissues and during different developmental stages in goat (Capra hircus). RESULTS:We performed the genome-wide discovery of the lincRNAs in goat by combining the RNA-seq dataset that were generated from 28 cashmere goat skin samples and the 12 datasets of goat tissues downloaded from the NCBI database. We identified a total of 5546 potential lincRNA transcripts that overlapped 3641 lincRNA genes. These lincRNAs exhibited a tissue-specific pattern. Specifically, there are 584 lincRNAs expressed exclusively in only one tissue, and 91 were highly expressed in hair follicle (HF). In addition, 2350 protein-coding genes and 492 lincRNAs were differentially expressed in the skin of goat. The majority exhibited the remarkable differential expression during the transition of the goat skin from the May-June to August-October time point, which covered the different seasons. Fundamental biological processes, such as skin development, were significantly enriched in these genes. Furthermore, we identified several lincRNAs highly expressed in the HF, which exhibited not only the co-expression pattern with the key factors to the HF development but also the activated expression in the August to October time point. Intriguingly, one of spatiotemporal lincRNAs, linc-chig1598 could be a potential regulator of distal-less homeobox 3 expression during the secondary hair follicle growth. CONCLUSIONS:This study will facilitate future studies aimed at unravelling the function of lincRNAs in hair follicle development.
Project description:BRISC and BRCA1-A complex member 2 (Babam2) plays an essential role in promoting cell cycle progression and preventing cellular senescence. Babam2-deficient fibroblasts show proliferation defect and premature senescence compared with their wild-type (WT) counterpart. Pluripotent mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) are known to have unlimited cell proliferation and self-renewal capability without entering cellular senescence. Therefore, studying the role of Babam2 in ESCs would enable us to understand the mechanism of Babam2 in cellular aging, cell cycle regulation, and pluripotency in ESCs. For this study, we generated Babam2 knockout (Babam2-/-) mESCs to investigate the function of Babam2 in mESCs. We demonstrated that the loss of Babam2 in mESCs leads to abnormal G1 phase retention in response to DNA damage induced by gamma irradiation or doxorubicin treatments. Key cell cycle regulators, CDC25A and CDK2, were found to be degraded in Babam2-/- mESCs following gamma irradiation. In addition, Babam2-/- mESCs expressed p53 strongly and significantly longer than in control mESCs, where p53 inhibited Nanog expression and G1/S cell cycle progression. The combined effects significantly reduced developmental pluripotency in Babam2-/- mESCs. In summary, Babam2 maintains cell cycle regulation and pluripotency in mESCs in response to induced DNA damage.
Project description:Chromosome instability and aneuploidies occur very frequently in human embryos, impairing proper embryogenesis and leading to cell cycle arrest, loss of cell viability, and developmental failures in 50-80% of cleavage-stage embryos. This high frequency of cellular extinction events represents a significant experimental obstacle challenging analyses of individual cells isolated from human preimplantation embryos. We carried out single cell expression profiling of 241 individual cells recovered from 32 human embryos during the early and late stages of viable human blastocyst (VHB) differentiation. Classification of embryonic cells was performed solely based on expression patterns of human pluripotency-associated transcripts (HPAT), which represent a family of primate-specific transposable element-derived lincRNAs highly expressed in human embryonic stem cells and regulating nuclear reprogramming and pluripotency induction. We then validated our findings by analyzing transcriptomes of 1,708 individual cells recovered from more than 100 human embryos and 259 mouse cells from more than 40 mouse embryos at different stages of preimplantation embryogenesis. HPAT's expression-guided spatiotemporal reconstruction of human embryonic development inferred from single-cell expression analysis of VHB differentiation enabled identification of telomerase-positive embryonic cells co-expressing key pluripotency regulatory genes and genetic markers of three major lineages. Follow-up validation analyses confirmed the emergence in human embryos prior to lineage segregation of telomerase-positive cells co-expressing genetic markers of multiple lineages. Observations reported in this contribution support the hypothesis of a developmental pathway of creation embryonic lineages and extraembryonic tissues from telomerase-positive pre-lineage cells manifesting multi-lineage precursor phenotype.
Project description:Long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) have emerged as key regulators of cellular functions and physiology. Yet functional lincRNAs often have low, context-specific and tissue-specific expression. We hypothesized that many human monocyte and adipose lincRNAs would be absent in current public annotations due to lincRNA tissue specificity, modest sequencing depth in public data, limitations of transcriptome assembly algorithms, and lack of dynamic physiological contexts. Deep RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) was performed in peripheral blood CD14+ monocytes (monocytes; average ~247 million reads per sample) and adipose tissue (average ~378 million reads per sample) collected before and after human experimental endotoxemia, an in vivo inflammatory stress, to identify tissue-specific and clinically relevant lincRNAs. Using a stringent filtering pipeline, we identified 109 unannotated lincRNAs in monocytes and 270 unannotated lincRNAs in adipose. Most unannotated lincRNAs are not conserved in rodents and are tissue specific, while many have features of regulated expression and are enriched in transposable elements. Specific subsets have enhancer RNA characteristics or are expressed only during inflammatory stress. A subset of unannotated lincRNAs was validated and replicated for their presence and inflammatory induction in independent human samples and for their monocyte and adipocyte origins. Through interrogation of public genome-wide association data, we also found evidence of specific disease association for selective unannotated lincRNAs. Our findings highlight the critical need to perform deep RNA-Seq in a cell-, tissue-, and context-specific manner to annotate the full repertoire of human lincRNAs for a complete understanding of lincRNA roles in dynamic cell functions and in human disease.
Project description:LincRNAs are emerging as important regulators with various cellular functions. However, the mechanisms behind their role in transcriptional regulation have not yet been fully explored. In this report, we proposed to characterize the diverse functions of lincRNAs in transcription regulation through an examination of their long-range chromatin interactions. We found that the promoter regions of lincRNAs displayed two distinct patterns of chromatin states, promoter-like and enhancer-like, indicating different regulatory functions for lincRNAs. Notably, the chromatin interactions between lincRNA genes and other genes suggested a potential mechanism for lincRNAs in the regulation of other genes at the RNA level because the transcribed lincRNAs could function at local spaces on other genes that interact with the lincRNAs at the DNA level. These results represent a novel way to predict the functions of lincRNAs. The GWAS-identification of SNPs within the lincRNAs revealed that some lincRNAs were disease-associated, and the chromatin interactions with those lincRNAs suggested that they were potential target genes of these lincRNA-associated SNPs. Our study provides new insights into the roles that lincRNAs play in transcription regulation.