The microRNA target site landscape is a novel molecular feature associating alternative polyadenylation with immune evasion activity in breast cancer.
ABSTRACT: Alternative polyadenylation (APA) in breast tumor samples results in the removal/addition of cis-regulatory elements such as microRNA (miRNA) target sites in the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTRs) of genes. Although previous computational APA studies focused on a subset of genes strongly affected by APA (APA genes), we identify miRNAs of which widespread APA events collectively increase or decrease the number of target sites [probabilistic inference of microRNA target site modification through APA (PRIMATA-APA)]. Using PRIMATA-APA on the cancer genome atlas (TCGA) breast cancer data, we found that the global APA events change the number of the target sites of particular microRNAs [target sites modified miRNA (tamoMiRNA)] enriched for cancer development and treatments. We also found that when knockdown (KD) of NUDT21 in HeLa cells induces a different set of widespread 3'-UTR shortening than TCGA breast cancer data, it changes the target sites of the common tamoMiRNAs. Since the NUDT21 KD experiment previously demonstrated the tumorigenic role of APA events in a miRNA dependent fashion, this result suggests that the APA-initiated tumorigenesis is attributable to the miRNA target site changes, not the APA events themselves. Further, we found that the miRNA target site changes identify tumor cell proliferation and immune cell infiltration to the tumor microenvironment better than the miRNA expression levels or the APA events themselves. Altogether, our computational analyses provide a proof-of-concept demonstration that the miRNA target site information indicates the effect of global APA events with a potential as predictive biomarker.
Project description:Alternative polyadenylation (APA) has emerged as a prevalent feature associated with cancer development and progression. The advantage of APA to tumor progression is to induce oncogenes through 3'-UTR shortening, and to inactivate tumor suppressor genes via the re-routing of microRNA competition. We previously identified the Mammalian Cleavage Factor I-25 (CFIm25) (encoded by Nudt21 gene) as a master APA regulator whose expression levels directly impact the tumorigenicity of glioblastoma (GBM) in vitro and in vivo. Despite its importance, the role of Nudt21 in GBM development is not known and the genes subject to Nudt21 APA regulation that contribute to GBM progression have not been identified. Here, we find that Nudt21 is reduced in low grade glioma (LGG) and all four subtypes of high grade glioma (GBM). Reduced expression of Nudt21 associates with worse survival in TCGA LGG cohorts and two TCGA GBM cohorts. Moreover, although CFIm25 was initially identified as biochemically associated with both CFIm59 and CFIm68, we observed three CFIm distinct subcomplexes exist and CFIm59 protein level is dependent on Nudt21 expression in GBM cells, but CFIm68 is not, and that only CFIm59 predicts prognosis of GBM patients similar to Nudt21. Through the use of Poly(A)-Click-Seq to characterize APA, we define the mRNAs subject to 3'-UTR shortening upon Nudt21 depletion in GBM cells and observed enrichment in genes important in the Ras signaling pathway, including Pak1. Remarkably, we find that Pak1 expression is regulated by Nudt21 through its 3'-UTR APA, and the combination of Pak1 and Nudt21 expression generates an even stronger prognostic indicator of GBM survival versus either value used alone. Collectively, our data uncover Nudt21 and its downstream target Pak1 as a potential "combination biomarker" for predicting prognosis of GBM patients.
Project description:We previously showed that NUDT21-spanning copy-number variations (CNVs) are associated with intellectual disability (Gennarino et al., 2015). However, the patients' CNVs also included other genes. To determine if reduced NUDT21 function alone can cause disease, we generated Nudt21+/- mice to mimic NUDT21-deletion patients. We found that although these mice have 50% reduced Nudt21 mRNA, they only have 30% less of its cognate protein, CFIm25. Despite this partial protein-level compensation, the Nudt21+/- mice have learning deficits, cortical hyperexcitability, and misregulated alternative polyadenylation (APA) in their hippocampi. Further, to determine the mediators driving neural dysfunction in humans, we partially inhibited NUDT21 in human stem cell-derived neurons to reduce CFIm25 by 30%. This induced APA and protein level misregulation in hundreds of genes, a number of which cause intellectual disability when mutated. Altogether, these results show that disruption of NUDT21-regulated APA events in the brain can cause intellectual disability.
Project description:Purpose: Nudix Hydrolase 21 (NUDT21) is a crucial mediator involved in alternative polyadenylation (APA), and this molecule has been reported to be a tumor suppressor in human cancers. However, neither the role NUDT21 plays in bladder cancer (BC) nor the mechanisms which are involved have been investigated. Methods: Expression levels of NUDT21 in BC were evaluated with real-time PCR, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry (IHC). In vitro and in vivo assays were performed to investigate the function of NUDT21 in tumorigenesis in bladder cancer cells. The TOP/FOP flash reporter assay, western blot, and global APA site profiling analysis were used to identify the pathway which mediates the biologic roles of NUDT21 in BC. Results: NUDT21 expression is reduced in BC tissue and cells, and BC patients with lower NUDT21 expression have shorter overall and recurrent-free survival than patients with higher NUDT21 expression. NUDT21 ectopic expression or knockdown respectively profoundly inhibited or promoted the capacity of BC cells for proliferation, migration and invasion. We also identified a number of genes with shortened 3'UTRs through modulation of NUDT21 expression, and further characterized the NUDT21-regulated genes ANXA2 and LIMK2. We found NUDT21 modulates the expression of ANXA2 and LIMK2 in the Wnt/?-catenin and NF-?B signaling pathways. Conclusions: These findings show NUDT21 plays a crucial role in BC progression, at least in part through ANXA2 and LIMK2 which act by alternative polyadenylation. NUDT21 may thus have potential as a diagnostic and therapeutic target in treatment of BC.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic disease characterized by the pathological remodeling of air sacs as a result of excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, but the mechanism governing the robust protein expression is poorly understood. Our recent findings demonstrate that alternative polyadenylation (APA) caused by NUDT21 reduction is important for the increased expression of fibrotic mediators and ECM proteins in lung fibroblasts by shortening the 3'-untranslated regions (3'-UTRs) of mRNAs and stabilizing their transcripts, therefore activating pathological signaling pathways. Despite the importance of NUDT21 reduction in the regulation of fibrosis, the underlying mechanisms for the depletion are unknown. We demonstrate here that NUDT21 is depleted by TGF?1. We found that miR203, which is increased in IPF, was induced by TGF?1 to target the NUDT21 3'-UTR, thus depleting NUDT21 in human and mouse lung fibroblasts. TGF?1-mediated NUDT21 reduction was attenuated by the miR203 inhibitor antagomiR203 in fibroblasts. TGF?1 transgenic mice revealed that TGF?1 down-regulates NUDT21 in fibroblasts in vivo Furthermore, TGF?1 promoted differential APA of fibrotic genes, including FGF14, RICTOR, TMOD2, and UCP5, in association with increased protein expression. This unique differential APA signature was also observed in IPF fibroblasts. Altogether, our results identified TGF?1 as an APA regulator through NUDT21 depletion amplifying pulmonary fibrosis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Alternative polyadenylation (APA) is a pervasive posttranscriptional mechanism regulating gene expression. However, the specific dysregulation of APA events and its potential biological or clinical significance in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) remain unclear.<h4>Methods</h4>Here, we collected RNA-Seq data from two independent datasets: GSE40419 (<i>n</i> = 146) and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) LUAD (<i>n</i> = 542). The DaPars algorithm was employed to characterize the APA profiles in tumor and normal samples. Spearman correlation was used to assess the effects of APA regulators on 3' UTR changes in tumors. The Cox proportional hazard model was used to identify clinically relevant APA events and regulators. We stratified 512 patients with LUAD in the TCGA cohort through consensus clustering based on the expression of APA factors.<h4>Findings</h4>We identified remarkably consistent alternative 3' UTR isoforms between the two cohorts, most of which were shortened in LUAD. Our analyses further suggested that aberrant usage of proximal polyA sites resulted in escape from miRNA binding, thus increasing gene expression. Notably, we found that the 3' UTR lengths of the mRNA transcriptome were correlated with the expression levels of APA factors. We further identified that CPSF2 and CPEB3 may serve as key regulators in both datasets. Finally, four LUAD subtypes according to different APA factor expression patterns displayed distinct clinical results and oncogenic features related to tumor microenvironment including immune, metabolic, and hypoxic status.<h4>Interpretation</h4>Our analyses characterize the APA profiles among patients with LUAD and identify two key regulators for APA events in LUAD, CPSF2 and CPEB3, which could serve as the potential prognostic genes in LUAD.
Project description:Tendon-derived stem cells (TSCs) play a primary role in tendon physiology, pathology, as well as tendon repair and regeneration after injury. TSCs are often exposed to mechanical loading-related cellular stresses such as oxidative stress, resulting in loss of stemness and multipotent differentiation potential. Cytoprotective autophagy has previously been identified as an important mechanism to protect human TSCs (hTSCs) from oxidative stress induced impairments. In this study, we found that high-mobility AT-hook 2 (HMGA2) overexpression protects hTSCs against H2O2-induced loss of stemness through autophagy activation. Evidentially, H2O2 treatment increases the expression of Nudt21, a protein critical to polyadenylation site selection in alternative polyadenylation (APA) of mRNA transcripts. This leads to increased cleavage and polyadenylation of HMGA2 3'-UTR at the distal site, resulting in increased HMGA2 silencing by the microRNA let-7 and reduced HMGA2 expression. In conclusion, Nudt21-regulated APA of HMGA2 3'-UTR and subsequent HMGA2 downregulation mediates oxidative stress induced hTSC impairments.
Project description:HCC is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the progression of HCC is still largely elusive. NUDT21 (CFIm25) is an important mediator of 3′ UTR APA and demonstrates a causal relationship between alternative polyadenylation and cancer cell proliferation. Although the function of NUDT21 has been explored in glioblastoma tumor, the functional significance of NUDT21 in solid tumors is not well understood. In this study, we observed that NUDT21 is suppressed in human HCC tissues, compared to adjacent noncancerous tissues. In addition we found that the HCC patients with suppressed NUDT21 are statistically associated with poor outcomes. These observations suggest NUDT21 possibly functions as tumor suppressor in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Project description:Background:Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. microRNAs (miRNAs) repress gene expression by binding to complementary sequences in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of target mRNAs. Alternative polyadenylation (APA) are relevant to the variability of the 3'UTR of mRNA. However, the posttranscriptional dysregulation of miRNAs and APA in CRC are poorly understood. Method:In this study, we conducted small RNA sequencing to identify differentially expressed miRNAs (DERs) and their target genes. Function analysis on DER-target genes can explain the regulation roles of miRNAs in CRC. The mutual regulation of miRNAs and APA was analyzed by combining miRNA data to 3'UTR alteration using 3' termini of polyadenylated RNAs sequencing (3T-seq) technique, and this was validated using TCGA gene expression data. Results:Our results showed 64 significant differentially expressed miRNAs (DERs) in CRC patients. Their target genes were related to cell adhesion and transcription regulation and were prevailingly involved in the CRC-related pathway. Integrative analysis of the miRNA and APA profile revealed 16 DERs were correlated with 12 polyadenylation factors, and six of them were significantly differently expressed in CRC. We also found four DERs that lost binding sites due to APA and showed a positive correlation between the miRNA and gene expression. Conclusion:Our study found that miRNAs regulated APA by modulating key polyadenylation factors, and several miRNAs lost their suppression on mRNA due to APA. Associating this with gene expression may provide some important clues for a deeper study of posttranscriptional cellular regulation and biomarker research in CRC. Our data provided the first evidence that the interaction between miRNAs and APA associated with gene expression could serve as biomarkers for CRC, suggesting that hsa-miR-133a-3p and MLEC, hsa-miR-145-5p and SET, hsa-miR-1-3p and PPIA, and hsa-miR-378d and YY1 might be novel and potential biomarkers in improving the diagnosis of CRC.
Project description:Alternative polyadenylation (APA) results in messenger RNA molecules with different 3' untranslated regions (3' UTRs), affecting the molecules' stability, localization, and translation. APA is pervasive and implicated in cancer. Earlier reports on APA focused on 3' UTR length modifications and commonly characterized APA events as 3' UTR shortening or lengthening. However, such characterization oversimplifies the processing of 3' ends of transcripts and fails to adequately describe the various scenarios we observe.We built a cloud-based targeted de novo transcript assembly and analysis pipeline that incorporates our previously developed cleavage site prediction tool, KLEAT. We applied this pipeline to elucidate the APA profiles of 114 genes in 9939 tumor and 729 tissue normal samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). The full set of 10,668 RNA-Seq samples from 33 cancer types has not been utilized by previous APA studies. By comparing the frequencies of predicted cleavage sites between normal and tumor sample groups, we identified 77 events (i.e. gene-cancer type pairs) of tumor-specific APA regulation in 13 cancer types; for 15 genes, such regulation is recurrent across multiple cancers. Our results also support a previous report showing the 3' UTR shortening of FGF2 in multiple cancers. However, over half of the events we identified display complex changes to 3' UTR length that resist simple classification like shortening or lengthening.Recurrent tumor-specific regulation of APA is widespread in cancer. However, the regulation pattern that we observed in TCGA RNA-seq data cannot be described as straightforward 3' UTR shortening or lengthening. Continued investigation into this complex, nuanced regulatory landscape will provide further insight into its role in tumor formation and development.
Project description:Breast cancer (BC) is a leading cause of cancer-related mortality in females and is recognized as a molecularly heterogeneous disease. Previous studies have suggested that alternative messenger RNA (mRNA) processing, particularly alternative polyadenylation [poly(A)] (APA), can be a powerful molecular biomarker with prognostic potential. Therefore, in the present study, we profiled APA sites in the luminal B subtype of BC by sequencing APA sites (SAPAS) method, in order to assess the relation of these APA site-switching events to the recognized molecular subtypes of BC, and to discover novel candidate genes and pathways in BC. Through comprehensive analysis, the trend of APA site-switching events in the 3' untranslated regions (3'UTRs) in the luminal B subtype of BC were found to be the same as that in MCF7 cell lines. Among the genes involved in the events, a significantly greater number of genes was found with shortened 3'UTRs in the samples, which were samples of primary cancer with relatively low proliferation. These findings may provide novel information for the clinical diagnosis and prognosis on a molecular level. Several potential biomarkers with significantly differential tandem 3'UTRs and expression were found and validated. The related biological progresses and pathways involved were partly confirmed by other studies. In conclusion, this study provides new insight into the diagnosis and prognosis of BC from the APA site profile aspect.