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      Distinct MicroRNA Subcellular Size and Expression Patterns in Human Cancer Cells

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          Introduction. Small noncoding RNAs have important regulatory functions in different cell pathways. It is believed that most of them mainly play role in gene post-transcriptional regulation in the cytoplasm. Recent evidence suggests miRNA and siRNA activity in the nucleus. Here, we show distinct genome-wide sub-cellular localization distribution profiles of small noncoding RNAs in human breast cancer cells. Methods. We separated breast cancer cell nuclei from cytoplasm, and identified small RNA sequences using a high-throughput sequencing platform. To determine the relationship between miRNA sub-cellular distribution and cancer progression, we used microarray analysis to examine the miRNA expression levels in nucleus and cytoplasm of three human cell lines, one normal breast cell line and two breast cancer cell lines. Logistic regression and SVM were used for further analysis. Results. The sub-cellular distribution of small noncoding RNAs shows that numerous miRNAs and their isoforms (isomiR) not only locate to the cytoplasm but also appeare in the nucleus. Subsequent microarray analyses indicated that the miRNA nuclear-cytoplasmic-ratio is a significant characteristic of different cancer cell lines. Conclusions. Our results indicate that the sub-cellular distribution is important for miRNA function, and that the characterization of the small RNAs sub-cellular localizome may contribute to cancer research and diagnosis.

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          Most cited references 33

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          Mechanisms of gene silencing by double-stranded RNA.

          Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is an important regulator of gene expression in many eukaryotes. It triggers different types of gene silencing that are collectively referred to as RNA silencing or RNA interference. A key step in known silencing pathways is the processing of dsRNAs into short RNA duplexes of characteristic size and structure. These short dsRNAs guide RNA silencing by specific and distinct mechanisms. Many components of the RNA silencing machinery still need to be identified and characterized, but a more complete understanding of the process is imminent.
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            Application of massively parallel sequencing to microRNA profiling and discovery in human embryonic stem cells.

            MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging as important, albeit poorly characterized, regulators of biological processes. Key to further elucidation of their roles is the generation of more complete lists of their numbers and expression changes in different cell states. Here, we report a new method for surveying the expression of small RNAs, including microRNAs, using Illumina sequencing technology. We also present a set of methods for annotating sequences deriving from known miRNAs, identifying variability in mature miRNA sequences, and identifying sequences belonging to previously unidentified miRNA genes. Application of this approach to RNA from human embryonic stem cells obtained before and after their differentiation into embryoid bodies revealed the sequences and expression levels of 334 known plus 104 novel miRNA genes. One hundred seventy-one known and 23 novel microRNA sequences exhibited significant expression differences between these two developmental states. Owing to the increased number of sequence reads, these libraries represent the deepest miRNA sampling to date, spanning nearly six orders of magnitude of expression. The predicted targets of those miRNAs enriched in either sample shared common features. Included among the high-ranked predicted gene targets are those implicated in differentiation, cell cycle control, programmed cell death, and transcriptional regulation.
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              Endogenous siRNAs from naturally formed dsRNAs regulate transcripts in mouse oocytes.

              RNA interference (RNAi) is a mechanism by which double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) suppress specific transcripts in a sequence-dependent manner. dsRNAs are processed by Dicer to 21-24-nucleotide small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and then incorporated into the argonaute (Ago) proteins. Gene regulation by endogenous siRNAs has been observed only in organisms possessing RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP). In mammals, where no RdRP activity has been found, biogenesis and function of endogenous siRNAs remain largely unknown. Here we show, using mouse oocytes, that endogenous siRNAs are derived from naturally occurring dsRNAs and have roles in the regulation of gene expression. By means of deep sequencing, we identify a large number of both approximately 25-27-nucleotide Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) and approximately 21-nucleotide siRNAs corresponding to messenger RNAs or retrotransposons in growing oocytes. piRNAs are bound to Mili and have a role in the regulation of retrotransposons. siRNAs are exclusively mapped to retrotransposons or other genomic regions that produce transcripts capable of forming dsRNA structures. Inverted repeat structures, bidirectional transcription and antisense transcripts from various loci are sources of the dsRNAs. Some precursor transcripts of siRNAs are derived from expressed pseudogenes, indicating that one role of pseudogenes is to adjust the level of the founding source mRNA through RNAi. Loss of Dicer or Ago2 results in decreased levels of siRNAs and increased levels of retrotransposon and protein-coding transcripts complementary to the siRNAs. Thus, the RNAi pathway regulates both protein-coding transcripts and retrotransposons in mouse oocytes. Our results reveal a role for endogenous siRNAs in mammalian oocytes and show that organisms lacking RdRP activity can produce functional endogenous siRNAs from naturally occurring dsRNAs.

                Author and article information

                Int J Cell Biol
                Int J Cell Biol
                International Journal of Cell Biology
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                12 February 2012
                : 2012
                1Laboratory of Bioinformation and Noncoding RNA and Center for Systems Biology, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
                2Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080, China
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Ivana De La Serna

                Copyright © 2012 Beibei Chen et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article

                Cell biology


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