Matching Items (40)

133015-Thumbnail Image.png

Study of the Requirements of RNA Cleavage and Polyadenylation in C. elegans

Description

Cleavage and polyadenylation is a step in mRNA processing in which the 3’UTR is cleaved and a polyA tail is added to create a final mature transcript. This process relies on RNA sequence elements that guide a large multimeric protein

Cleavage and polyadenylation is a step in mRNA processing in which the 3’UTR is cleaved and a polyA tail is added to create a final mature transcript. This process relies on RNA sequence elements that guide a large multimeric protein complex named the Cleavage and Polyadenylation Complex to dock on the 3’UTR and execute the cleavage reaction. Interactions of the complex with the RNA and specific dynamics of complex recruitment and formation still remain largely uncharacterized. In our lab we have identified an Adenosine residue as the nucleotide most often present at the cleavage site, although it is unclear whether this specific element is a required instructor of cleavage and polyadenylation. To address whether the Adenosine residue is necessary and sufficient for the cleavage and polyadenylation reaction, we mutated this nucleotide at the cleavage site in three C. elegans protein coding genes, forcing the expression of these wt and mutant 3’UTRs, and studied how the cleavage and polyadenylation machinery process these genes in vivo. We found that interrupting the wt sequence elements found at the cleavage site interferes with the cleavage and polyadenylation reaction, suggesting that the sequence close to the end of the transcript plays a role in modulating the site of the RNA cleavage. This activity is also gene-specific. Genes such as ges-1 showed little disruption in the cleavage of the transcript, with similar location occurring in both the wt and mutant 3’UTRs. On the other hand, mutation of the cleavage site in genes such as Y106G6H.9 caused the activation of new cryptic cleavage sites within the transcript. Taken together, my experiments suggest that the sequence elements at the cleavage site somehow participate in the reaction to guide the cleavage reaction to occur at an exact site. This work will help to better understand the mechanisms of transcription termination in vivo and will push forward research aimed to study post-transcriptional gene regulation in eukaryotes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

132725-Thumbnail Image.png

Study of the expression pattern and tissue specific roles of the Caenorhabditis elegans dystrophin glycoprotein complex

Description

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal, X-linked disease which occurs in approximately 1 in 3,500 male births. This disease is characterized by progressive muscle wasting and causes premature death. One of the earliest symptoms of this disease is mitochondrial

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal, X-linked disease which occurs in approximately 1 in 3,500 male births. This disease is characterized by progressive muscle wasting and causes premature death. One of the earliest symptoms of this disease is mitochondrial dysfunction. Dystrophin is a protein found under the sarcolemma. The N terminus binds to actin and the C terminus binds to dystrophin glycoprotein complex (DGC). DMD is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. C. elegans possess an ortholog of dystrophin, DYS-1. Though there is evidence that C. elegans can be used as a model organism to model DMD, nematode DGC has not been well characterized. Additionally, while we know that mitochondrial dysfunction has been found in humans and other model organisms, this has not been well defined in C. elegans. In order to address these issues, we crossed the SJ4103 worm strain (myo-3p::GFP(mit)) with dys-1(cx18) in order to visualize and quantify changes in mitochondria in a dys-1 background. SJ4103;cx18 nematodes were found to have less mitochondrial than SJ4103 which suggests mitochondrial dysfunction does occur in dys-1 worms. Furthermore, mitochondrial dysfunction was studied by knocking down members of the DGC, dys-1, dyb-1, sgn-1, sgca-1, and sgcb-1 in SJ4103 strain. Knock down of each gene resulted in decrease in abundance of mitochondria which suggests that each member of the DGC contributes to the overall health of nematode muscle. The ORF of dyb-1 was successfully cloned and tagged with GFP in order to visualize this DGC member C. elegans. Imaging of the transgenic dyb-1::GFP worm shows green fluoresce expressed in which suggests that dyb-1 is a functional component of the muscle fibers. This project will enable us to better understand the effects of dystrophin deficiency on mitochondrial function as well as visualize the expression of certain members of the DGC in order to establish C. elegans as a good model organism to study this disease.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

Characterization of mRNA Transcription Termination and Cleavage in C. elegans

Description

In eukaryotes, most messenger RNA precursors (pre-mRNA) undergo extensive processing, leading to the cleavage of the transcript followed by the addition of a poly(A) tail. This process is executed by a large complex known as the Cleavage and Polyadenylation Complex

In eukaryotes, most messenger RNA precursors (pre-mRNA) undergo extensive processing, leading to the cleavage of the transcript followed by the addition of a poly(A) tail. This process is executed by a large complex known as the Cleavage and Polyadenylation Complex (CPC). Its central subcomplex, the Cleavage and Polyadenylation Specificity Factor (CPSF) complex is responsible for recognizing a short hexameric element AAUAAA located at the 3’end in the nascent mRNA molecule and catalyzing the pre-mRNA cleavage. In the round nematode C. elegans, the cleavage reaction is executed by a subunit of this complex named CPSF3, a highly conserved RNA endonuclease. While the crystal structure of its human ortholog CPSF73 has been recently identified, we still do not understand the molecular mechanisms and sequence specificity used by this protein to induce cleavage, which in turn would help to understand how this process is executed in detail. Additionally, we do not understand in additional factors are needed for this process. In order to address these issues, we performed a comparative analysis of the CPSF3 protein in higher eukaryotes to identify conserved functional domains. The overall percent identities for members of the CPSF complex range from 33.68% to 56.49%, suggesting that the human and C. elegans orthologs retain a high level of conservation. CPSF73 is the protein with the overall highest percent identity of the CPSF complex, with its active site-containing domain possessing 74.60% identity with CPSF3. Additionally, we gathered and expressed using a bacterial expression system CPSF3 and a mutant, which is unable to perform the cleavage reaction, and developed an in vitro cleavage assay to test whether CPSF3 activity is necessary and sufficient to induce nascent mRNA cleavage. This project establishes tools to better understand how CPSF3 functions within the CPC and sheds light on the biology surrounding the transcription process as a whole.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

129065-Thumbnail Image.png

Differential Expression of Conserved and Novel MicroRNAs During Tail Regeneration in the Lizard Anolis Carolinensis

Description

Background: Lizards are evolutionarily the most closely related vertebrates to humans that can lose and regrow an entire appendage. Regeneration in lizards involves differential expression of hundreds of genes that regulate wound healing, musculoskeletal development, hormonal response, and embryonic morphogenesis. While

Background: Lizards are evolutionarily the most closely related vertebrates to humans that can lose and regrow an entire appendage. Regeneration in lizards involves differential expression of hundreds of genes that regulate wound healing, musculoskeletal development, hormonal response, and embryonic morphogenesis. While microRNAs are able to regulate large groups of genes, their role in lizard regeneration has not been investigated.

Results: MicroRNA sequencing of green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) regenerating tail and associated tissues revealed 350 putative novel and 196 known microRNA precursors. Eleven microRNAs were differentially expressed between the regenerating tail tip and base during maximum outgrowth (25 days post autotomy), including miR-133a, miR-133b, and miR-206, which have been reported to regulate regeneration and stem cell proliferation in other model systems. Three putative novel differentially expressed microRNAs were identified in the regenerating tail tip.

Conclusions: Differentially expressed microRNAs were identified in the regenerating lizard tail, including known regulators of stem cell proliferation. The identification of 3 putative novel microRNAs suggests that regulatory networks, either conserved in vertebrates and previously uncharacterized or specific to lizards, are involved in regeneration. These findings suggest that differential regulation of microRNAs may play a role in coordinating the timing and expression of hundreds of genes involved in regeneration.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2016-05-05

129076-Thumbnail Image.png

Comparative RNA-Seq Analysis Reveals Pervasive Tissue-Specific Alternative Polyadenylation in Caenorhabditis Elegans Intestine and Muscles

Description

Background: Tissue-specific RNA plasticity broadly impacts the development, tissue identity and adaptability of all organisms, but changes in composition, expression levels and its impact on gene regulation in different somatic tissues are largely unknown. Here we developed a new method, polyA-tagging

Background: Tissue-specific RNA plasticity broadly impacts the development, tissue identity and adaptability of all organisms, but changes in composition, expression levels and its impact on gene regulation in different somatic tissues are largely unknown. Here we developed a new method, polyA-tagging and sequencing (PAT-Seq) to isolate high-quality tissue-specific mRNA from Caenorhabditis elegans intestine, pharynx and body muscle tissues and study changes in their tissue-specific transcriptomes and 3’UTRomes.

Results: We have identified thousands of novel genes and isoforms differentially expressed between these three tissues. The intestine transcriptome is expansive, expressing over 30% of C. elegans mRNAs, while muscle transcriptomes are smaller but contain characteristic unique gene signatures. Active promoter regions in all three tissues reveal both known and novel enriched tissue-specific elements, along with putative transcription factors, suggesting novel tissue-specific modes of transcription initiation. We have precisely mapped approximately 20,000 tissue-specific polyadenylation sites and discovered that about 30% of transcripts in somatic cells use alternative polyadenylation in a tissue-specific manner, with their 3’UTR isoforms significantly enriched with microRNA targets.

Conclusions: For the first time, PAT-Seq allowed us to directly study tissue specific gene expression changes in an in vivo setting and compare these changes between three somatic tissues from the same organism at single-base resolution within the same experiment. We pinpoint precise tissue-specific transcriptome rearrangements and for the first time link tissue-specific alternative polyadenylation to miRNA regulation, suggesting novel and unexplored tissue-specific post-transcriptional regulatory networks in somatic cells.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-01-20

129333-Thumbnail Image.png

3'LIFE: A Functional Assay to Detect miRNA Targets in High-Throughput

Description

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene output at the post-transcriptional level by targeting degenerate elements primarily in 3′untranslated regions (3′UTRs) of mRNAs. Individual miRNAs can regulate networks of hundreds of genes, yet for the majority of miRNAs

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene output at the post-transcriptional level by targeting degenerate elements primarily in 3′untranslated regions (3′UTRs) of mRNAs. Individual miRNAs can regulate networks of hundreds of genes, yet for the majority of miRNAs few, if any, targets are known. Misexpression of miRNAs is also a major contributor to cancer progression, thus there is a critical need to validate miRNA targets in high-throughput to understand miRNAs' contribution to tumorigenesis. Here we introduce a novel high-throughput assay to detect miRNA targets in 3′UTRs, called Luminescent Identification of Functional Elements in 3′UTRs (3′LIFE). We demonstrate the feasibility of 3′LIFE using a data set of 275 human 3′UTRs and two cancer-relevant miRNAs, let-7c and miR-10b, and compare our results to alternative methods to detect miRNA targets throughout the genome. We identify a large number of novel gene targets for these miRNAs, with only 32% of hits being bioinformatically predicted and 27% directed by non-canonical interactions. Functional analysis of target genes reveals consistent roles for each miRNA as either a tumor suppressor (let-7c) or oncogenic miRNA (miR-10b), and preferentially target multiple genes within regulatory networks, suggesting 3′LIFE is a rapid and sensitive method to detect miRNA targets in high-throughput.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2014-09-29

128012-Thumbnail Image.png

Alternative Polyadenylation Directs Tissue-Specific miRNA Targeting in Caenorhabditis Elegans Somatic Tissues

Description

mRNA expression dynamics promote and maintain the identity of somatic tissues in living organisms; however, their impact in post-transcriptional gene regulation in these processes is not fully understood. Here, we applied the PAT-Seq approach to systematically isolate, sequence, and ma

mRNA expression dynamics promote and maintain the identity of somatic tissues in living organisms; however, their impact in post-transcriptional gene regulation in these processes is not fully understood. Here, we applied the PAT-Seq approach to systematically isolate, sequence, and map tissue-specific mRNA from five highly studied Caenorhabditis elegans somatic tissues: GABAergic and NMDA neurons, arcade and intestinal valve cells, seam cells, and hypodermal tissues, and studied their mRNA expression dynamics. The integration of these datasets with previously profiled transcriptomes of intestine, pharynx, and body muscle tissues, precisely assigns tissue-specific expression dynamics for 60% of all annotated C. elegans protein-coding genes, providing an important resource for the scientific community. The mapping of 15,956 unique high-quality tissue-specific polyA sites in all eight somatic tissues reveals extensive tissue-specific 3′untranslated region (3′UTR) isoform switching through alternative polyadenylation (APA) . Almost all ubiquitously transcribed genes use APA and harbor miRNA targets in their 3′UTRs, which are commonly lost in a tissue-specific manner, suggesting widespread usage of post-transcriptional gene regulation modulated through APA to fine tune tissue-specific protein expression. Within this pool, the human disease gene C. elegans orthologs rack-1 and tct-1 use APA to switch to shorter 3′UTR isoforms in order to evade miRNA regulation in the body muscle tissue, resulting in increased protein expression needed for proper body muscle function. Our results highlight a major positive regulatory role for APA, allowing genes to counteract miRNA regulation on a tissue-specific basis.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-03-27

128433-Thumbnail Image.png

Evolutionary Patterns of Metazoan MicroRNAs Reveal Targeting Principles in the Let-7 and miR-10 Families

Description

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene output by targeting degenerate elements in mRNAs and have undergone drastic expansions in higher metazoan genomes. The evolutionary advantage of maintaining copies of highly similar miRNAs is not well understood, nor is it clear what unique

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene output by targeting degenerate elements in mRNAs and have undergone drastic expansions in higher metazoan genomes. The evolutionary advantage of maintaining copies of highly similar miRNAs is not well understood, nor is it clear what unique functions, if any, miRNA family members possess. Here, we study evolutionary patterns of metazoan miRNAs, focusing on the targeting preferences of the let-7 and miR-10 families. These studies reveal hotspots for sequence evolution with implications for targeting and secondary structure. High-throughput screening for functional targets reveals that each miRNA represses sites with distinct features and regulates a large number of genes with cooperative function in regulatory networks. Unexpectedly, given the high degree of similarity, single-nucleotide changes grant miRNA family members with distinct targeting preferences. Together, our data suggest complex functional relationships among miRNA duplications, novel expression patterns, sequence change, and the acquisition of new targets.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-12-07

129101-Thumbnail Image.png

A Human 3′UTR Clone Collection to Study Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation

Description

Background: 3′untranslated regions (3′UTRs) are poorly understood portions of eukaryotic mRNAs essential for post-transcriptional gene regulation. Sequence elements in 3′UTRs can be target sites for regulatory molecules such as RNA binding proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs), and these interactions can exert significant

Background: 3′untranslated regions (3′UTRs) are poorly understood portions of eukaryotic mRNAs essential for post-transcriptional gene regulation. Sequence elements in 3′UTRs can be target sites for regulatory molecules such as RNA binding proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs), and these interactions can exert significant control on gene networks. However, many such interactions remain uncharacterized due to a lack of high-throughput (HT) tools to study 3′UTR biology. HT cloning efforts such as the human ORFeome exemplify the potential benefits of genomic repositories for studying human disease, especially in relation to the discovery of biomarkers and targets for therapeutic agents. Currently there are no publicly available human 3′UTR libraries. To address this we have prepared the first version of the human 3′UTRome (h3′UTRome v1) library. The h3′UTRome is produced to a single high quality standard using the same recombinational cloning technology used for the human ORFeome, enabling universal operating methods and high throughput experimentation. The library is thoroughly sequenced and annotated with simple online access to information, and made publicly available through gene repositories at low cost to all scientists with minimal restriction.

Results: The first release of the h3′UTRome library comprises 1,461 human 3′UTRs cloned into Gateway® entry vectors, ready for downstream analyses. It contains 3′UTRs for 985 transcription factors, 156 kinases, 171 RNA binding proteins, and 186 other genes involved in gene regulation and in disease. We demonstrate the feasibility of the h3′UTRome library by screening a panel of 87 3′UTRs for targeting by two miRNAs: let-7c, which is implicated in tumorigenesis, and miR-221, which is implicated in atherosclerosis and heart disease. The panel is enriched with genes involved in the RAS signaling pathway, putative novel targets for the two miRNAs, as well as genes implicated in tumorigenesis and heart disease.

Conclusions: The h3′UTRome v1 library is a modular resource that can be utilized for high-throughput screens to identify regulatory interactions between trans-acting factors and 3′UTRs, Importantly, the library can be customized based on the specifications of the researcher, allowing the systematic study of human 3′UTR biology.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-12-09

128611-Thumbnail Image.png

Potential Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarkers of Epigenetic Drift Within the Cardiovascular Compartment

Description

Biomarkers encompass a wide range of different measurable indicators, representing a tangible link to physiological changes occurring within the body. Accessibility, sensitivity, and specificity are significant factors in biomarker suitability. New biomarkers continue to be discovered, and questions over appropriate

Biomarkers encompass a wide range of different measurable indicators, representing a tangible link to physiological changes occurring within the body. Accessibility, sensitivity, and specificity are significant factors in biomarker suitability. New biomarkers continue to be discovered, and questions over appropriate selection and assessment of their usefulness remain. If traditional markers of inflammation are not sufficiently robust in their specificity, then perhaps alternative means of detection may provide more information. Epigenetic drift (epigenetic modifications as they occur as a direct function with age), and its ancillary elements, including platelets, secreted microvesicles (MVs), and microRNA (miRNA), may hold enormous predictive potential. The majority of epigenetic drift observed in blood is independent of variations in blood cell composition, addressing concerns affecting traditional blood-based biomarker efficacy. MVs are found in plasma and other biological fluids in healthy individuals. Altered MV/miRNA profiles may also be found in individuals with various diseases. Platelets are also highly reflective of physiological and lifestyle changes, making them extremely sensitive biomarkers of human health. Platelets release increased levels of MVs in response to various stimuli and under a plethora of disease states, which demonstrate a functional effect on other cell types.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-11-24