Matching Items (13)

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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

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.

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Date Created
  • 2016-12-07

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Examination and Analysis of Numb 3' UTR

Description

Numb is a gene that encodes an adaptor protein which has been characterized for its role cell migration, cell adhesion, endocytosis, and cell fate determination through asymmetrical division in various

Numb is a gene that encodes an adaptor protein which has been characterized for its role cell migration, cell adhesion, endocytosis, and cell fate determination through asymmetrical division in various embryonic and adult tissues. In vertebrates, several Numb isoforms are produced via alternative splicing. In the Mus musculus genome, one Numb gene on chromosome 12 is alternatively spliced to produce four distinct protein isoforms, characterized by an 11 amino acid insert in the phosphotyrosine binding domain and a 49 amino acid insert in the proline rich region. Two poly adenylation sites in the currently published Numb 3' UTR exist, thus, the possibility that various 3' UTRs containing different miRNA seed sites is a possible posttranscriptional mechanism by which differential expression is observed. In an attempt to elucidate this hypothesis, PCR was performed to amplify the 3' UTR of murine neural tube cells, the products of which were subsequently cloned and sequenced. Multiple fragment sizes were consistently observed in the PCR data, however, sequencing demonstrated that these bands did not reveal an association with Numb.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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MKX Regulation of Macrophage Recruitment during Chronic Muscle Damage Associated with Muscular Dystrophy

Description

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a muscular degenerative disease characterized by striated membrane instability that stimulates continuous cycles of muscle repair. Chronic activation of the innate immune response necessary for

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a muscular degenerative disease characterized by striated membrane instability that stimulates continuous cycles of muscle repair. Chronic activation of the innate immune response necessary for muscle repair leads to a pathological accumulation of fibrotic materials that disrupt muscle function. During healthy tissue repair, a balance between pro-inflammatory macrophage (M1) and anti-inflammatory macrophage (M2) promotes clearance of necrotic fibers (myolysis) followed by tissue repair. This is regulated by an intricate feedback loop between muscle, neutrophils and macrophages mediated by Th1 and Th2 cytokines and chemokines. During chronic inflammation, there is an imbalance in an M2 species that produces high levels of extracellular matrix that leads to fibrosis. Finding treatments that ameliorate fibrosis are essential to limiting the muscle pathology that reduces ambulation of DMD patients. Previous studies have shown that Mohawk, (Mkx) a homeobox transcription factor, is essential for the initiation of the inflammation response during acute muscle injury. This study aims to examine whether Mkx regulates inflammation during chronic damage associated with muscular dystrophy. The mdx mouse is a well-studied mouse model that recapitulates muscle necrosis, chronic inflammatory response and fibrosis associated with muscular dystrophy. Utilizing quantitative RT-PCR and histological analysis, the diaphragms and Quadriceps of adult Mkx-/-/mdx and Mkx+/+/mdx mice were analyzed at three critical time points (4 weeks, 3 months and 7 months). In contrast to what was anticipated, there was evidence of increased muscle damage in the absence of Mkx. There was a consistent reduction in the diameter of muscle fibers found in both types of tissue in Mkx-/-/mdx versus Mkx+/+/mdx mice without a difference in the number of fibers with centralized nuclei at 4 weeks and 1 year between the two genotypes, suggesting that the Mkx mutation influences the maturation of fibers forming in response to muscle damage. Fibrosis was higher in the diaphragm of the Mkx-/-/mdx mice at 4 weeks and 3 months, while at1 year there did not appear to be a difference. Overall, the results predict that the absence of Mkx exacerbates the instability of muscle fibers in the mdx mouse. Future studies will be needed to understand the relationship between Mkx and the dystrophin gene.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

Mechanisms of Sarcopenia

Description

Sarcopenia, a disease defined by age-related muscle loss and function, impacts each and every one of us as we age. Medical research over the past 40 years has identified dozens

Sarcopenia, a disease defined by age-related muscle loss and function, impacts each and every one of us as we age. Medical research over the past 40 years has identified dozens of factors that contribute to Sarcopenia, including, hormonal changes, deficiencies in nutrition, denervation, changes in physical activity and diseases. Developing effective therapeutic treatments for Sarcopenia is dependent on identifying the mechanisms by which these factors affect muscle loss and understanding the interrelationship of these mechanisms. I conducted my research by compiling and analyzing several previous studies on many different mechanisms that contribute to Sarcopenia. Of these mechanisms, I determined the most significant mechanisms and mapped them out on a visual presentation. In addition to the contributing factors listed above, I found that dysregulated cell signaling, mitochondrial abnormalities, impaired autophagy/protein regulation, altered nitric oxide production, and systemic inflammation all contribute to Sarcopenia. Their impact on skeletal muscle is manifested by reduced satellite function, reduced regenerative capacity, loss of muscle mass, accumulation of damaged products, and fibrosis. My research clearly demonstrated that there was not a one-to-one correlation between factors and specific pathological characteristics of Sarcopenia. Instead, factors funneled into a discrete number of cellular processes, including cell proliferation, protein synthesis, and autophagy and apoptosis. Based on my findings, the overall cause of Sarcopenia appears to be a loss of balance between these pathways. The results of my thesis indicate that Sarcopenia is a multifactorial disorder, and therefore, effective therapy should consist of those that prevent necrosis associated with autophagy and apoptosis.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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Bcl11a and Bcl11b Regulation of the Decision for Murine Cells to Proliferate or Differentiate During Skeletal Muscle Development and Repair

Description

The development of skeletal muscle during embryogenesis and repair in adults is dependent on the intricate balance between the proliferation of myogenic progenitor cells and the differentiation of those cells

The development of skeletal muscle during embryogenesis and repair in adults is dependent on the intricate balance between the proliferation of myogenic progenitor cells and the differentiation of those cells into functional muscle fibers. Recent studies demonstrate that the Drosophila melanogaster transcription factor CG9650 is expressed in muscle progenitor cells, where it maintains myoblast numbers. We are interested in the Mus musculus orthologs Bcl11a and Bcl11b (C2H2 zinc finger transcription factors), and understanding their role as molecular switches that control proliferation/differentiation decisions in muscle progenitor cells. Expression analysis revealed that Bcl11b, but not Bcl11a, is expressed in the region of the mouse embryo populated with myogenic progenitor cells; gene expression studies in muscle cell culture confirmed Bcl11b is also selectively transcribed in muscle. Furthermore, Bcl11b is down-regulated with differentiation, which is consistent with the belief that the gene plays a role in cell proliferation.

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Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Transcriptomic Analysis of Tail Regeneration in the Lizard Anolis carolinensis Reveals Activation of Conserved Vertebrate Developmental and Repair Mechanisms

Description

Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including

Lizards, which are amniote vertebrates like humans, are able to lose and regenerate a functional tail. Understanding the molecular basis of this process would advance regenerative approaches in amniotes, including humans. We have carried out the first transcriptomic analysis of tail regeneration in a lizard, the green anole Anolis carolinensis, which revealed 326 differentially expressed genes activating multiple developmental and repair mechanisms. Specifically, genes involved in wound response, hormonal regulation, musculoskeletal development, and the Wnt and MAPK/FGF pathways were differentially expressed along the regenerating tail axis. Furthermore, we identified 2 microRNA precursor families, 22 unclassified non-coding RNAs, and 3 novel protein-coding genes significantly enriched in the regenerating tail. However, high levels of progenitor/stem cell markers were not observed in any region of the regenerating tail. Furthermore, we observed multiple tissue-type specific clusters of proliferating cells along the regenerating tail, not localized to the tail tip. These findings predict a different mechanism of regeneration in the lizard than the blastema model described in the salamander and the zebrafish, which are anamniote vertebrates. Thus, lizard tail regrowth involves the activation of conserved developmental and wound response pathways, which are potential targets for regenerative medical therapies.

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Date Created
  • 2014-08-20

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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

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.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015-01-20

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Analysis of Numb 3’ UTR in Mouse Skeletal Muscle

Description

The Numb gene encodes an adaptor protein that has been shown to play a role in muscle repair, cell proliferation, and the determination of cell fate in satellite cells. Ablation

The Numb gene encodes an adaptor protein that has been shown to play a role in muscle repair, cell proliferation, and the determination of cell fate in satellite cells. Ablation of this gene in satellite cells results in an up-regulation of myostatin and p21, which inhibit the proliferation of myoblasts. These results indicate that the regulation of numb and myostatin could be used to amplify muscle regeneration. This would function as a therapeutic approach to degenerative muscle diseases, such as muscular dystrophy. There are four mammalian NUMB proteins produced through alternative splicing of the Numb mRNA transcript. Only two isoforms are present in adult mammalian muscle, indicating some form of muscle-specific post-transcriptional control of the gene. Additionally, the presence of two polyadenylation sites, and multiple miRNA seed sequences within the 3’ untranslated region (UTR) of mouse Numb indicate the possibility of regulation by a muscle specific miRNA.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-12

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Regulation of Inflammation and Skeletal Muscle Repair by Mohawk and Eosinophils

Description

Skeletal muscle injury, whether acute or chronic, is characterized by influxes of pro- and anti-inflammatory cells that coordinate with muscle to precisely control the reparative process. This intricate coordination is

Skeletal muscle injury, whether acute or chronic, is characterized by influxes of pro- and anti-inflammatory cells that coordinate with muscle to precisely control the reparative process. This intricate coordination is facilitated by a signaling feedback loop between satellite cells and extravasated immune cells. Regulation of the cytokines and chemokines that mediate healthy repair is critical for the overall success of fiber regeneration and thus provides a prospective direction for the development of therapeutics aimed at fine-tuning the local inflammatory response. This work describes (1) the contribution of non-myogenic cells in skeletal muscle regeneration, (2) the role of the transcription factor Mohawk (Mkx) in regulating inflammation following acute muscle injury and the identification of an overarching requirement for Mkx in the establishment of a pro-inflammatory response, and (3) characterization of eosinophils in acute and chronic muscle damage. Mice deficient for Mkx exhibited delayed muscle regeneration, accompanied by impaired clearance of necrotic fibers and smaller regenerated fibers. This diminished regenerative capacity was associated with a reduction in the recruitment of pro-inflammatory macrophages to the site of damage. In culture, Mkx-/- bone marrow-derived macrophages displayed reduced proliferative capacity but retained the ability to polarize in response to a pro-inflammatory stimulus. The necessity of Mkx in mounting a robust immune response was further confirmed by an immunological challenge in which Mkx-/- mice exhibited increased susceptibility to Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection. Significant downregulation of key cytokine and chemokine expression was identified throughout the course of muscle repair in Mkx-/- mice and represents one mechanism in which Mkx regulates the establishment of an inflammatory response. Previous research discovered that Mkx is highly expressed in eosinophils, a type of innate immune cell that participates in disease-fighting and inflammation, however the role of eosinophils in muscle repair is not well described. This work outlines the contribution of eosinophils in muscle repair following acute and chronic injury. In healthy mice, eosinophils were found to inhibit efficient muscle repair following acute injury. Utilizing the mdx-/-utrn-/- muscular dystrophy mouse model, eosinophil depletion via administration of anti-IL-5 antibody significantly improved diaphragm fiber diameter and increased the survival rate during the course of treatment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Mechanisms of miRNA-based gene regulation in C. elegans and human cells

Description

Multicellular organisms use precise gene regulation, executed throughout development, to build and sustain various cell and tissue types. Post-transcriptional gene regulation is essential for metazoan development and acts on mRNA

Multicellular organisms use precise gene regulation, executed throughout development, to build and sustain various cell and tissue types. Post-transcriptional gene regulation is essential for metazoan development and acts on mRNA to determine its localization, stability, and translation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are the principal effectors of post-transcriptional gene regulation and act by targeting the 3'untranslated regions (3'UTRs) of mRNA. MiRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that have the potential to regulate hundreds to thousands of genes and are dysregulated in many prevalent human diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and cancer. However, the precise contribution of miRNAs to the pathology of these diseases is not known.

MiRNA-based gene regulation occurs in a tissue-specific manner and is implemented by an interplay of poorly understood and complex mechanisms, which control both the presence of the miRNAs and their targets. As a consequence, the precise contributions of miRNAs to gene regulation are not well known. The research presented in this thesis systematically explores the targets and effects of miRNA-based gene regulation in cell lines and tissues.

I hypothesize that miRNAs have distinct tissue-specific roles that contribute to the gene expression differences seen across tissues. To address this hypothesis and expand our understanding of miRNA-based gene regulation, 1) I developed the human 3'UTRome v1, a resource for studying post-transcriptional gene regulation. Using this resource, I explored the targets of two cancer-associated miRNAs miR-221 and let-7c. I identified novel targets of both these miRNAs, which present potential mechanisms by which they contribute to cancer. 2) Identified in vivo, tissue-specific targets in the intestine and body muscle of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. The results from this study revealed that miRNAs regulate tissue homeostasis, and that alternative polyadenylation and miRNA expression patterns modulate miRNA targeting at the tissue-specific level. 3) Explored the functional relevance of miRNA targeting to tissue-specific gene expression, where I found that miRNAs contribute to the biogenesis of mRNAs, through alternative splicing, by regulating tissue-specific expression of splicing factors. These results expand our understanding of the mechanisms that guide miRNA targeting and its effects on tissue-specific gene expression.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019