Circular RNAs are a class of non-coding RNAs that are receiving extensive attention. Despite reports showing circular RNAs acting as microRNA sponges, the biological functions of circular RNAs remain largely unknown. We show that in patient tumor samples and in a panel of cancer cells, circ-Foxo3 was minimally expressed. Interestingly, during cancer cell apoptosis, the expression of circ-Foxo3 was found to be significantly increased. We found that silencing endogenous circ-Foxo3 enhanced cell viability, whereas ectopic expression of circ-Foxo3 triggered stress-induced apoptosis and inhibited the growth of tumor xenografts. Also, expression of circ-Foxo3 increased Foxo3 protein levels but repressed p53 levels. By binding to both, circ-Foxo3 promoted MDM2-induced p53 ubiquitination and subsequent degradation, resulting in an overall decrease of p53. With low binding affinity to Foxo3 protein, circ-Foxo3 prevented MDM2 from inducing Foxo3 ubiquitination and degradation, resulting in increased levels of Circular RNAs are a large class of non-coding RNAs that are circularized by joining free 3'-to 5'-ends, forming a circular structure. 1-4Although circular RNAs were initially characterized over 30 years ago, their functions in mammalian cells are still largely unknown. Most circular RNAs are predominantly found in the cytoplasm and contain exons, known as circRNAs.5 A relatively smaller group of circular RNAs that contain both exons and introns are known as EIciRNAs, and are predominantly found in the nucleus. 6 Recent studies have indicated that some circular RNAs contain miRNA binding sites and may function as sponges to arrest miRNA functions. 7,8 It has further been reported that EIciRNAs increase the transcription of their parental genes.9 Recently, we showed that the circular RNA circ-Foxo3 could function by binding to proteins in related signal pathways. 10,11 In the present study, we used computational approach to elucidate the interaction of circ-Foxo3 with MDM2 and p53. The RING-finger domain in the carboxyl terminal of the MDM2 is known to bind RNA specifically in a sequence-specific manner, 12 whereas p53 interacts with RNA via its C-terminal regulatory domain. 13 Our study comprised of computer-aided RNA structure modeling of circ-Foxo3 employing minimum free energy algorithm and machine translation system followed by its molecular interaction with MDM2 (RING-finger domain) and p53 (C-terminal regulatory domain) that includes docking, scoring, clustering, and refinement of the most promising models. The interaction was further confirmed by an approach of molecular experiments to explicate the biological functions of circ-Foxo3. ResultsDecreased expression of circ-Foxo3 in tumors and cancer cells. Downregulation of Foxo3 is often observed in cancer development.14,15 Both circ-Foxo3 and Foxo3 mRNA are encoded by the FOXO3 gene. 16 We found that the levels of circ-Foxo3 in tumor specimen were significantly lower than in the adjacent benign tissue (Figure 1a). We examined circ-Foxo3 expression and detected s...
It has been reported that the miR-106bB25 cluster, a paralog of the miR-17B92 cluster, possesses oncogenic activities. However, the precise role of each microRNA (miRNA) in the miR-106bB25 cluster is not yet known. In this study, we examined the function of miR-93, one of the microRNAs within the miR-106bB25 cluster, in angiogenesis and tumor formation. We found that miR-93 enhanced cell survival, promoted sphere formation and augmented tumor growth. Most strikingly, when miR-93-overexpressing U87 cells were co-cultured with endothelial cells, they supported endothelial cell spreading, growth, migration and tube formation. In vivo studies revealed that miR-93-expressing cells induced blood vessel formation, allowing blood vessels to extend to tumor tissues in high densities. Angiogenesis promoted by miR-93 in return facilitated cell survival, resulting in enhanced tumor growth. We further showed that integrinb8 is a target of miR-93. Higher levels of integrin-b8 are associated with cell death in tumor mass and in human glioblastoma. Silencing of integrin-b8 expression using small interfering RNA promoted cell proliferation, whereas ectopic expression of integrin-b8 decreased cell growth. These findings showed that miR-93 promotes tumor growth and angiogenesis by suppressing, at least in part, integrin-b8 expression. Our results suggest that inhibition of miR-93 function may be a feasible approach to suppress angiogenesis and tumor growth.
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a subclass of noncoding RNAs widely expressed in mammalian cells. We report here the tumorigenic capacity of a circRNA derived from angiomotin-like1 (circ-Amotl1). Circ-Amotl1 is highly expressed in patient tumor samples and cancer cell lines. Single-cell inoculations using circ-Amotl1-transfected tumor cells showed a 30-fold increase in proliferative capacity relative to control. Agarose colony-formation assays similarly revealed a 142-fold increase. Tumor-take rate in nude mouse xenografts using 6-day (219 cells) and 3-day (9 cells) colonies were 100%, suggesting tumor-forming potential of every cell. Subcutaneous single-cell injections led to the formation of palpable tumors in 41% of mice, with tumor sizes >1 cm in 1 month. We further found that this potent tumorigenicity was triggered through interactions between circ-Amotl1 and c-myc. A putative binding site was identified in silico and tested experimentally. Ectopic expression of circ-Amotl1 increased retention of nuclear c-myc, appearing to promote c-myc stability and upregulate c-myc targets. Expression of circ-Amotl1 also increased the affinity of c-myc binding to a number of promoters. Our study therefore reveals a novel function of circRNAs in tumorigenesis, and this subclass of noncoding RNAs may represent a potential target in cancer therapy.
The non-coding 3′-untranslated region (UTR) plays an important role in the regulation of microRNA (miRNA) functions, since it can bind and inactivate multiple miRNAs. Here, we show the 3′-UTR of CD44 is able to antagonize cytoplasmic miRNAs, and result in the increased translation of CD44 and downstream target mRNA, CDC42. A series of cell function assays in the human breast cancer cell line, MT-1, have shown that the CD44 3′-UTR inhibits proliferation, colony formation and tumor growth. Furthermore, it modulated endothelial cell activities, favored angiogenesis, induced tumor cell apoptosis and increased sensitivity to Docetaxel. These results are due to the interaction of the CD44 3′-UTR with multiple miRNAs. Computational algorithms have predicted three miRNAs, miR-216a, miR-330 and miR-608, can bind to both the CD44 and CDC42 3′-UTRs. This was confirmed with luciferase assays, western blotting and immunohistochemical staining and correlated with a series of siRNA assays. Thus, the non-coding CD44 3′-UTR serves as a competitor for miRNA binding and subsequently inactivates miRNA functions, by freeing the target mRNAs from being repressed.
Here we report that miR-93, a miRNA in the miR-106B~25 cluster, a paralog of the miR-17–92 cluster, was significantly upregulated in human breast carcinoma tissues. We stably expressed miR-93 in the MT-1 human breast carcinoma cell line and found that tumors formed by the miR-93 cells contained more blood vessels than those formed by the control cells. Co-culture experiments indicated that the MT-1 cells displayed a high activity of adhesion with endothelial cells and could form larger and more tube-like structures with endothelial cells. Lung metastasis assays were performed in a mouse metastatic model, and it was found that expression of miR-93 promoted tumor cell metastasis to lung tissue. In cell culture, expression of miR-93 enhanced cell survival and invasion. We examined the potential target that mediated miR-93’s effects and found that the large tumor suppressor, homology 2 (LATS2) was a target of miR-93. Higher levels of LATS2 were associated with cell death in the tumor mass. Silencing LATS2 expression promoted cell survival, tube formation and invasion, while ectopic expression of LATS2 decreased cell survival and invasion. These findings demonstrated that miR-93 promoted tumor angiogenesis and metastasis by suppressing LATS2 expression. Our results suggest that the inhibition of miR-93 function may be a feasible approach to repress tumor metastasis.
Circular RNAs are a large group of noncoding RNAs that are widely expressed in mammalian cells. Genome-wide analyses have revealed abundant and evolutionarily conserved circular RNAs across species, which suggest specific physiological roles of these species. Using a microarray approach, we detected increased expression of a circular RNA circ-Dnmt1 in eight breast cancer cell lines and in patients with breast carcinoma. Silencing circ-Dnmt1 inhibited cell proliferation and survival. Ectopic circ-Dnmt1 increased the proliferative and survival capacities of breast cancer cells by stimulating cellular autophagy. We found that circ-Dnmt1-mediated autophagy was essential in inhibiting cellular senescence and increasing tumor xenograft growth. We further found that ectopically expressed circ-Dnmt1 could interact with both p53 and AUF1, promoting the nuclear translocation of both proteins. Nuclear translocation of p53 induced cellular autophagy while AUF1 nuclear translocation reduced Dnmt1 mRNA instability, resulting in increased Dnmt1 translation. From here, functional Dnmt1 could then translocate into the nucleus, inhibiting p53 transcription. Computational algorithms revealed that both p53 and AUF1 could bind to different regions of circ-Dnmt1 RNA. Our results showed that the highly expressed circular RNA circ-Dnmt1 could bind to and regulate oncogenic proteins in breast cancer cells. Thus circ-Dnmt1 appears to be an oncogenic circular RNA with potential for further preclinical research.
SummaryTo study the physiological role of a single microRNA (miRNA), we generated transgenic mice expressing the miRNA precursor miR-17 and found that the mature miR-17-5p and the passenger strand miR-17-3p were abundantly expressed. We showed that mature miR-17-5p and passenger strand miR-17-3p could synergistically induce the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. The mature miR-17-5p exerted this function by repressing the expression of PTEN. In contrast, the passenger strand miR-17-3p repressed expression of vimentin, an intermediate filament with the ability to modulate metabolism, and GalNT7, an enzyme that regulates metabolism of liver toxin galactosamine. Hepatocellular carcinoma cells, HepG2, transfected with miR-17 formed larger tumors with more blood vessels and less tumor cell death than mock-treated cells. Expression of miR-17 precursor modulated HepG2 proliferation, migration, survival, morphogenesis and colony formation and inhibited endothelial tube formation. Silencing of PTEN, vimentin or GalNT7 with their respective siRNAs enhanced proliferation and migration. Re-expressing these molecules reversed their roles in proliferation, migration and tumorigenesis. Further experiments indicated that these three molecules do not interact with each other, but appear to function in different signaling pathways. Our results demonstrated that a mature miRNA can function synergistically with its passenger strand leading to the same phenotype but by regulating different targets located in different signaling pathways. We anticipate that our assay will serve as a helpful model for studying miRNA regulation.
SummaryMicroRNAs are known to play regulatory roles in gene expression associated with cancer development. We analyzed levels of the microRNA miR-24 in patients with breast carcinoma and found that miR-24 was higher in breast carcinoma samples than in benign breast tissues. We generated constructs expressing miR-24 and studied its functions using both in vitro and in vivo techniques. We found that the ectopic expression of miR-24 promoted breast cancer cell invasion and migration. In vivo experiments in mice indicated that the expression of miR-24 enhanced tumor growth, invasion into local tissues, metastasis to lung tissues and decreased overall mouse survival. In the miR-24-expressing cells and tumors, EGFR was highly phosphorylated, whereas expression of the phosphatases tyrosine-protein phosphatase non-receptor type 9 (PTPN9) and receptor-type tyrosine-protein phosphatase F (PTPRF) were repressed. We confirmed that miR-24 could directly target both PTPN9 and PTPRF. Consistent with this, we found that the levels of phosphorylated epidermal growth factor receptor (pEGFR) were higher whereas the levels of PTPN9 and PTPRF were lower in the patients with metastatic breast carcinoma. Ectopic expression of PTPN9 and PTPRF decreased pEGFR levels, cell invasion, migration and tumor metastasis. Furthermore, we found that MMP2, MMP11, pErk, and ADAM15 were upregulated, whereas TIMP2 was downregulated; all of which supported the roles of miR-24 in tumor invasion and metastasis. Our results suggest that miR-24 plays a key role in breast cancer invasion and metastasis. miR-24 could potentially be a target for cancer intervention.
scite is a Brooklyn-based startup that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
334 Leonard St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Copyright © 2023 scite Inc. All rights reserved.
Made with 💙 for researchers