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Yu Lin, Shanli Zhu, Chao Hu, Jing Wang, Pengyue Jiang, Liufang Zhu, Zhengli Li, Sai Wang, Yuanbin Zhang, Xindong Xu, et al.
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 400-412; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.006

Abstract: Schistosoma japonicum eggs trapped in host liver secretes microRNA (miRNA)-containing extracellular vesicles (EVs) that can be transferred to host cells. Recent studies demonstrated that miRNAs derived from plants can modulate gene expression and phenotype of mammalian cells in a cross-kingdom manner. In this study, we identified a Schistosoma japonicum miRNA (e.g., Sja-miR-3096) that is present in the hepatocytes of mice infected with the parasite and has notable antitumor effects in both in vitro and in vivo models. The Sja-miR-3096 mimics suppressed cell proliferation and migration of both murine and human hepatoma cell lines by targeting phosphoinositide 3-kinase class II alpha (PIK3C2A). We generated a murine hepatoma cell line that stably expressed the pri-Sja-miR-3096 gene and demonstrated cross-species processing of the schistosome pri-miRNA to the mature Sja-miR-3096 in the mammalian cell. Importantly, inoculation of this cell line into the scapula and livers of mice led to a complete suppression of tumorigenesis of the hepatoma cells. Moreover, tumor weight was significantly reduced on intravenous administration of Sja-miR-3096 mimics. Thus, the schistosome miRNA-mediated antitumor activity occurs in host liver cells during schistosome infection, which may strengthen resistance of host to liver cancer, and discovery and development of such miRNAs may present promising interventions for cancer therapy.
Seung-Hyun Kim, Slgirim Lee, Heehyung Lee, Mira Cho, Sciprofile linkDavid V. Schaffer, Sciprofile linkJae-Hyung Jang
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 432-443; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.015

Abstract: Interfacing gene delivery vehicles with biomaterials has the potential to play a key role in diversifying gene transfer capabilities, including localized, patterned, and controlled delivery. However, strategies for modifying biomaterials to interact with delivery vectors must be redesigned whenever new delivery vehicles and applications are explored. We have developed a vector-independent biomaterial platform capable of interacting with various adeno-associated viral (AAV) serotypes. A water-soluble, cysteine-tagged, recombinant protein version of the recently discovered multi-AAV serotype receptor (AAVR), referred to as cys-AAVR, was conjugated to maleimide-displaying polycaprolactone (PCL) materials using click chemistry. The resulting cys-AAVR-PCL system bound to a broad range of therapeutically relevant AAV serotypes, thereby providing a platform capable of modulating the delivery of all AAV serotypes. Intramuscular injection of cys-AAVR-PCL microspheres with bound AAV vectors resulted in localized and sustained gene delivery as well as reduced spread to off-target organs compared to a vector solution. This cys-AAVR-PCL system is thus an effective approach for biomaterial-based AAV gene delivery for a broad range of therapeutic applications.
Qingde Wa, Sheng Huang, Jincheng Pan, Yubo Tang, Shaofu He, Xiaodong Fu, Xinsheng Peng, Xiao Chen, Chunxiao Yang, Dong Ren, et al.
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 567-579; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.008

Abstract: The prime issue derived from prostate cancer (PCa) is its high prevalence to metastasize to bone. MicroRNA-204-5p (miR-204-5p) has been reported to be involved in the development and metastasis in a variety of cancers. However, the clinical significance and biological functions of miR-204-5p in bone metastasis of PCa are still not reported yet. In this study, we find that miR-204-5p expression is reduced in PCa tissues and serum sample with bone metastasis compared with that in PCa tissues and serum sample without bone metastasis, which is associated with advanced clinicopathological characteristics and poor bone metastasis-free survival in PCa patients. Moreover, upregulation of miR-204-5p inhibits the migration and invasion of PCa cells in vitro, and importantly, upregulating miR-204-5p represses bone metastasis of PCa cells in vivo. Our results further demonstrated that miR-204-5p suppresses invasion, migration, and bone metastasis of PCa cells via inactivating nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling by simultaneously targeting TRAF1, TAB3, and MAP3K3. In clinical PCa samples, miR-204-5p expression negatively correlates with TRAF1, TAB3, and MAP3K3 expression and NF-κB signaling activity. Therefore, our findings reveal a new mechanism underpinning the bone metastasis of PCa, as well as provide evidence that miR-204-5p might serve as a novel serum biomarker in bone metastasis of PCa.This study identifies a novel functional role of miR-204-5p in bone metastasis of prostate cancer and supports the potential clinical value of miR-204-5p as a serum biomarker in bone metastasis of PCa.
Yuanchang Zhu, Qing Liu, Meijian Liao, Lianghui Diao, Tonghua Wu, Weijie Liao, Ziqiang Wang, Bing Li, Shikuan Zhang, Songmao Wang, et al.
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 518-532; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.017

Abstract: Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been shown to be crucial regulators in numerous human diseases. However, little is known about their effects on early recurrent miscarriage (RM). Here we aimed to investigate the role of lncRNA EPB41L4A-AS1 on placental trophoblast cell metabolic reprogramming, which might be involved in the pathogenesis of RM. After microarray and GEO database analyses, we found that EPB41L4A-AS1 was significantly increased in early RM placental tissue, and this increase may relate to estradiol-mediated upregulation of PGC-1α. EPB41L4A-AS1 overexpression inhibits glycolysis but increases the dependence on fatty acid oxidation in mitochondrion metabolism and suppresses the Warburg effect, which is necessary for rapid growth of the placental villus, leading to miscarriage. Mechanistic analyses demonstrated that EPB41L4A-AS1 functions as a lncRNA in the regulation of VDAC1 and HIF-1α expression through enhancement of H3K4me3 levels in the promoters of VDAC1 and HIF1A-AS1, a natural antisense transcript (NAT) lncRNA of HIF-1α. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that aberrant expression of EPB41L4A-AS1 is involved in the etiology of early RM, and it may be a candidate diagnostic hallmark and a potential therapeutic target for early RM treatment.
Daniela Araújo, Nuno Miguel Azevedo, Ana Barbosa, Carina Almeida, Maria Elisa Rodrigues, Mariana Henriques, Sciprofile linkSónia Silva
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 508-517; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.016

Abstract: Antisense oligomers and their analogs have been successfully utilized to silence gene expression for the treatment of many human diseases; however, the control of yeast's virulence determinants has never been exploited before. In this sense, this work is based on the key hypothesis that if a pathogen's genetic sequence is a determinant of virulence, it will be possible to synthesize a nucleic acid mimic based on antisense therapy (AST) that will bind to the mRNA produced, blocking its translation into protein and, consequently, reducing the pathogen virulence phenotype. EFG1 is an important determinant of virulence that is involved in the regulation of the Candida albicans switch from yeast to filamentous form. Thus, our main goal was to design and synthesize an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) targeting the EFG1 mRNA and to validate its in vitro applicability. The results show that the anti-EFG1 2′-OMethylRNA (2′OMe) oligomer was able to significantly reduce the levels of EFG1 gene expression and of Efg1p protein translation (both approximately 60%), as well as effectively prevent filamentation of C. albicans cells (by 80%). Moreover, it was verified that anti-EFG1 2′OMe keeps the efficacy in different simulated human body fluids. Undeniably, this work provides potentially valuable information for future research into the management of Candida infections, regarding the development of a credible and alternative method to control C. albicans infections, based on AST methodology.
Malgorzata Drozd, Sébastien Delhaye, Thomas Maurin, Sara Castagnola, Mauro Grossi, Frédéric Brau, Marielle Jarjat, Rob Willemsen, Maria Capovilla, Renate K. Hukema, et al.
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 546-553; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.018

Abstract: Fragile X-associated tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a rare disorder associated to the presence of the fragile X premutation, a 55–200 CGG repeat expansion in the 5′ UTR of the FMR1 gene. Two main neurological phenotypes have been described in carriers of the CGG premutation: (1) neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), social deficits, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD); and (2) after 50 years old, the FXTAS phenotype. This neurodegenerative disorder is characterized by ataxia and a form of parkinsonism. The molecular pathology of this disorder is characterized by the presence of elevated levels of Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 (FMR1) mRNA, presence of a repeat-associated non-AUG (RAN) translated peptide, and FMR1 mRNA-containing nuclear inclusions. Whereas in the past FXTAS was mainly considered as a late-onset disorder, some phenotypes of patients and altered learning and memory behavior of a mouse model of FXTAS suggested that this disorder involves neurodevelopment. To better understand the physiopathological role of the increased levels of Fmr1 mRNA during neuronal differentiation, we used a small interfering RNA (siRNA) approach to reduce the abundance of this mRNA in cultured cortical neurons from the FXTAS mouse model. Morphological alterations of neurons were rescued by this approach. This cellular phenotype is associated to differentially expressed proteins that we identified by mass spectrometry analysis. Interestingly, phenotype rescue is also associated to the rescue of the abundance of 29 proteins that are involved in various pathways, which represent putative targets for early therapeutic approaches.
Meng Zhang, Bo Li, Jian Wang, Sihuan Zhang, Hui Li, Lin Ma, Wei Guo, Chuzhao Lei, Hong Chen, Sciprofile linkXianyong Lan
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 554-566; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.013

Abstract: Previously, our transcriptome sequencing revealed that lnc9141 was differentially expressed in muscles of fetal bovine, calf, and adult bovine, which is considered to provide the basis for raising the muscle mass. In this study, we identified lnc9141 characters. lnc9141 has different transcription start sites and 3′ alternative splicing sites of exon 1, producing lnc9141-a and lnc9141-b transcripts that were highly expressed in the heart and lung. Moreover, neither lnc9141-a nor lnc9141-b had the ability to encode proteins. The functions of lnc9141-a and lnc9141-b were explored by cell cycle, 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU), and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The results showed that lnc9141-a or lnc9141-b overexpression decreased the number of myoblasts in the S phase and increased the proportion of cells in the G0/G1 phase. Furthermore, overexpressing lnc9141-a and lnc9141-b respectively downregulated the expression of Cyclin D1. However, lnc9141-a or lnc9141-b interference was found to increase the number of S-phase myoblasts, and upregulate Cyclin D1 and Cyclin E expression. Through Annexin V-FITC/propidium iodide (PI) double staining and the expression of apoptosis marker genes (Bax, Bcl2, and Caspase-3), it was found that lnc9141-b could regulate the expression of Bax gene. Meantime, high expression of lnc9141-b could decrease MyHC expression. In addition, the intergenic region between lnc9141 and IRX5 was 2.3 kb, with a head-to-head orientation. The study also revealed the core regions of the lnc9141 and IRX5 promoter. Our study demonstrated that both lnc9141-a and -b expression inhibited bovine myoblast proliferation. However, lnc9141-b regulated Bax and MyHC expression. The regulatory mechanism of lnc9141-a and lnc9141-b needs to be further explored.
Eva Van Ingen, Amanda C. Foks, Mara J. Kröner, Johan Kuiper, Paul H.A. Quax, Ilze Bot, Sciprofile linkAnne Yaël Nossent
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 638-649; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.021

Abstract: We have previously shown that third-generation antisense (3GA) inhibition of 14q32 microRNA (miRNA)-494 reduced early development of atherosclerosis. However, patients at risk of atherosclerotic complications generally present with advanced and unstable lesions. Here, we administered 3GAs against 14q32 miRNA-494 (3GA-494), miRNA-329 (3GA-329), or a control (3GA-ctrl) to mice with advanced atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaque formation in LDLr−/− mice was induced by a 10-week high-fat diet and simultaneous carotid artery collar placement. Parallel to 3GA-treatment, hyperlipidemia was normalized by a diet switch to regular chow for an additional 5 weeks. We show that, even though plasma cholesterol levels were normalized after diet switch, carotid artery plaque progression continued in 3GA-ctrl mice. However, treatment with 3GA-494 and, in part, 3GA-329 halted plaque progression. Furthermore, in the aortic root, intra-plaque collagen content was increased in 3GA-494 mice, accompanied by a reduction in the intra-plaque macrophage content. Pro-atherogenic cells in the circulation, including inflammatory Ly6Chi monocytes, neutrophils, and blood platelets, were decreased upon miRNA-329 and miRNA-494 inhibition. Taken together, treatment with 3GA-494, and in part with 3GA-329, halts atherosclerotic plaque progression and promotes stabilization of advanced lesions, which is highly relevant for human atherosclerosis.
Xuezhi He, Jing Wang, Jin Chen, Liang Han, Xiyi Lu, Sciprofile linkDengshun Miao, Sciprofile linkDandan Yin, Sciprofile linkQinghe Geng, Sciprofile linkErbao Zhang
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 605-616; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.024

Abstract: Dysregulated expression of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) has been reported in many types of cancers, indicating that it has important regulatory roles in human cancer biology. Recently, lncRNA urothelial cancer-associated 1 (UCA1) was shown to be dysregulated in many cancer types, but the detailed mechanisms remain largely unknown. In our study, we found that upregulated UCA1 is associated with poor prognosis in gastric cancer patients. Further experiments revealed that UCA1 knockdown significantly repressed the proliferation and migration both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis revealed that UCA1 knockdown preferentially affected genes that are linked to cell proliferation, cell cycle, and cell migration. Mechanistically, UCA1 promotes cell proliferation progression through repressing p21 and Sprouty RTK signaling antagonist 1 (SPRY1) expression by binding to EZH2. We found that UCA1 could mediate the trimethylation of H3K27 in promoters of p21 and SPRY1. To our knowledge, this is the first report showing the global gene profile of downstream targets of UCA1 in the progression of gastric cancer. Collectively, our data reveal the important roles of UCA1 in gastric cancer (GC) oncogenesis.
Jun Han, Meijun Chen, Qingxiao Fang, Yanqing Zhang, Yihan Wang, Jamaspishvili Esma, Sciprofile linkHong Qiao
Published: 6 December 2019
Molecular Therapy - Nucleic Acids, Volume 18, pp 650-660; doi:10.1016/j.omtn.2019.09.027

Abstract: Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common malignant tumor of endocrine systems. Chromosomal instability (CIN) is crucial to the clinical prognoses of tumor patients. DNA methylation plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression and CIN. Based on PTC samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas database, we used multiple regression analyses to identify methylation patterns of CpG sites with the strongest correlation with gene expression. A total of 4,997 genes were obtained through combining the CpG sites, which were represented as featured DNA methylation patterns. In order to identify CIN-related epigenetic markers of PTC survival, we developed a method to characterize CIN based on DNA methylation patterns of genes using the Student's t statistics. We found that 1,239 genes were highly associated with CIN. With the use of the log-rank test, univariate Cox regression analyses, and the Kaplan-Meier method, DNA methylation patterns of UBAC2 and ELOVL2, highly correlated with CIN, provided potential prognostic values for PTC. The higher these two genes, risk scores were correlated with worse PTC patient prognoses. Moreover, the ELOVL2 risk score was significantly different in the four stages of PTC, suggesting that it was related to the progress of PTC. The DNA methylation pattern associated with CIN may therefore be a good predictor of PTC survival.
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