B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2)-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) protein is a member of BAG family of co-chaperones that modulates major biological processes, including apoptosis, autophagy, and development to promote cellular adaptive responses to stress stimuli. Although BAG3 is constitutively expressed in several cell types, its expression is also inducible and is regulated by microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that mostly bind to the 3′-UTR (untranslated region) of mRNAs to inhibit their translation or to promote their degradation. miRNAs can potentially regulate over 50% of the protein-coding genes in a cell and therefore are involved in the regulation of all major functions, including cell differentiation, growth, proliferation, apoptosis, and autophagy. Dysregulation of miRNA expression is associated with pathogenesis of numerous diseases, including peripheral artery disease (PAD). BAG3 plays a critical role in regulating the response of skeletal muscle cells to ischemia by its ability to regulate autophagy. However, the biological role of miRNAs in the regulation of BAG3 in biological processes has only been elucidated recently. In this review, we discuss how miRNA may play a key role in regulating BAG3 expression under normal and pathological conditions.
Total-RNA sequencing (total-RNA-seq) allows the simultaneous study of both the coding and the non-coding transcriptome. Yet, computational pipelines have traditionally focused on particular biotypes, making assumptions that are not fullfilled by total-RNA-seq datasets. Transcripts from distinct RNA biotypes vary in length, biogenesis, and function, can overlap in a genomic region, and may be present in the genome with a high copy number. Consequently, reads from total-RNA-seq libraries may cause ambiguous genomic alignments, demanding for flexible quantification approaches.
Here we present Multi-Graph count (MGcount), a total-RNA-seq quantification tool combining two strategies for handling ambiguous alignments. First, MGcount assigns reads hierarchically to small-RNA and long-RNA features to account for length disparity when transcripts overlap in the same genomic position. Next, MGcount aggregates RNA products with similar sequences where reads systematically multi-map using a graph-based approach. MGcount outputs a transcriptomic count matrix compatible with RNA-sequencing downstream analysis pipelines, with both bulk and single-cell resolution, and the graphs that model repeated transcript structures for different biotypes. The software can be used as a python module or as a single-file executable program.
MGcount is a flexible total-RNA-seq quantification tool that successfully integrates reads that align to multiple genomic locations or that overlap with multiple gene features. Its approach is suitable for the simultaneous estimation of protein-coding, long non-coding and small non-coding transcript concentration, in both precursor and processed forms. Both source code and compiled software are available at https://github.com/hitaandrea/MGcount.
AbstractParkinson’s disease (PD) is the second-most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons (mDA) in the midbrain. The underlying mechanisms are only partly understood and there is no treatment to reverse PD progression. Here, we investigated the disease mechanism using mDA neurons differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) carrying the ILE368ASN mutation within the PINK1 gene, which is strongly associated with PD. Single-cell RNA sequencing (RNAseq) and gene expression analysis of a PINK1-ILE368ASN and a control cell line identified genes differentially expressed during mDA neuron differentiation. Network analysis revealed that these genes form a core network, members of which interact with all known 19 protein-coding Parkinson’s disease-associated genes. This core network encompasses key PD-associated pathways, including ubiquitination, mitochondrial function, protein processing, RNA metabolism, and vesicular transport. Proteomics analysis showed a consistent alteration in proteins of dopamine metabolism, indicating a defect of dopaminergic metabolism in PINK1-ILE368ASN neurons. Our findings suggest the existence of a network onto which pathways associated with PD pathology converge, and offers an inclusive interpretation of the phenotypic heterogeneity of PD.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are pivotal mediators of systemic immune response to viral infection, yet most studies concerning their expression and functions upon immune stimulation are limited to in vitro bulk cell populations. This strongly constrains our understanding of how lncRNA expression varies at single-cell resolution, and how their cell-type specific immune regulatory roles may differ compared to protein-coding genes. Here, we perform the first in-depth characterization of lncRNA expression variation at single-cell resolution during Ebola virus (EBOV) infection in vivo. Using bulk RNA-sequencing from 119 samples and 12 tissue types, we significantly expand the current macaque lncRNA annotation. We then profile lncRNA expression variation in immune circulating single-cells during EBOV infection and find that lncRNAs' expression in fewer cells is a major differentiating factor from their protein-coding gene counterparts. Upon EBOV infection, lncRNAs present dynamic and mostly cell-type specific changes in their expression profiles especially in monocytes, the main cell type targeted by EBOV. Such changes are associated with gene regulatory modules related to important innate immune responses such as interferon response and purine metabolism. Within infected cells, several lncRNAs have positively and negatively correlated expression with viral load, suggesting that expression of some of these lncRNAs might be directly hijacked by EBOV to attack host cells. This study provides novel insights into the roles that lncRNAs play in the host response to acute viral infection and paves the way for future lncRNA studies at single-cell resolution.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in response to abiotic stresses in plants, by acting as cis- or trans-acting regulators of protein-coding genes. As a widely cultivated crop worldwide, maize is sensitive to salt stress particularly at the seedling stage. However, it is unclear how the expressions of protein-coding genes are affected by non-coding RNAs in maize responding to salt tolerance.
The whole transcriptome sequencing was employed to investigate the differential lncRNAs and target transcripts responding to salt stress between two maize inbred lines with contrasting salt tolerance. We developed a flexible, user-friendly, and modular RNA analysis workflow, which facilitated the identification of lncRNAs and novel mRNAs from whole transcriptome data. Using the workflow, 12,817 lncRNAs and 8,320 novel mRNAs in maize seedling roots were identified and characterized. A total of 742 lncRNAs and 7,835 mRNAs were identified as salt stress-responsive transcripts. Moreover, we obtained 41 cis- and 81 trans-target mRNA for 88 of the lncRNAs. Among these target transcripts, 11 belonged to 7 transcription factor (TF) families including bHLH, C2H2, Hap3/NF-YB, HAS, MYB, WD40, and WRKY. The above 8,577 salt stress-responsive transcripts were further classified into 28 modules by weighted gene co-expression network analysis. In the salt-tolerant module, we constructed an interaction network containing 79 nodes and 3081 edges, which included 5 lncRNAs, 18 TFs and 56 functional transcripts (FTs). As a trans-acting regulator, the lncRNA MSTRG.8888.1 affected the expressions of some salt tolerance-relative FTs, including protein-serine/threonine phosphatase 2C and galactinol synthase 1, by regulating the expression of the bHLH TF.
The contrasting genetic backgrounds of the two inbred lines generated considerable variations in the expression abundance of lncRNAs and protein-coding transcripts. In the co-expression networks responding to salt stress, some TFs were targeted by the lncRNAs, which further regulated the salt tolerance-related functional transcripts. We constructed a regulatory pathway of maize seedlings to salt stress, which was mediated by the hub lncRNA MSTRG.8888.1 and participated by the bHLH TF and its downstream target transcripts. Future work will be focused on the functional revelation of the regulatory pathway.
Accumulating evidence has shown that long intergenic non-protein-coding RNA 346 (LINC00346) functions as an oncogene in the tumorigenesis of several cancers. The expression level of LINC00346 has been shown to be obviously correlated with prognosis, lymphoma metastasis, histological grade, TNM stage, tumor size and pathologic stage. LINC00346 has been found to regulate specific cellular functions by interacting with several molecules and signaling pathways. In this review, we summarize recent evidence concerning the role of LINC00346 in the occurrence and development of diseases. We also discuss the potential clinical utility of LINC00346, thereby providing new insight into the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. In addition, we further discuss the potential clinical utility of LINC00346 in the diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment of diseases.
Pleurotremataceae species are saprobes on decaying wood in terrestrial, mangrove, and freshwater habitats. The generic boundary of the family has traditionally been based on morphology. All genera of Pleurotremataceae have a high degree of morphological overlap, of which the generic circumscription of Melomastia and Dyfrolomyces has not been well resolved. Thus, the delimitation of genera has always been challenging. Melomastia traditionally differs from Dyfrolomyces in having 2-septate, oblong, with obtuse-ends ascospores. These main characteristics have been used to distinguish Melomastia from Dyfrolomyces for a long time. However, the above characteristics sometimes overlap among Dyfrolomyces and Melomastia species. Based on the morphology and multigene phylogeny with newly obtained data, we synonymized Dyfrolomyces under Melomastia following up-to-date results. Four novel species (i.e., Melomastia fusispora, M. oleae, M. sichuanensis and M. winteri) collected from the dead branches of Olea europaea L. in Chengdu Olive Base, Sichuan Province in China are introduced based on detailed morphological characterization and phylogenetic analyses of sequences based on nuclear ribosomal (LSU and SSU) and protein-coding gene (tef1-α). The 11 new combinations proposed are Melomastia aquatica (= Dyfrolomyces aquaticus), M. chromolaenae (= D. chromolaenae), M. distoseptata (= D. distoseptatus), M. mangrovei (= D. mangrovei), M. marinospora (= D. marinosporus), M. neothailandica (= D. neothailandicus), M. phetchaburiensis (= D. phetchaburiensis), M. sinensis (= D. sinensis), M. thailandica (= D. thailandica), M. thamplaensis (= D. thamplaensis) and M. tiomanensis (= D. tiomanensis).
Nucleotide sequence reagents underpin molecular techniques that have been applied across hundreds of thousands of publications. We have previously reported wrongly identified nucleotide sequence reagents in human research publications and described a semi-automated screening tool Seek & Blastn to fact-check their claimed status. We applied Seek & Blastn to screen >11,700 publications across five literature corpora, including all original publications in Gene from 2007 to 2018 and all original open-access publications in Oncology Reports from 2014 to 2018. After manually checking Seek & Blastn outputs for >3,400 human research articles, we identified 712 articles across 78 journals that described at least one wrongly identified nucleotide sequence. Verifying the claimed identities of >13,700 sequences highlighted 1,535 wrongly identified sequences, most of which were claimed targeting reagents for the analysis of 365 human protein-coding genes and 120 non-coding RNAs. The 712 problematic articles have received >17,000 citations, including citations by human clinical trials. Given our estimate that approximately one-quarter of problematic articles may misinform the future development of human therapies, urgent measures are required to address unreliable gene research articles.
We provide in this study a very large DNA dataset on Rhodnius species including 36 samples representing 16 valid species of the three Rhodnius groups, pictipes, prolixus and pallescens. Samples were sequenced at low-depth with whole-genome shotgun sequencing (Illumina technology). Using phylogenomics including 15 mitochondrial genes (13.3 kb), partial nuclear rDNA (5.2 kb) and 51 nuclear protein-coding genes (36.3 kb), we resolve sticking points in the Rhodnius phylogeny. At the species level, we confirmed the species-specific status of R. montenegrensis and R. marabaensis and we agree with the synonymy of R. taquarussuensis with R. neglectus. We also invite to revisit the species-specific status of R. milesi that is more likely R. nasutus. We proposed to define a robustus species complex that comprises the four close relative species: R. marabaensis, R. montenegrensis, R. prolixus and R. robustus. As Psammolestes tertius was included in the Rhodnius clade, we strongly recommend reclassifying this species as R. tertius. At the Rhodnius group level, molecular data consistently supports the clustering of the pictipes and pallescens groups, more related to each other than they are to the prolixus group. Moreover, comparing mitochondrial and nuclear tree topologies, our results demonstrated that various introgression events occurred in all the three Rhodnius groups, in laboratory strains but also in wild specimens. We demonstrated that introgressions occurred frequently in the prolixus group, involving the related species of the robustus complex but also the pairwise R. nasutus and R. neglectus. A genome wide analysis highlighted an introgression event in the pictipes group between R. stali and R. brethesi and suggested a complex gene flow between the three species of the pallescens group, R. colombiensis, R. pallescens and R. ecuadoriensis. The molecular data supports also a sylvatic distribution of R. prolixus in Brazil (Pará state) and the monophyly of R. robustus. As we detected extensive introgression events and selective pressure on mitochondrial genes, we strongly recommend performing separate mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenies and to take advantages of mito-nuclear conflicts in order to have a comprehensive evolutionary vision of this genus.
Trypanosoma brucei is a parasitic protist that causes African sleeping sickness. The establishment of T. brucei cell lines has provided a significant advantage for the majority of T. brucei research. However, these cell lines were isolated and maintained in culture for decades, occasionally accumulating changes in gene expression. Since trypanosome strains have been maintained in culture for decades, it is possible that difference may have accumulated in fast-evolving non-coding RNAs between trypanosomes from the wild and those maintained extensively in cultures. To address this, we compared the lncRNA expression profile of trypanosomes maintained as cultured cell lines (CL) to those extracted from human patients, wildtype (WT). We identified lncRNAs from CL and WT from available transcriptomic data and demonstrate that CL and WT have unique sets of lncRNAs expressed. We further demonstrate that the unique and shared lncRNAs are differentially expressed between CL and WT parasites, and that these lncRNAs are more evenly up-regulated and down-regulated than protein-coding genes. We validated the expression of these lncRNAs using qPCR. Taken together, this study demonstrates that lncRNAs are differentially expressed between cell lines and wildtype T. brucei and provides evidence for potential evolution of lncRNAs, specifically in T. brucei maintained in culture.