Receive a weekly summary and discussion of the top papers of the week by leading researchers in the field.

In Nucleic acids research ; h5-index 217.0

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are predicted to regulate the expression of >60% of mammalian genes and play fundamental roles in most biological processes. Deregulation of miRNA expression is a hallmark of most cancers and further investigation of mechanisms controlling miRNA biogenesis is needed. The double stranded RNA-binding protein, NF90 has been shown to act as a competitor of Microprocessor for a limited number of primary miRNAs (pri-miRNAs). Here, we show that NF90 has a more widespread effect on pri-miRNA biogenesis than previously thought. Genome-wide approaches revealed that NF90 is associated with the stem region of 38 pri-miRNAs, in a manner that is largely exclusive of Microprocessor. Following loss of NF90, 22 NF90-bound pri-miRNAs showed increased abundance of mature miRNA products. NF90-targeted pri-miRNAs are highly stable, having a lower free energy and fewer mismatches compared to all pri-miRNAs. Mutations leading to less stable structures reduced NF90 binding while increasing pri-miRNA stability led to acquisition of NF90 association, as determined by RNA electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). NF90-bound and downregulated pri-miRNAs are embedded in introns of host genes and expression of several host genes is concomitantly reduced. These data suggest that NF90 controls the processing of a subset of highly stable, intronic miRNAs.

Grasso Giuseppa, Higuchi Takuma, Mac Victor, Barbier Jérôme, Helsmoortel Marion, Lorenzi Claudio, Sanchez Gabriel, Bello Maxime, Ritchie William, Sakamoto Shuji, Kiernan Rosemary