ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0333.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: small RNA Oxys; RNA chaperone Hfq protein; gene expression regulator; molecular dynamics simulations; binding free energy; interaction entropy
Online: 20 September 2021 (12:47:28 CEST)
Under the oxidative stress condition, the small RNA (sRNA) Oxys that acts as essential post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression is produced and plays a regulatory function with the assistance of the RNA chaperone Hfq protein. Interestingly, experimental studies found that the N48A mutation of Hfq protein could enhance the binding affinity with OxyS while resulting in defection of gene regulation. But, how the Hfq protein interacts with sRNA Oxys and the origin of the stronger affinity of N48A mutation are both unclear. In this paper, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed on the complex structure of Hfq and OxyS to explore their binding mechanism. The molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area (MM/GBSA) and interaction entropy (IE) method were combined to calculate the binding free energy between Hfq and OxyS sRNA, and the computational result is in excellent correlation with the experimental result. Per-residue decomposition of the binding free energy revealed that the enhanced binding ability of the N48A mutation mainly comes from the increased van der Waals interactions (vdW). This research explores the binding mechanism between Oxys and chaperone protein Hfq, and revealed the origin of the strong binding affinity of N48A mutation. The results provided important insights on the mechanism of gene expression regulation affected by protein mutations.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0172.v4
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: RNA-dependent amplification of mammalian mRNA; physiologically occurring intracellular PCR, iPCR; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, RdRp; chimeric RNA; sense-strand RNA; antisense-strand RNA
Online: 12 June 2019 (12:21:59 CEST)
The transfer of protein-encoding genetic information from DNA to RNA to protein, a process formalized as the “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology”, has undergone a significant evolution since its inception. It was amended to account for the information flow from RNA to DNA, the reverse transcription, and for the information transfer from RNA to RNA, the RNA-dependent RNA synthesis. These processes, both potentially leading to protein production, were initially described only in viral systems, and although RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity was shown to be present, and RNA-dependent RNA synthesisfound to occur, in mammalian cells, its function was presumed to be restricted to regulatory. However, recent results, obtained with multiple mRNA species in several mammalian systems, strongly indicate the occurrence of protein-encoding RNA to RNA information transfer in mammalian cells. It can result in the rapid production of the extraordinary quantities of specific proteins as was seen in cases of terminal cellular differentiation and during cellular deposition of extracellular matrix molecules. A malfunction of this process may be involved in pathologies associated either with the deficiency of a protein normally produced by this mechanism or with the abnormal abundanceof a protein or of its C-terminal fragment. It seems to be responsible for some types of familial thalassemia and may underlie the overproduction of beta amyloid in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. The aim of the present article is to systematize the current knowledge and understanding of this pathway. The outlined framework introduces unexpected features of the mRNA amplification such as its ability to generate polypeptides non-contiguously encoded in the genome, its second Tier, a physiologically occurring intracellular polymerase chain reaction, iPCR, a Two-Tier Paradox and RNA Dark Matter. RNA-dependent mRNA amplification represents a new mode of genomic protein-encoding information transfer in mammalian cells. Its potential physiological impact is substantial, it appears relevant to multiple pathologies and its understanding opens new venues of therapeutic interference, it suggests powerful novel bioengineering approaches and its further rigorous investigations are highly warranted.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0531.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: A.thaliana; HaloTag; RNA-binding proteins; RNA pulldown assay; RNA-protein complexes; cold shock domain protein
Online: 23 July 2021 (09:32:28 CEST)
Study of RNA-protein interactions and identification of RNA targets are among the key aspects of understanding the RNA biology. Currently, various methods are available to investigate these interactions, in particular, RNA pulldown assay. In the present paper, a method based on the HaloTag technology is presented that is called Halo-RPD (HaloTag RNA PullDown). The proposed protocol uses plants with stable fusion protein expression and the MagneBeads magnetic beads to capture RNA-protein complexes directly from the cytoplasmic lysate of transgenic A. thaliana plants. The key stages described in the paper are as follows: 1) preparation of the magnetic beads 2) tissue homogenization and collection of control samples 3) precipitation and wash of RNA-protein complexes; 4) evaluation of protein binding efficacy; 5) RNA isolation; 6) analysis of the obtained RNA. Recommendations for better NGS assay designs are provided.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0225.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: RNA targeting; RNA-based interactions; bis-3-chloropiperidines
Online: 14 December 2021 (11:13:29 CET)
After a long limbo, RNA has gained its credibility as a druggable target, fully earning its de-served role in the next-generation area of pharmaceutical R&D. We have recently probed the Trans-Activation Response element (TAR), a RNA stem–bulge–loop domain of the HIV-1 genome with bis-3-chloropiperidines (B-CePs), and revealed the compounds unique behavior in stabiliz-ing TAR structure, thus impairing in vitro the chaperone activity of the HIV-1 nucleocapsid (NC) protein. Seeking to elucidate the determinants of B-CePs inhibition, we have further characterized here their effects on the target TAR and its NC recognition, while developing quantitative analyti-cal approaches for the study of multicomponent RNA-based interactions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0250.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: prebiotic chemistry; protein synthesis; hairpin RNA
Online: 22 April 2019 (12:11:21 CEST)
A model of the early RNA world is proposed. Nearly self-complementary sequences that could adopt double-stranded, smallhairpin-like (shRNA), structures would be selected for due to their greater hydrolytic stability. These would be phosphorylated attheir 5' ends. We suppose that dehydrating conditions arise (perhaps intermittently) in the early environment allowing amino acidsto condense with these RNA molecules. The resulting phosphate-amino acid anhydrides would play the role of early, charged,tRNAs. A crude genetic code could emerge owing to the greater resistance of some amino acid-shRNA pairings to hydrolysisrelative to others. Early on there is no division of labor between mRNAs and tRNAs; the same molecules perform both functions.But the first systems would have encoded little in the way of protein sequence information. Rather they would have served as catalysts for the random polymerization of amino acids. It is speculated that the selective advantage inhering in such systems lay intheir ability to supply raw materials for the formation of coacervates within which the various molecules essential to proto-lifecould be concentrated. This would greatly facilitate the necessary chemistries. The evolution of homochiral protein and RNA populations is discussed. An appealing feature of this model is its ability to explain the transition from phosphorylated amino acids to the 3' ester-linked aminoacyl-tRNAs employed by modern life.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0572.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: muscle; circRNA; RNA binding protein; molecular interactions; function
Online: 25 February 2021 (10:09:04 CET)
Muscle is one of the most critical organs for mammals, which governs multiple movement and physiological functions. Circular RNA (circRNA) is a kind of novel endogenous RNA without 5'-Caps and 3'-poly(A) structures formed by pre-mRNA's back-splicing. RNA binding proteins (RBPs) control the production and degradation of circRNA, help nucleus-cytoplasm transport and locate circRNA, and regulate circRNA translation. Therefore, circRNAs and the chaperoned RBPs play critical roles in muscle growth, development, and disease progression. In this review, we systematically characterize the possible molecular mechanism of circRNA-protein interactions. Also, we summarize the latest researches on circRNA-protein interactions in muscle development and diseases. Besides, we provide several valid prediction methods and experimental verification approaches. Our review reveals the importance of circRNAs and their protein chaperones and provides a reference for further study in this field.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0452.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: fission yeast; kinesin-14; RNA-binding protein; mitotic spindle; heat stress
Online: 17 March 2021 (16:52:41 CET)
Cells form a bipolar spindle during mitosis to ensure accurate chromosome segregation. Proper spindle architecture is established by a set of kinesin motors and microtubule-associated proteins. In most eukaryotes, kinesin-5 motors are essential for this process, and genetic or chemical inhibition of their activity leads to the emergence of monopolar spindles and cell death. However, these deficiencies can be rescued by simultaneous inactivation of kinesin-14 motors, as they counteract kinesin-5. We conducted detailed genetic analyses in fission yeast to understand the mechanisms driving spindle assembly in the absence of kinesin-5. Here we show that deletion of the nrp1 gene, which encodes a putative RNA-binding protein with unknown function, can rescue temperature sensitivity caused by cut7-22, a fission yeast kinesin-5 mutant. Interestingly, kinesin-14/Klp2 levels on the spindles in the cut7 mutants were significantly reduced by the nrp1 deletion, although the total levels of Klp2 and the stability of spindle microtubules remained unaffected. Moreover, RNA-binding motifs of Nrp1 are essential for its cytoplasmic localization and function. We have also found that a portion of Nrp1 is spatially and functionally sequestered by chaperone-based protein aggregates upon mild heat stress and limits cell division at high temperatures. We propose that Nrp1 might be involved in post-transcriptional regulation through its RNA-binding ability to promote the loading of Klp2 on the spindle microtubules.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0318.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: protein sequencing; nanopore; tRNA; RNA; codon; amino acid charging; optical tag
Online: 4 December 2019 (12:32:26 CET)
A method for sequencing a protein from a codon sequence is proposed. An unfolded protein molecule is threaded through a nano-sized pore in an electrolytic cell carboxyl end first and held with a voltage such that only the first residue is exposed in the trans chamber of the cell. A tRNA molecule in trans with matching anticodon for the residue binds itself to the latter in the presence of suitable catalysts. It is then cleaved and transferred to an extended electrolytic cell with N pores, 40 ≤ N ≤ 61, in N individual cis chambers and a single trans chamber. Each pore holds an RNA molecule ending in a unique codon that is held exposed in the trans chamber. In the presence of suitable catalysts the anticodon in the transferred tRNA binds with the codon of a matching RNA molecule. By reversing the voltages in the extended cell every RNA molecule except the one to which the transferred tRNA is bound retracts into its cis chamber, this identifies the residue unambiguously. The detected residue in the first cell is cleaved and the process repeated. Unlike in other nanopore-based methods, it suffices to detect the occurrence of a current blockade without having to measure the pore current precisely. A simplified but more time-consuming version that uses only the first cell is also described. In either case no a priori information about the protein is needed so de novo sequencing is possible. A feasibility analysis of the proposed scheme is presented.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0534.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: long non coding RNA, whole exome sequencing, protein interaction, congenital pouch colon, microscale thermophoresis
Online: 30 August 2018 (15:30:35 CEST)
Congenital Pouch Colon (CPC) is a rare anorectal anomaly common to North Western India specifically Rajasthan. Despite efforts to understand the clinical genetic makeup of CPC, no attempt on identifying non-coding RNAs was done. We have earlier reported CPC's rare variants from whole exome sequencing across 18 affected samples in a total of 64 subjects. A Smith-Waterman algorithm was used to infer a couple of lncRNAs from WES samples of CPC with predictions from the Noncode database. Further screening and quantification using PCR, we ascertained interactions using Micro Scale Thermophoresis (MST). We report the role of lnc-EPB41-1-1 shown to be promiscuously interacting with KIF13A substantiating their role in regulation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0095.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: long noncoding RNA; PVT1; MYC; bromodomain; multiple myeloma
Online: 4 August 2020 (11:31:37 CEST)
Abstract: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are deregulated in human cancers and are associated with disease progression. Plasmacytoma Variant Translocation 1 (PVT1), an lncRNA, is located adjacent to MYC, linked to multiple myeloma (MM). PVT1 is expressed in MM and is associated with carcinogenesis, however, its role and regulation machinery remain uncertain. We examined PVT1/MYC expression through real time PCR in plasma cells purified from 59 MGUS and 140 MM patients. MM cell lines KMS11, KMS12PE, OPM2, and RPMI8226 were treated with JQ1, a MYC superenhancer inhibitor, or MYC inhibitor 10058-F4. The expression levels of PVT1 and MYC were significantly higher in MM than in MGUS (p < 0.0001), and showed positive correlation with disease progression (r = 0.394, p < 0.0001). JQ1 inhibited cell proliferation and decreased the expression levels of MYC and PVT1. However, 10054-F4 did not alter the expression level of PVT1. The positive correlation between MYC and PVT1 in patients, synchronous downregulation of MYC and PVT1 by JQ1, and no effect of MYC inhibitor on PVT1 expression suggest that the expression of these two genes is coregulated by a superenhancer. Cooperative effects between these two genes may contribute to MM pathogenesis and progression.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0137.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: RNA binding proteins; SF1; Hrb87F; Bru1; Drosophila; flight muscle; RNAi; splicing
Online: 5 August 2021 (10:42:09 CEST)
The proper regulation of RNA processing is critical for muscle development and the fine-tuning of contractile ability between muscle fiber-types. RNA binding proteins (RBPs) regulate the diverse steps in RNA processing including alternative splicing, which generates fiber-type specific isoforms of structural proteins that confer contractile sarcomeres with distinct biomechanical properties. Alternative splicing is disrupted in muscle diseases such as myotonic dystrophy and dilated cardiomyopathy, and is altered after intense exercise as well as with aging. It is therefore important to understand splicing and RBP function, but currently only a small fraction of the hundreds of annotated RBPs expressed in muscle have been characterized. Here we demonstrate the utility of Drosophila as a genetic model system to investigate basic developmental mechanisms of RBP function in myogenesis. We find that RBPs exhibit dynamic temporal and fiber-type specific expression patterns in mRNA-Seq data and display muscle-specific phenotypes. We performed knockdown with 105 RNAi hairpins targeting 35 RBPs and report associated lethality, flight, myofiber and sarcomere defects, including flight muscle phenotypes for Doa, Rm62, mub, mbl, sbr, and clu. Interestingly, knockdown phenotypes of spliceosome components, as highlighted by phenotypes for A-complex components SF1 and Hrb87F (hnRNPA1), revealed level- and temporal-dependent myofibril defects. We further show that splicing mediated by SF1 and Hrb87F is necessary for Z-disc stability and proper myofibril development, and strong knockdown of either gene results in impaired localization of Kettin to the Z-disc. Our results expand the number of RBPs with a described phenotype in muscle and underscore the diversity in myofibril and transcriptomic phenotypes associated with splicing defects. Drosophila is thus a useful model to gain disease-relevant insight into cellular and molecular phenotypes observed when expression levels of splicing factors, spliceosome components and splicing dynamics are altered.
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0454.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: gene evolution; gene formation; long non-coding RNA genes; pseudogenes; USP18; GGT5
Online: 20 July 2020 (04:39:41 CEST)
A small phylogenetically conserved sequence of 11,231 bp termed FAM247 is repeated in human chromosome 22 by segmental duplications. This sequence forms part of diverse genes that span evolutionary time, the protein genes being the earliest as they are present in zebrafish and/or mice genomes, the long non-coding RNA genes and pseudogenes the most recent as they appear to be present only in the human genome. We propose that the conserved sequence provides a nucleation site for new gene development at evolutionary conserved chromosomal loci where the FAM247 sequences reside. The FAM247 sequence also carries information in its open reading frames that provides protein exon amino acid sequences; one exon plays an integral role in immune system regulation, specifically, the function of ubiquitin specific protease (USP18) in the regulation of interferon. An analysis of this multifaceted sequence and the genesis of genes that contain it are presented.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0464.v1
Online: 31 January 2022 (13:25:38 CET)
The mosaic disease in maize is caused by Sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV), a member of the Potyviridae family. The best strategy to cope with viral infections is the use of disease-resistant maize lines. To better understand the resistance response to SCMV, we analyzed differentially expressed genes among a resistant line (CI-RL1), a susceptible line (B73), and the F1 progeny from a cross between both lines using RNA-Seq data. We also analyzed transcript expression pattern clustering to allocate previously reported resistance candidate genes. GO enrichment analysis of biological processes highlighted a strong regulation in ROS detoxification in both the susceptible and resistant lines. The enrichment of cellular components led to the identification of an integral component of the plasma membrane in the RL line. Transcript expression patterns provide evidence of the importance of host translation in virus response, showing the diverse and complex behavior of eIF4E homologs and the presence of eleven eEF1α factors in maize. In addition, we identified two genes putatively implied in long-distance movement: ZmPiezo and ZmPVIP1. Finally, we propose an ABC transporter to be associated with viral resistance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0557.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Hepatitis E virus (HEV); interferon (IFN); the capsid protein; DDX3; RNA helicase
Online: 22 December 2020 (12:19:32 CET)
DDX3 is an ATP-dependent RNA helicase involved in multiple cellular activities, including RNA metabolism and innate immunity. DDX3 is known to assist the replication of some viruses while restricting some others through direct interaction with the viral proteins. However, the role of DDX3 in the replication of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) is unknown. In this study, DDX3 is shown to interact with the HEV capsid protein and provide an indispensable role in HEV replication. The DDX3 C-terminal domain was demonstrated to interact with the capsid protein, which was previously demonstrated to inhibit the production of type I interferons. Knockdown of DDX3 compromised the capsid protein-mediated blockage of interferon induction. Notably, DDX3 silencing led to a significant reduction in HEV replication. Also, the ATPase activity of DDX3 is required for the HEV replication as an ATPase-null mutant DDX3 failed to rescue the viral replication in the DDX3-silenced cells. These results demonstrate a pro-viral role of DDX3 in HEV replication, providing further insights into the virus-cell interactions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0620.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: gene-first; protein-first; replicator-first; metabolism-first; origin of life; [GADV]-protein world hypothesis; GADV hypothesis; RNA world hypothesis
Online: 30 November 2018 (07:33:15 CET)
The origin of life has not been solved as yet, in spit of the time passage more than thirty years from publication of RNA world hypothesis by W. Gilbert (1986), which is based on the “gene/replicator--first” theory. On the contrary, I have proposed [GADV]-protein world hypothesis (GADV hypothesis), assuming that life emerged from [GADV]-protein world, which is grounded on the “protein/metabolism-first” theory. However, two weak points of protein world hypothesis, (i) protein cannot be produced without gene, and (ii) protein cannot be self-replicated, have been frequently pointed out by supporters of RNA world hypothesis. Then, I examined whether the two weak points could be overcome by GADV hypothesis or not. From the results, it was confirmed that (i) [GADV]-protein could be pseudo-replicated in the absence of gene owing to protein 0th-order structure or [GADV]-amino acids, and (ii) the replication ability is not always required from the beginning but it is sufficient to acquire it at some time point until the emergence of life. Thus, it was concluded that life emerged as [GADV]-protein world hypothesis, which is grounded on the “protein/metabolism-first” theory, expects.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0170.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: RNA world; [GADV]-protein world; GADV hypothesis; origin of life; protein 0th-order structure; origin of protein; origin of genetic code; origin of gene
Online: 25 December 2017 (08:08:37 CET)
All life on Earth uses three integrated molecular systems in which genetic information contained in DNA base sequences is transmitted to ribosomes by RNA and a genetic code, then translated into the amino acid sequences of structural and catalytic proteins. Therefore, the most important point for understanding the origin of life is to determine how such systems could emerge from random processes on the early Earth. In this review, two alternatives are compared: the RNA world hypothesis and the [GADV]-protein world hypothesis. [GADV] refers to four amino acids, Gly [G], Ala [A], Asp [D] and Val [V] that are conserved in the amino acid sequences of many common proteins. Here I will argue that the origins of the three primary processes required for life to begin can be better explained by the GADV hypothesis than the RNA world hypothesis. The GADV hypothesis also incorporates a conversion process by which random polymers can evolve into proteins with ordered sequences.
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: protein/rna world; plasma membrane; cytoplasm; virus world; pre-retro virus; emergence of dna; transcription and replication; first cells; hyperthermophiles; luca; bacteria and archaea; anoxygenic bacteria; oxygenic bacteria; global distribution of cyanobacteria
Online: 15 October 2019 (11:18:58 CEST)
The transition from the Peptide/RNA world to the Protein/RNA world in the hydrothermal vent environment was a major event in the history of life. The advent of proteins utterly changed the conditions of emerging life, representing a watershed in its development. During subsequent translation various protein enzymes emerged driving protocells into a more complex and interconnected system. With their astonishing versatility, the protein enzymes catalyzed crucial biochemical reactions within protocells into more complex biomolecules in diverse metabolic pathways, whereas structural proteins provided strength and permeability in the cell membrane. Four major events followed after availability of various kinds of protein molecules during prebiotic synthesis. These are: (1) the modification of the phospholipid membrane into the plasma membrane; (2) the origin of primitive cytoplasm; (3) the beginnings of the virus world; and (4) the advent of DNA. The first innovation mediated by proteins was the improvement of the cell membrane. The phospholipid membrane was initially evolved in a vent environment from the gradual modification of a fatty acid membrane via an intermediate phosphatidate acid by non-enzymatic reactions. The phospholipid is then synthesized from phosphatidate acid by a series of enzymes. To make the phospholipid membrane more permeable, various protein molecules interacted with the cell membrane. Proteins not only stabilized the wall membrane, but also acted as pumps, preventing some molecules from the protocells from crossing the membrane barriers, while permitting other selected molecules and ions to enter and leave the protocell. The second modification led by proteins is the gradual conversion of the interior of the protocell from a water-like medium into a gel-like cytoplasm, which became the storehouse of a wide range of biomolecules including amino acids, proteins, nucleic acids, ribosomes, as well as salt and water. The third innovation utilizing the newly synthesized proteins was the emergence of the ancient virus world. In the milieu of different kinds of mRNAs in the prebiotic soup, jelly-roll capsid genes originated de novo within genomes of nonviral mRNAs by overprinting. These fragile capsid genes were possibly coated by proteins on the mineral substrate for stability and durability, transforming them into ancient viral particles. These protein coats were random and were not encoded by encased genes. Some protocells might have engulfed these viral particles, when the capsid genes utilized the ribosomes of the host to translate into the appropriate capsid proteins. These capsid proteins then coated the viral genes to make new copies of primordial viruses inside the protocell. Since then, viruses became capsid-encoding organisms. These primordial mRNA viruses parasitized RNA-based protocells, manipulating them to make new copies of themselves. This was the beginning of a relentless war between viruses and their protocellular hosts. The next stage in viral evolution was the emergence of a primitive retrovirus (pre-retrovirus) with a new kind of replicative strategy in a sense that it could turn its RNA into DNA using its own reverse transcriptase enzyme. This is the beginning of the Retro world that facilitated the transition from RNA to DNA genomes. The infection of RNA protocells with pre-retroviruses progressively transferred the RNA genome to a viral DNA genome by retro-transcription. The advent of DNA by the pre-retrovirus marks the fourth innovation, when a number of enzymes had already developed and were utilized by pre-retroviruses. With continued infection, DNA viruses slowly transferred not only their core replication enzymes, such as helicase, primase, and DNA polymerase, to RNA protocells, but also to their DNAs as well. Thus, began the DNA world, when DNA replaced RNA as the major genome of the protocells. With the advent of DNA, replication of information was entirely dissociated from its expression. Because DNA is much more stable than mRNA with more storage capacity, it is a superb archive for information systems in the form of base sequences. DNA progressively took over the replicative storage function of mRNA, leaving the latter for protein synthesis. The new protocell with the DNA genome will diversify into large populations of DNA protocells that will outcompete populations of RNA protocells. Genetic information began to flow from DNA to mRNA to protein in a two-step process involving transcription and translation. In the biological stage, DNA replication was central to the binary fission of the first cell, orchestrated by the duplication of genomes and then the division of the parent cell into two identical daughter cells. It was carried out by a set of enzymes that formed a Z-ring at the site of replication. With the onset of binary fission, the population of primitive cells grew rapidly in the hydrothermal vent environment, undergoing Darwinian evolution and diversification. These primordial hyperthermophiles, presumably the first life, obtained food and energy directly from the vent environment. However, such a situation was self-limiting, so the early cells evolved their own mechanisms for generating metabolic energy and synthesizing the molecules necessary for their reproduction. The earliest fossil record (≥ 3.5 Ga) of biotic activity is preserved in the Archean hydrothermal and sedimentary rocks of the Nuvvuagittuq Craton of Canada, the Isua Craton of Greenland, the Pilbara Craton of Australia, the Kaapvaal Craton of South Africa, and the Singhbhum Craton of India in the form of the carbonaceous remains of microbial cells, cellular microfossils, and stromatolites. These microscopic fossils provide crucial evidence of the origin and early evolution of prokaryotic cells, beginning with hyperthermophiles. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests that both domains of life ¬– Bacteria and Archaea probably split from the last universal common ancestor (LUCA), a hyperthermophilic organism. In the younger sequences of these Archean cratons, two kinds of photosynthetic bacteria, anoxygenic green sulfur bacteria, and oxygenic cyanobacteria, appeared in quick succession from the thermophilic ancestor, indicating a shift of niche from a benthic to a planktonic, with reduced thermotolerance. The development of anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis would have allowed life to escape the hydrothermal setting and invade a newly evolved habitat—broad continental shelves to tap solar energy. Cyanobacteria invaded the global ocean, turned it into blue and green, produced oxygen for the first time, and left their signatures in the carbonates and stromatolites.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0041.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: RNA; DNA; Repetitive sequences; RNA stem loops; RNA group identities
Online: 12 October 2016 (10:58:59 CEST)
Current knowledge of the RNA world indicates two different genetic codes being present throughout the living world. In contrast to non-coding RNAs that are built of repetitive nucleotide syntax, the sequences that serve as templates for proteins share – as main characteristics – a non-repetitive syntax. The differences in their syntax structure is coherent with the difference of the functions they represent. Whereas non-coding RNAs build groups that serve as regulatory tools in nearly all genetic processes, the coding sections represent the evolutionarily successful function of the genetic information storage medium. The DNA genomes themselves are rather inactive, whereas the non-coding RNA domain is highly active, even as non-random genetic innovation operators. This indicates that repetitive syntax is the essential pre-requisite for RNA interactions to install variable RNA-group-identities, whereas the non-repetitive syntax serves as a stable conservation tool for successful selection processes out of RNA-groups cooperation and competition. The interaction opportunities of RNA loops with repetitive syntax are higher than with non-repetitive ones. Interestingly, these two genetic codes resemble the function of all natural languages, i.e., (a) everyday language use for organization and coordination of biotic group behavior, and (b) artificial (instrumental) language use for conservation of blueprints for complex protein-body constructions.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0484.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: RNA world theory; Viral RNA; Genome stability; Viral evolution; Mutational signatures; RNA dependent RNA polymerase, RdRp; RNA recombination; RNA damage; Hypermutation; APOBEC; ADAR; RNA editing; SARS-CoV-2; rubella virus
Online: 19 April 2021 (13:22:01 CEST)
The current SARS- CoV-2 pandemic underscores the importance of understanding the evolution of RNA genomes. While RNA is subject to the formation of similar lesions as DNA, the evolutionary and physiological impacts RNA lesions have on viral genomes are yet to be characterized. Lesions that may drive the evolution of RNA genomes can induce breaks that are repaired by recombination or can cause base substitution mutagenesis, also known as base editing. Over the past decade or so, base editing mutagenesis of DNA genomes has been subject to many studies, revealing that exposure of ssDNA is subject to hypermutation that is involved in the etiology of cancer. However, base editing of RNA genomes has not been studied to the same extent. Recently hypermutation of single-stranded RNA viral genomes have also been documented though its role in evolution and population dynamics. Here, we will summarize the current knowledge of key mechanisms and causes of RNA genome instability covering areas from the RNA world theory to the SARS- CoV-2 pandemic of today. We will also highlight the key questions that remain as it pertains to RNA genome instability, mutations accumulation, and experimental strategies for addressing these questions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0071.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: Phaseolus vulgaris; Colletotrichum lindemuthianum; RNA silencing; Argonaute; double-stranded RNA binding (DRB); RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR); Pol IV
Online: 6 December 2021 (12:42:51 CET)
RNA silencing serves key roles in a multitude of cellular processes, including development, stress responses, metabolism, and maintenance of genome integrity. Dicer, Argonaute (AGO), double-stranded RNA binding (DRB), RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR) and DNA-dependent RNA polymerases known as Pol IV and Pol V form core components to trigger RNA silencing. Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is an important staple crop worldwide. In this study, we aimed to unravel the components of the RNA-guided silencing pathway in this non-model plant taking advantage of the availability of two genome assemblies of Andean and Meso-American origin. We identified six PvDCLs, thirteen PvAGOs, 10 PvDRB, 5 PvRDR, in both genotypes, suggesting no recent gene amplification or deletion after the gene pool separation. In addition, we identified one PvNRPD1 and one PvNRPE1 encoding the largest subunits of Pol IV and Pol V, respectively. These genes were categorized into subgroups based on phylogenetic analyses. Comprehensive analyses of gene structure, genomic localization and similarity among these genes were performed. Their expression patterns were investigated by means of expression models in different organs using online data and quantitative RT-PCR after pathogen infection. Several of the candidate genes were up-regulated after infection with the fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0452.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: RNA; self-amplifying RNA; replicon; vaccine; drug delivery
Online: 18 December 2020 (11:12:44 CET)
This review will explore the four major pillars required for design and development of an saRNA vaccine: antigen design, vector design, non-viral delivery systems, and manufacturing (both saRNA and lipid nanoparticles (LNP)). In will report on the major innovations, preclinical and clinical data reported in the last five years and will discuss future prospects.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0157.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: long non-coding RNA; hESC; cardiomyocyte; RNA-seq
Online: 15 March 2019 (02:11:52 CET)
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been found to be involved in many biological processes, including the regulation of cell differentiation, but a complete characterization of lncRNA is still lacking. Additionally, there is evidence that lncRNAs interact with ribosomes, raising questions about their functions in cells. Here, we used a developmentally staged protocol to induce cardiogenic commitment of hESCs and then investigated the differential association of lncRNAs with polysomes. Our results identified lncRNAs in both the ribosome-free and polysome-bound fractions during cardiogenesis and showed a very well-defined temporal lncRNA association with polysomes. Clustering of lncRNAs was performed according to the gene expression patterns during the five timepoints analyzed. In addition, differential lncRNA recruitment to polysomes was observed when comparing the differentially expressed lncRNAs in the ribosome-free and polysome-bound fractions or when calculating the polysome-bound vs ribosome-free ratio. The association of lncRNAs with polysomes could represent an additional cytoplasmic role of lncRNAs, e.g., in translational regulation of mRNA expression.
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: endosome; exosome; extracellular vesicles; fungal RNA biology; membrane trafficking; RNA transport; RNA recognition motif
Online: 21 January 2020 (03:26:40 CET)
Membrane-coupled RNA transport is an emerging theme in fungal biology. This review focuses on the RNA cargo and mechanistic details of transport via two inter-related sets of organelles: endosomes and extracellular vesicles for intra- and intercellular RNA transfer. Simultaneous transport and translation of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) on the surface of shuttling endosomes is a conserved process pertinent to highly polarised eukaryotic cells, such as hyphae or neurons. Here we detail the endosomal mRNA transport machinery components and mRNA targets of the core RNA-binding protein Rrm4. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are newly garnering interest as mediators of intercellular communication, especially between pathogenic fungi and their hosts. Landmark studies in plant-fungus interactions indicate EVs as a means of delivering various cargos, most notably small RNAs (sRNAs), for cross-kingdom RNA interference. Recent advances and implications of the nascent field of fungal EVs are discussed and potential links between endosomal and EV-mediated RNA transport are proposed.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0253.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Mycobacteria; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; non-coding RNA; RNA-seq; transcriptome
Online: 15 September 2021 (11:00:59 CEST)
A definitive transcriptome atlas for the non-coding expressed elements of pathogenic mycobacteria does not exist. Incomplete lists of non-coding transcripts can be obtained for some of the reference genomes (e.g. Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv) but to what extent these transcripts have homologues in closely related species or even strains is not clear. This has implications for the analysis of transcriptomic data; non-coding parts of the transcriptome are often ignored in the absence of formal, reliable annotation. Here, we review the state of our knowledge of non-coding RNAs in pathogenic mycobacteria, emphasising the disparities in the information included in commonly used databases. We then proceed to review ways of combining computational solutions for predicting the non- coding transcriptome with experiments that can help refine and confirm these predictions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0179.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: RNA interference; dsRNA delivery; small RNA production; dsRNA formulation
Online: 5 March 2021 (10:01:04 CET)
Plant pathogenic fungi are the largest group of disease-causing agents on crop plants and represent a persistent and significant threat to agriculture worldwide. Conventional approaches based on the use of pesticides raise social concern for the impact on the environment and human health and alternative control methods are urgently needed. The rapid improvement and extensive implementation of RNAi technology for various model and non-model organisms has provided the initial framework to adapt this post-transcriptional gene silencing technology for the management of fungal pathogens. In this review, we describe exogenous RNAi involved in plant pathogenic fungi and discuss small RNA production, formulation, and RNAi delivery methods. We explore some challenges with possible solutions. Furthermore, exogenous RNAi holds great potential for RNAi-mediated plant pathogenic fungal disease control.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0496.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: non-coding; leukemia; B-cell; RNA-sequencing; small RNA-sequencing
Online: 22 February 2021 (16:33:30 CET)
Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) comprise a diverse class of non-protein coding transcripts that regulate critical cellular processes associated with cancer. Advances in RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) have led to the characterization of non-coding RNA expression across different types of human cancers. Through comprehensive RNA-Seq profiling, a growing number of studies demonstrate that ncRNAs, including long non-coding RNA (lncRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNA), play central roles in progenitor B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (B-ALL) pathogenesis. Furthermore, due to their central roles in cellular homeostasis and their potential as biomarkers, the study of ncRNAs continues to provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms of B-ALL. This article reviews the ncRNA signatures reported for all B-ALL subtypes, focusing on technological developments in transcriptome profiling and recently discovered examples of ncRNAs with biologic and therapeutic relevance in B-ALL.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0234.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Principal Component Analysis, RNA-seq, prostate cancer, biomarkers, RNA genes
Online: 9 February 2021 (10:26:47 CET)
Prostate cancer (Pca) is a highly heterogeneous disease and the second more common tumor in males. Molecular and genetic profiles have been used to identify subtypes and guide therapeutic intervention. However, roughly 26% of primary Pca are driven by unknown molecular lesions. We use Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and custom RNAseq-data normalization to identify a gene expression signature which segregates primary PRAD from normal tissues. This Core-Expression Signature (PRAD-CES) includes 33 genes and accounts for 39% of data complexity along the PC1-cancer axis. The PRAD-CES is populated by protein-coding (AMACR, TP63, HPN) and RNA-genes (PCA3, ARLN1) sparsely found in previous studies, validated/predicted biomarkers (HOXC6, TDRD1, DLX1), and/or cancer drivers (PCA3, ARLN1, PCAT-14). Of note, the PRAD-CES also comprises six over-expressed LncRNAs without previous Pca association, four of them potentially modulating driver’s genes TMPRSS2, PRUNE2 and AMACR. Overall, our PCA capture 57% of data complexity within PC1-3. GO enrichment and correlation analysis involving major clinical features (i.e., Gleason Score, AR Score, TMPRSS2-ERG fusion and Tumor Cellularity) suggest that PC2 and PC3 gene signatures might describe more aggressive and inflammation-prone transitional forms of PRAD. Of note, surfaced genes may entail novel prognostic biomarkers and molecular alterations to intervene. Particularly, our work uncovered RNA genes with appealing implications on Pca biology and progression.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0520.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: genome evolution; ribozymes; RNA ligase; early Earth; autocatalytic sets; RNA world
Online: 21 May 2021 (10:16:35 CEST)
The evolutionary origin of the genome remains elusive. Here, I hypothesize that its first iteration, the protogenome, was a multi-ribozyme RNA. It evolved, likely within liposomes (the protocells) forming in dry-wet cycling environments, through the random fusion of ribozymes by a ligase and was amplified by a polymerase. The protogenome thereby linked, in one molecule, the information required to seed the protometabolism (a combination of RNA-based autocatalytic sets) in newly forming protocells. If this combination of autocatalytic sets was evolutionarily advantageous, the protogenome would have amplified in a population of multiplying protocells. It likely was a quasispecies with redundant information, e.g., multiple copies of one ribozyme. As such, new functionalities could evolve, including a genetic code. Once one or more components of the protometabolism were templated by the protogenome (e.g., when a ribozyme was replaced by a protein enzyme), and/or addiction modules evolved, the protometabolism became dependent on the protogenome. Along with increasing fidelity of the RNA polymerase, the protogenome could grow, e.g., by incorporating additional ribozyme domains. Finally, the protogenome could have evolved into a DNA genome with increased stability and storage capacity. I will provide suggestions for experiments to test some aspects of this hypothesis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0322.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Virus; plant virus; long noncoding RNA; replication; positive sense RNA virus
Online: 14 May 2021 (11:01:56 CEST)
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) of virus origin accumulate in cells infected by many positive strand (+) RNA viruses to bolster viral infectivity. Their biogenesis mostly utilizes exoribonucleases of host cells that degrade viral genomic or subgenomic RNAs in the 5’-to-3’ direction until being stalled by well-defined RNA structures. Here we report a viral lncRNA that is produced by a novel replication-dependent mechanism. This lncRNA corresponds to the last 283 nucleotides of the turnip crinkle virus (TCV) genome, hence is designated tiny TCV subgenomic RNA (ttsgR). ttsgR accumulated to high levels in TCV-infected Nicotiana benthamiana cells when the TCV-encoded RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), also known as p88, was overexpressed. Both (+) and (-) strand forms of ttsgR were produced in these cells in a manner dependent on the RdRp functionality. Strikingly, templates as short as ttsgR itself were sufficient to program ttsgR amplification, as long as the TCV-encoded replication proteins, p28 and p88, were provided in trans. Consistent with its replicational origin, ttsgR accumulation required a 5’ terminal G3(A/U)4 motif shown by others to be crucial for the replication of a TCV satellite RNA. More importantly, introducing a new G3(A/U)4 motif elsewhere in the TCV genome was alone sufficient to cause the emergence of another lncRNA. Collectively our results unveil a replication-dependent mechanism for the biogenesis of viral lncRNAs, thus suggesting that multiple mechanisms, individually or in combination, may be responsible for viral lncRNA production.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0347.v1
Online: 23 March 2020 (07:46:54 CET)
SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent for the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, and this virus belongs to the Coronaviridae family. Like other members of this family, the virus possesses a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome. The genome encodes for the nsp12 protein, which houses the RNA-dependent-RNA polymerase (RdRP) activity responsible for the replication of the viral genome. A homology model of nsp12 was prepared using the structure of the SARS nsp12 (6NUR) as a model. The model was used to carry out in silico screening to identify molecules among natural products, or FDA approved drugs that can potentially inhibit the activity of nsp12. This exercise showed that vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) may bind to the active site of the nsp12 protein. A model of the nsp12 in complex with substrate RNA and incoming NTP showed that Vitamin B12 binding site overlaps with that of the incoming nucleotide. A comparison of the calculated energies of binding for RNA plus NTP and methylcobalamin suggested that the vitamin may bind to the active site of nsp12 with significant affinity. It is, therefore, possible that methylcobalamin binding may prevent association with RNA and NTP and thus inhibit the RdRP activity of nsp12. Overall, our computational studies suggest that methylcobalamin form of vitamin B12 may serve as an effective inhibitor of the nsp12 protein.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0234.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: non-coding RNA; telomerase RNA; secondary structure; synteny; homology search; yeast
Online: 16 May 2018 (11:58:28 CEST)
The telomerase RNA in yeasts is large, usually >1000 nt, and contains functional elements that have been extensively studied experimentally in several disparate species. Nevertheless, they are very difficult to detect by homology-based methods and so far have escaped annotation in the majority of the genomes of Saccharomycotina. This is a consequence of sequences that evolve rapidly at nucleotide level, are subject to large variations in size, and are highly plastic with respect to their secondary structures. Here we report on a survey that was aimed at closing this gap in RNA annotation. Despite considerable efforts and the combination of a variety of different methods, it was only partially successful. While 27 new telomerase RNAs were identified, we had to restrict our efforts to the subgroup Saccharomycetacea because even this narrow subgroup was diverse enough to require different search models for different phylogenetic subgroups. More distant branches of the Saccharomycotina still remain without annotated telomerase RNA.
Subject: Earth Sciences, Palaeontology Keywords: protein/RNA world: plasma membrane; cytoplasm; gene regulation; virus world; pre-retro virus; emergence of DNA; transcription and replication; first cells; hyperthermophiles; LUCA; Bacteria and Archaea; anoxygenic bacteria; oxygenic bacteria; global distribution of cyanobacteria
Online: 12 February 2020 (03:25:07 CET)
The emergence of proteins in the prebiotic world was a watershed event at the origin of life. With their astonishing versatility, the protein enzymes catalyzed crucial biochemical reactions within protocells into more complex biomolecules in diverse metabolic pathways, whereas structural proteins provided strength and permeability in the cell membrane. Five major biochemical innovations followed in succession after availability of various kinds of protein molecules during decoding and translation of mRNAs. These are: (1) the modification of the phospholipid membrane into the plasma membrane; (2) the origin of primitive cytoplasm; (3) primitive gene regulation; (4) the beginnings of the virus world; and (5) the advent of DNA. The creative role of viruses during prebiotic synthesis led to the origin of the DNA world, when DNA replaced mRNA as the major genome of the protocells. With the advent of DNA, replication of information was entirely dissociated from its expression. Because DNA is much more stable than mRNA with more storage capacity, it is a superb archive for information systems in the form of base sequences. DNA progressively took over the replicative storage function of mRNA, leaving the latter for protein synthesis. Genetic information began to flow from DNA to mRNA to protein in a two-step process involving transcription and translation. In the biological stage, DNA replication was central to the binary fission of the first cell, orchestrated by the duplication of genomes and then the division of the parent cell into two identical daughter cells. With the onset of binary fission, the population of primitive cells grew rapidly in the hydrothermal vent environment, undergoing Darwinian evolution and diversification by mutation. The habitat of the earliest fossil record (≥ 3.5 Ga) from the Archean sedimentary rocks of Canada, Greenland, Australia, South Africa, and India offers a new window on the early radiation of microbial life. The development of anoxygenic and then oxygenic photosynthesis from early hyperthermophiles would have allowed life to escape the hydrothermal setting to the mesophilic global ocean.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0005.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: cancer; gene regulation; small nucleolar RNA (snoRNA); small nucleolar derived RNA (sdRNA); microRNA (miRNA); RNA; snoRNA; sdRNA; miRNA; genetics
Online: 1 June 2022 (05:58:58 CEST)
In the past decade, RNA fragments derived from full length small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) have been shown to be specifically excised and functional. These sno-derived RNAs (sdRNAs) have been implicated as gene regulators in a multitude of cancers, controlling a variety of genes post-transcriptionally via association with the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). In this review, we have summarized the literature connecting sdRNAs to cancer gene regulation. SdRNAs possess miRNA-like functions, and are able to fill the role of tumor-suppressor or tumor-promoter in a tissue context-dependent manner. Indeed, there are many miRNAs that are actually derived from snoRNA transcripts, meaning that they are truly sdRNAs and as such are included in this review. As sdRNAs are frequently discarded from ncRNA analyses, we emphasize that sdRNAs are functionally relevant gene regulators and likely represent an overlooked subclass of miRNAs. Based on the evidence provided by the papers reviewed here, we propose that sdRNAs deserve more extensive study to better understand their underlying biology and to identify previously overlooked biomarkers and therapeutic targets for a multitude of human cancers.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0322.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Grapevine; Viral Disease; Diagnostic Methods; RNA Sequencing; Nanopore Sequencing Technology; RNA modifications
Online: 20 September 2021 (10:43:01 CEST)
Among all economically important plant species in the world, grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) is the most cultivated fruit plant. It has a significant impact on the economies of many countries through wine and fresh and dried fruit production. In recent years, the grape and wine industry has been facing outbreaks of known and emerging viral diseases across the world. Although high-throughput sequencing (HTS) has been used extensively in grapevine virology, the application and potential of third-generation sequencing have not been explored in understanding grapevine viruses and their impact on the grapevine. Nanopore sequencing, a third-generation technology, can be used for direct sequencing of both RNA and DNA with minimal infrastructure. Compared to other HTS methods, the MinION nanopore platform is faster and more cost-effective and allows for long-read sequencing. Due to the size of the MinION device, it can be easily carried for field viral disease surveillance. This review article discusses grapevine viruses and their diagnostic methods, the principle of nanopore sequencing technology and its application in grapevine virus detection, virus–plant interactions, as well as the characterization of viral RNA modifications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0230.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Astrocyte, Alzheimer´s disease, neurodegeneration, transcriptomics, RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), cellular states.
Online: 9 February 2021 (10:04:24 CET)
Astrocytes perform a wide variety of essential functions defining normal operation of the nervous system, and are active contributors to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer among others. Recent data provide compelling evidence that distinct reactive astrocyte states are associated with specific stages of Alzheimer´s disease. The advent of transcriptomics technologies enables rapid progress in the characterisation of such pathological astrocyte states. In this review, we provide an overview of the origin, main functions, molecular and morphological features of astrocytes in physiological as well as pathological conditions related to Alzheimer´s disease. We will also explore the main roles of astrocytes in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer´s disease and summarize main transcriptional changes and altered molecular pathways observed in astrocytes during the course of the disease.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0393.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: SARS-CoV2; RNA depended RNA polymerase; Valproic acid Co-A; drug repurposing
Online: 26 March 2020 (15:04:22 CET)
SARS-CoV2 RNA depended RNA polymerase is an essential enzyme for the survival of the virus in hosts as it helps in the replication of viral RNA. There are no human polymerases that share either sequence or structural homology with viral RNA depended RNA polymerase. These make it a good target for inhibitor discovery, as a specific inhibitor cannot cross-react with the human polymerases. We have used virtual screening, docking, binding energy calculation and simulation to show that valproic acid Co-A, a metabolite from prodrug valproic acid, forms stable interaction with nsP12 of CoV. Our results suggest valproic acid Co-A could be a potential inhibitor of nsP12 of SARS-CoV2.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0073.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Messenger RNA • Hospital-based mRNA therapeutics • circular mRNA • self-amplifying mRNA • RNA-based CAR T-cell • RNA-based gene-editing tools
Online: 6 January 2022 (11:20:59 CET)
Hospital-based programs democratize mRNA therapeutics by facilitating the processes to translate a novel RNA idea from the bench to the clinic. Because mRNA is essentially biological software, therapeutic RNA constructs can be rapidly developed. The generation of small batches of clinical grade mRNA to support IND applications and first-in-man clinical trials, as well as personalized mRNA therapeutics delivered at the point-of-care, is feasible at a modest scale of cGMP manufacturing. Advances in mRNA manufacturing science and innovations in mRNA biology, are increasing the scope of mRNA clinical applications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201906.0259.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: long non-coding RNA; cell type specific; alternative splicing; functional enrichment; RNA-binding proteins; protein binding lncRNA sponges; secondary RNA structure; cancer
Online: 26 June 2019 (05:23:29 CEST)
Background: Recent developments in our understanding of the interactions between long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) and cellular components have improved treatment approaches for various human diseases including cancer, vascular diseases, and neurological diseases. Although investigation of specific lncRNAs revealed their role in the metabolism of cellular RNA, our understanding of their contribution to post-transcriptional regulation is relatively limited. In this study, we explore the role of lncRNAs in modulating alternative splicing and their impact on downstream protein-RNA interaction networks. Results: Analysis of alternative splicing events across 39 lncRNA wildtype and knockout RNA-sequencing datasets from three human cell lines: HeLa (Cervical Cancer), K562 (Myeloid Leukemia), and U87 (Glioblastoma), resulted in high confidence (fdr < 0.01) identification of 4432 skipped exon events and 2474 retained intron events, implicating 759 genes to be impacted at post-transcriptional level due to the loss of lncRNAs. We observed that a majority of the alternatively spliced genes in a lncRNA knockout were specific to the cell type, in agreement with the finding that genes affected by alternative splicing also displayed enriched functions in a cell type specific manner. To understand the mechanism behind this cell-type specific alternative splicing patterns, we analyzed RNA binding protein (RBP)-RNA interaction profiles across the spliced regions. Conclusions: Despite limited RBP binding data across cell lines, alternatively spliced events detected in lncRNA perturbation experiments were associated with RBPs binding in proximal intron-exon junctions, in a cell type specific manner. The cellular functions affected by alternative splicing were also affected in a cell type specific manner. Based on the RBP binding profiles in HeLa and K562 cells, we hypothesize that several lncRNAs are likely to exhibit a sponge effect in disease contexts, resulting in the functional disruption of RBPs due to altered titration of the RBPs from their target loci. We propose that such lncRNA sponges can extensively rewire the post-transcriptional gene regulatory networks by altering the protein-RNA interaction landscape in a cell-type specific manner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0202.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Probability And Statistics Keywords: Circ-RNA; CLIP-Seq; RBP
Online: 17 November 2019 (11:01:25 CET)
Circular RNAs are a special type of RNAs which recently attracted a lot of research interest in studying its formation and function. RNA binding proteins (RBPs) that bind circRNAs are important in these processes but are relatively less studied. CLIP-Seq technology has been invented and applied to profile RBP-RNA interactions on the genome-wide scale. While mRNAs are usually the focus of CLIP-Seq experiments, RBP-circRNA interactions could also be identified through specialized analysis of CLIP-Seq datasets. However, many technical difficulties are involved in this process, such as the usually short read length of CLIP-Seq reads. In this study, we created a pipeline called Clirc specialized for profiling circRNAs in CLIP-Seq data and analyzing the characteristics of RBP- circRNAs interactions. In conclusion, this is one of the first few studies to investigate circRNAs and their binding partners through repurposing CLIP-Seq datasets to our knowledge, and we hope our work will become a valuable resource for future studies into the biogenesis and function of circRNAs. Clirc software is available at https://github.com/Minzhe/Clirc
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0596.v1
Online: 30 July 2018 (15:36:54 CEST)
We are currently assisting at the explosion of the epitranscriptomics, which studies the functional role of chemical modifications into RNA molecules. Among more than 100 RNA modifications, the N6-methyladenosine (m6A), in particular, has attracted the interest of researchers all around the world. m6A is the most abundant internal chemical modification in mRNA and it can control any aspect of mRNA post-transcriptional regulation. m6A is installed by “writers”, removed by “erasers”, and recognized by “readers”, thus, it can be compared to the reversible and dynamic epigenetic modifications in histones and DNA. Given its fundamental role in determining the way mRNAs are expressed, it comes as no surprise that alterations to m6A modifications have a deep impact in cell differentiation, normal development and human diseases. Here, we review the proteins involved in m6A modification in mammals, m6A role in gene expression and its contribution to cancer development. In particular, we will focus on AML that, among first, has indicated how alteration in m6A modification can disrupt normal cellular differentiation and lead to cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0492.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Drug resistance; nsp12; protein design; fitness; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; resistance mutations; SARS-CoV-2.
Online: 20 May 2021 (13:18:14 CEST)
Favipiravir is a broad-spectrum inhibitor of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) currently being used to manage COVID-19 in several countries. By acting as a substrate for RdRp, favipiravir gets incorporated into the nascent viral RNA and prevents strand extension. A high mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp may facilitate antigenic drift as an answer to the host immune response, thereby generating resistance of virus to favipiravir. Therefore, it is extremely crucial to predict potential mutational sites in the RdRp and the emergence of structural modifications contributing to drug resistance. Here, we used high-throughput interface-based protein design to generate >100,000 designs and identify mutation hotspot residues in the favipiravir-binding site of RdRp. Several mutants had lower binding affinities to favipiravir, out of which hotspot residues with a high propensity to undergo positive selection were identified. The results showed that the designs retained an average of 97 to 98% sequence identity, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 can develop favipiravir resistance with just a few mutations. Notably, we observed that out of 134 mutations predicted designs, 63 specific mutations were already present in the CoV-GLUE database, thus attaining ~47% correlation match with the clinical sequencing data. The findings improve our understanding of the potential signatures of adaptation in SARS-CoV-2 against favipiravir and management of COVID-19. Furthermore, they can help develop exhaustive strategies for robust antiviral design and discovery.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0084.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Vitamin D; Ivermectin; RNA-dependent-RNA polymerase; Spike glycoprotein; Knowledge based docking
Online: 5 May 2020 (15:18:30 CEST)
COVID-19 has emerged as deadly pandemic worldwide with no vaccine or suitable antiviral drugs to prevent or cure the disease. Because of the time-consuming process to develop new vaccines or antiviral agents, there has been a growing interest in repurposing some existing drugs to combat SARS-CoV-2. Vitamin D is known to be protective against acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), pneumonia and cytokine storm. Recently it has been used as a repurposed drug for the treatment of H5N1 virus-induced lung injury. Circumstantial evidences indicate that people with low level of vitamin D are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. Although, vitamin D was suggested to interfere with viral replication, its interaction with any SARS-CoV-2 protein is unexplored yet. Beside this, ivermectin, a well-known anti-parasitic agent, exhibits potent anti-viral activities in vitro against viruses such as HIV-1 and dengue. Very recently, ivermectin has been found to reduce viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. We have analyzed available structures of SARS-CoV-2 proteins to identify probable binding partner(s) of vitamin D and ivermectin through knowledge-based docking studies and figured out possible implication of their binding in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our observations suggest that the non-structural protein nsp7 possesses a potential site to house 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (VDY) or the active form of Vitamin D, calcitrol. Binding of vitamin D with nsp7 likely to hamper the formation of nsp7-nsp8 complex which is required to bind with RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP), nsp12 for optimal function. On the other hand, potential binding site of ivermectin has been identified in the S2 subunit of trimeric spike(S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2. We propose that deeply inserted mode of ivermectin binding at three inter-subunit junctions may restrict large scale conformational changes of S2 helices which is necessary for efficient fusion of viral and host membrane. Our study, therefore, opens up avenues for further investigations to consider vitamin D and ivermectin as potential drugs against SARS-CoV-2.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0187.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: noncoding RNA; miRNA; lncRNA; circRNA; ncRNA network in cancer; cancer biomarkers; RNA aided cancer therapy
Online: 21 March 2018 (07:28:25 CET)
The past decade has witnessed enormous progress, which has seen the noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) turn from the so called dark matter RNA to critical functional molecules, influencing most physiological processes in development and disease contexts. Many ncRNAs interact with each other and are part of networks that influence the cell transcriptome and proteome and consequently the outcome of biological processes. The regulatory circuits controlled by ncRNAs have become increasingly more relevant in cancer. Further understanding of these complex network interactions and how ncRNAs are regulated, is paving the way for the identification of better therapeutic strategies in cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0127.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: hierarchical origin of life; RNA/protein world; biological information system; translation and the genetic code; coevolution of translation machine and the genetic code; MVC architecture pattern and biological information; AnyLogic software for computer simulation of translation machine
Online: 8 October 2018 (05:33:22 CEST)
The Late Heavy Bombardment Period (4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago) of heightened impact cratering activity on young Earth is likely the driving force for the origin of life. During the Eoarchean, asteroids such as carbonaceous chondrites delivered the building blocks of life and water to early Earth. Asteroid collisions created innumerable hydrothermal crater lakes in the Eoarchean crust which inadvertently became the perfect cradle for prebiotic chemistry. These hydrothermal crater lakes were filled with cosmic water and the building blocks of life. forming a thick prebiotic soup. The unique combination of exogenous delivery of extraterrestrial building blocks of life, and the endogenous biosynthesis in hydrothermal impact crater lakes very likely gave rise to life. A new symbiotic model for the origin of life within the hydrothermal crater lakes is here proposed. In this scenario, life arose around four billion years ago through five hierarchical stages of increasing molecular complexity: cosmic, geologic, chemical, information, and biological. During the prebiotic synthesis, membranes first appeared in the hydrothermal crater lakes, followed by the simultaneous origin of RNA and protein molecules, creating the RNA/protein world. These proteins were noncoded protein enzymes that facilitated chemical reactions. RNA molecules formed in the hydrothermal crater basin by polymerization of the nucleotides on the montmorillonite mineral substrate. Similarly, the initial synthesis of abiotic protein enzymes was mediated by the condensation of amino acids on pyrite surfaces. The regular wet-dry cycles within the crater lakes assisted further concentration, condensation, and polymerization of the RNAs and proteins. Lipid membranes randomly encapsulated amino acids, RNA, and protein molecules from the prebiotic soup to initiate a molecular symbiosis inside the protocells, this led to the hierarchical emergence of several cell components. As the role of protein enzymes became essential for catalytic process in the RNA/protein world, Darwinian selection from noncoded to coded protein synthesis led to translation systems and the genetic code, heralding the information stage. In this stage, the biochemical pathways suggest the successive emergence of translation machineries such as tRNAs, aaRS, mRNAs, and of ribosomes for protein synthesis. The molecular attraction between tRNA and amino acid led to the emergence of translation machinery and the genetic code. tRNA is an ancient molecule that created mRNA for the purpose of storing amino acid information like a digital strip. Each mRNA strand became the storage device for genetic information that encoded the amino acid sequences in triplet nucleotides. As information became available in the digital languages of the codon within mRNA, biosynthesis became less random and more organized and directional. The original translation machinery was simpler before the emergence of the ribosome than that of today. We review three main concepts on the origin and evolution of the genetic code: the stereochemical theory, the coevolution theory, and adaptive theory. We believe that these three theories are not mutually exclusive, but are compatible with our coevolution model of translations machines and the genetic code. We suggest biosynthetic pathways as the origin of the translation machine that provided the framework for the origin of the genetic code. During translation, the genetic code developed in three stages coincident with the refinement of the translation machinery: GNC code with four codons and four amino acids during interactions of pre-tRNA/pre-aaRS /pre-mRNA, SNS code consisting of 16 codons and 10 amino acids appeared during the tRNA/aaRS/mRNA interaction, and finally the universal genetic code evolved with the emergence of the tRNA/aaRS/mRNA/ribosome machine. The universal code consists of 64 codons and 20 amino acids, with a redundancy that minimizes errors in translation. To address the question of the origin of the biological information system in the RNA/protein world, we converted letter codons into numerical codons in the Universal Genetic Code Table. We developed a software called CATI (Codon-Amino Acid-Translator-Imitator) to translate randomly chosen numerical codons into corresponding amino acids and vice versa, gaining insight into how translation might have worked in the RNA/protein world. We simulated the likely biochemical pathways for the origin of translation and the genetic code using the Model-View-Controller (MVC) software framework, and the translation machinery step-by-step. We used AnyLogic software to simulate and visualize the evolution of the translation machines and the genetic code. We conclude that the emergence of the information age from the RNA/protein world was a watershed event in the origin of life about four billion years ago.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0358.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Foot-and-mouth disease virus; safe sample transport; single-stranded positive-sense RNA; TRIzol extraction; naked RNA; infectivity; RNA transfection; lipofectamine; self-transfection; BHK cells
Online: 25 July 2022 (08:14:51 CEST)
Safe sample transport is of great importance for infectious diseases diagnostics. Various treatments and buffers are used to inactivate pathogens in diagnostic samples. At the same time, adequate sample preservation, particularly of nucleic acids, is essential to allow an accurate laboratory diagnosis. For viruses with single-stranded RNA genomes of positive polarity, such as foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), however, naked full-length viral RNA can itself be infectious. In order to assess the risk of infection from inactivated FMDV samples, two animal experiments were performed. In the first trial, six cattle were injected with FMDV RNA (isolate A22/IRQ/24/64) into the tongue epithelium. All animals developed clinical disease within two days and FMDV was reisolated from serum and saliva samples. In the second trial, another group of six cattle was exposed to FMDV RNA by instilling it on the tongue and spraying it into the nose. The animals were observed for 10 days after exposure. All animals remained clinically unremarkable and virus isolation as well as FMDV genome detection in serum and saliva were negative. No transfection reagent was used for any of the animal inoculations. In conclusion, cattle can be infected by injection with naked FMDV RNA, but not by non-invasive exposure to the RNA. Inactivated FMDV samples that contain full-length viral RNA carry only a negligible risk of infecting animals.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0474.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Biosensors; DNA; RNA; Cancer; Biomarkers; Proteomics
Online: 31 January 2022 (21:21:33 CET)
The deadliest disease in the world, cancer, kills many people every year. The early detection is the only hope for the survival of malignant cancer patients. As a result, in the preliminary stages of , the diagnosis of cancer biomarkers at the cellular level is critical for improving cancer patient survival rates. For decades, scientists have focused their efforts on the invention of biosensors. Biosensors, in addition to being employed in other practical scenarios, can essentially function as cost effective and highly efficient devices for this purpose. Traditional cancer screening procedures are expensive, time-consuming, and inconvenient for repeat screenings. Biomarker-based cancer diagnosis, on the other hand, is rising as one of the most potential tools for early detection, disease progression monitoring, and eventual cancer treatment. As Biosensor is an analytical device, it allows the selected analyte to bind to the biomolecules being studied (– for example RNA, DNA, tissue, proteins, cells). They can be divided based on the kind of biorecognition or transducer elements on the sensor. Most biosensor analyses necessitate the analyte being labeled with a specific marker. In this review article, the application of distinct variants of biosensors against cancer has been described.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0044.v3
Online: 19 October 2021 (13:23:01 CEST)
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), with 10.4 million new cases per year reported in the human population. Recent studies on the Mtb transcriptome have revealed the abundance of noncoding RNAs expressed at various phases of mycobacteria growth, in culture, in infected mammalian cells and in patients. Among these noncoding RNAs are both small RNAs (sRNAs) between 50-350 nts in length and smaller RNAs (sncRNA) <50 nts. In this review, we provide an up-to-date synopsis of the identification, designation, and function of these Mtb-encoded sRNAs and sncRNAs. The methodological advances including RNA sequencing strategies, small RNA antagonists and locked nucleic acid sequence specific RNA probes advancing the studies on these small RNA are described. Initial insights into the regulation of the small RNA expression and putative processing enzymes required for their synthesis and function are discussed. There are many open questions remaining about the biological and pathogenic roles of these small non-coding RNAs, and potential research directions needed to define the role of these mycobacterial noncoding RNAs summarized.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0552.v1
Online: 23 July 2021 (22:17:49 CEST)
Despite several decades of research, the physics underlying translation – protein synthesis at the ribosome – remains poorly studied. For instance, the mechanism coordinating various events occurring in distant parts of the ribosome is unknown. Very recently, we have suggested that this allosteric mechanism could be based on the transport of electric charges (electron holes) along RNA molecules and localization of these charges in the functionally important areas; this assumption was justified using tRNA as an example. In this study, we turn to the ribosome and show computationally that holes can also efficiently migrate within the whole ribosomal small subunit (SSU). The potential sites of charge localization in SSU are revealed, and it is shown that most of them are located in the functionally important areas of the ribosome – intersubunit bridges, Fe4S4 cluster and the pivot linking the SSU head to the body. As a result, we suppose that hole localization within the SSU can affect intersubunit rotation (ratcheting) and SSU head swiveling, in agreement with the scenario of electronic coordination of ribosome operation. We anticipate that our findings will improve the understanding of the translation process and advance the molecular biology and medicine.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0362.v1
Online: 16 May 2021 (22:27:20 CEST)
Alphaviruses are positive-sense RNA arboviruses that are capable of causing severe disease in otherwise healthy individuals. There are many aspects of viral infection that determine pathogenesis and major efforts regarding the identification and characterization of virulence determinants have largely focused on the roles of the nonstructural and structural proteins. Nonetheless, the viral RNAs of the alphaviruses themselves play important roles in regard to virulence and pathogenesis. In particular, many sequences and secondary structures within the viral RNAs play an important part in the development of disease and may be considered important determinants of virulence. In this review article, we summarize the known RNA-based virulence traits and host:RNA interactions that influence alphaviral pathogenesis for each of the viral RNA species produced during infection. Overall, the viral RNAs produced during infection are important contributors to alphaviral pathogenesis and more research is needed to fully understand how each RNA species impacts the host response to infection as well as the development of disease.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0676.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: RNA; Protamine; Transfection; Cancer Therapy; Vaccines
Online: 26 April 2021 (13:37:51 CEST)
Protamine is a natural cationic peptide mixture mostly known as a drug for the neutralization of heparin and as a compound in formulations of slow-release insulin. Protamine is also used for cellular delivery of nucleic acids due to opposite charge-driven coupling. This year marks60 years since the first use of Protamine as a transfection enhancement agent. Since then, Protamine has been broadly used as a stabilization agent for RNA delivery. It has also been involved in several compositions for RNA-based vaccinations in clinical development. Protamine stabilization of RNA shows double functionality: it not only protects RNA from degradation within biological systems, but also enhances penetration into cells. A Protamine-based RNA delivery system is a flexible and versatile platform that can be adjusted according to therapeutic goals: fused with targeting antibodies for precise delivery, digested into a cell penetrating peptide for better transfection efficiency or not-covalently mixed with functional polymers. This manuscript gives an overview of the strategies employed in protamine-based RNA delivery, including the optimization of the nucleic acid’s stability and translational efficiency, as well as the regulation of its immunostimulatory properties from early studies to recent developments.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0395.v1
Subject: Biology, Horticulture Keywords: Actinidia; waterlogging; RNA-sequencing; transcriptional adjustment
Online: 17 July 2020 (15:40:11 CEST)
Kiwifruit vines are generally sensitive to waterlogging stress. So far, molecular responses of different kiwifruit genotypes for waterlogging stress are less well-explored. In this study, using RNA-sequencing, we examined transcriptional regulation in the roots of a waterlogging-tolerant genotype KR5 (Actinidia valvata), and a sensitive genotype ‘Hayward’ (Actinidia deliciosa) subjected to 0, 12, 24, and 72 h of waterlogging. Compared with 0 h, transcriptional adjustments of these two genotypes occurred as early as 12 h and became notably pronounced 72 h after waterlogging. Waterlogging stress for 72 h promoted the expression of genes involved in ethylene biosynthesis, sucrose and hexose transport, anaerobic fermentation, nitrate reduction, alanine accumulation, and reactive oxygen scavenging in both genotypes. The differential regulation of genes encoding 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, phosphoglucomutase, alanine-glyoxylate transaminase, and other enzymes pointed to their diverse strategies upon waterlogging in these two genotypes. In addition, more sucrose and trehalose contents, as well as a higher activity of alcohol dehydrogenase and manganese superoxide dismutases were stimulated in KR5 roots after 72h of waterlogging than that in ‘Hayward’. Overall, our results provided more insights into the molecular basis of the waterlogging response in kiwifruit.
Online: 28 November 2019 (09:38:55 CET)
The current framework of evolutionary theory postulates that evolution relies on random mutations generating a diversity of phenotypes on which natural selection acts. This framework was established using a top-down approach as it originated from Darwinism, which is based on observations made on complex multicellular organisms, and then modified to fit a DNA-centric view. In this article, I argue that, based on a bottom-up approach starting from the physicochemical properties of nucleic and amino acid polymers, we should reject the facts that: i) natural selection plays a dominant role in evolution, and ii) the probability of mutations is independent of the generated phenotype. I will show that the adaptation of a phenotype to an environment does not correspond to organism fitness but rather corresponds to maintaining the genome stability and integrity. In a stable environment, the phenotype maintains the stability of its originating genome, and both (genome and phenotype) are reproduced identically. In an unstable environment (i.e., corresponding to variations in physicochemical parameters above a physiological range), the phenotype no longer maintains the stability of its originating genome but instead influences its variations. Indeed, environment- and cellular-dependent physicochemical parameters define the probability of mutations in terms of frequency, nature and location in a genome. Evolution is non-deterministic because it relies on probabilistic physicochemical rules, and evolution is driven by a bidirectional interplay between genome and phenotype, the phenotype ensuring the stability of the genotype in a cellular and environment physicochemical parameter-depending manner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0041.v1
Online: 4 March 2019 (10:37:46 CET)
Untranslated regions (UTRs) of flaviviruses contain a large number of RNA structural elements involved in mediating the viral life cycle, including cyclisation, replication, and encapsidation. Here we report on a comparative genomics approach to characterize evolutionarily conserved RNAs in the 3'UTR of tick-borne, insect-specific and no-known-vector flaviviruses in silico. Our data support the wide distribution of previously experimentally characterized exoribonuclease resistant RNAs xrRNAs within tick-borne and no-known-vector flaviviruses and provide evidence for the existence of a cascade of duplicated RNA structures within insect-specific flaviviruses. On a broader scale, our findings indicate that viral 3'UTRs represent a flexible scaffold for evolution to come up with novel xrRNAs
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0406.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Sutherlandia frutescens, RNA sequencing, inflammation, TNF
Online: 20 September 2018 (10:16:04 CEST)
Sutherlandia frutescens (S. frutescens) has been traditionally used as an herbal medicine to ameliorate symptoms associated with cancer, infectious diseases, as well as inflammation. The objective of this investigation was to explore the impact of S. frutescens on the expression of genes in a murine macrophage cell line (i.e., RAW 264.7). We found that treatment with an ethanolic-extract of S. frutescens (SFE) 1 h prior to the stimulation with LPS and IFNγ for 24 h significantly affected the expression of 715 genes in RAW 264.7 cells. When the post-stimulation period was shortened to 8 h, the number of genes that were significantly impacted by SFE diminished to 50. Pathway analysis revealed that inflammatory signaling pathways, such as NF-κB, MAPK, and TNF, as well as signaling pathways associated with immune-related responses, were inhibited by SFE treatment. These findings are consistent with previously reported anti-inflammatory activity of SFE and enable better understanding of the immune-modulating properties of this botanical. To our knowledge, this represents the first report on the impact of S. frutescens on global gene expression in an immune cell population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0244.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: RNA silencing; gemycircularvirus; mycovirus; antiviral; dicer
Online: 29 March 2018 (05:44:40 CEST)
This study aimed to demonstrate the existence of antiviral RNA silencing mechanisms in Sclerotinia sclerotiorum by probing wild-type and RNA-silencing-deficient strains of the fungus with an RNA virus and a circular DNA virus. Key silencing-related genes, specifically dicers, were disrupted in order to dissect the RNA silencing pathway and provide useful information on fungal control. Dicers Dcl-1, Dcl-2, and both Dcl-1/Dcl-2- genes were displaced by selective marker(s). Disruption mutants were then compared for changes in phenotype, virulence, susceptibility to viral infection, and small RNA accumulation compared to the wild-type strain. Disruption of Dcl-1 or Dcl-2 resulted in no changes in phenotype compared to wild-type S. sclerotiorum; however, the double dicer mutant strain exhibited slower growth. To examine the effect of viral infection on strains containing null-mutations of Dcl-1, Dcl-2 or both genes, mutants were transfected with full-length RNA transcripts of a hypovirus SsHV2L and copies of a single-stranded DNA mycovirus- SsHADV-1 as a synthetic virus. Results indicate that the ΔDcl-1/Dcl-2 double mutant which was slow growing without virus infection exhibited much more severe debilitation following virus infection. Altered colony morphology including: reduced pigmentation, significantly slower growth, and delayed sclerotial formation. Additionally, there is an absence of virus-derived small RNAs in the virus-infected ∆Dcl-1/Dcl-2 mutant compared to the virus-infected wild-type strain which displays a high percentage of virus-derived small RNA. The findings of these studies suggest that if both dicers are silenced, invasive nucleic acids which include mycoviruses ubiquitous in nature- can greatly debilitate the virulence of fungal plant pathogens.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0008.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; KERRA; SARS-CoV-2 main protease; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; anti-FIPV activity
Online: 1 April 2022 (14:53:44 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic affects all parameters, especially health care professionals, drugs and medical supplies. The KERRA is a mixed medicinal plant capsule that is used for the treatment of patients with high fever with food and drug administration approved by FDA Thailand. Recently, KERRA showed quicker recovery for COVID-19 patients. Therefore, it is possible that some ingredients in KERRA could inhibit SARS-CoV-2. In this study, two important replication-related enzymes in SARS-CoV-2, a main protease and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), were used to study the effect of KERRA. The results showed that KERRA inhibited the SARS-CoV-2 main protease and SARS-CoV-2 RdRp with IC50 values of 49.91 ± 1.75 ng/mL and 36.23 ± 5.23 µg/mL, respectively. KERRA displayed no cytotoxic activity on macrophage cells at concentrations lower than 1 mg/mL and exhibited anti-inflammatory activity. Additionally, KERRA was against a feline coronavirus (feline infectious peritonitis [FIP]) infection with an EC50 value of 134.3 g/mL. This study supports the potential use of KERRA as a candidate drug for COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0170.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: influenza virus; RNA-polymerase; RNA-polymerase II; protein-protein interaction; PPI; cap snatching; transcription; binary complementation assay
Online: 14 February 2022 (09:51:21 CET)
Influenza virus transcription is catalyzed by the viral RNA-polymerase (FluPol) through a cap-snatching activity. The snatching of the cap of cellular mRNA by FluPol is preceded by its binding to the flexible C-terminal domain (CTD) of the RPB1 subunit of RNA-polymerase II (Pol II). To better understand how FluPol brings the 3’-end of the genomic RNAs in close proximity to the host-derived primer, we hypothesized that FluPol may recognize additional Pol II subunits/domains to ensure cap-snatching. Using binary complementation assays between the Pol II and FluPol subunits and their structural domains, we revealed an interaction between the N-third domain of PB2 and RPB4. This interaction was confirmed by a co-immunoprecipitation assay and found to occur with the homologous domains of influenza B and C FluPols. Residues [1-72] of RPB4 were found critical in this interaction. Numerous punctual mutants generated at conserved positions between influenza A, B and C FluPols in the N-third domain of PB2 exhibited strong transcriptional activity defect. These results suggest that FluPol interacts with several domains/subunits of Pol II, the CTD to bind Pol II initiating host transcription and a second on RPB4 to locate FluPol at the proximity of the 5’-end of nascent host mRNA.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0596.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: biogenesis; microRNAs; ribosomal RNA-derived fragment (rRF); ribosomes; small ribosomal RNA (srRNA); ribosomal DNA (rDNA); small RNAs
Online: 25 October 2018 (05:59:58 CEST)
The advent of RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) technologies has markedly improved our knowledge and expanded the compendium of small non-coding RNAs, most of which derive from the processing of longer RNA precursors. In this review article, we will discuss about the biogenesis and function of small non-coding RNAs derived from eukaryotic ribosomal RNA (rRNA), called rRNA fragments (rRFs), and their potential role(s) as regulator of gene expression. This relatively new class of ncRNAs remained poorly investigated and underappreciated until recently, due mainly to the a priori exclusion of rRNA sequences—because of their overabundance—from RNA-Seq datasets. The situation surrounding rRFs resembles that of microRNAs (miRNAs), which used to be readily discarded from further analyses, for more than five decades, because we could not believe that RNA of such a short length could bear biological significance. As if we had not yet learned our lesson not to restrain our investigative, scientific mind from challenging widely accepted beliefs or dogmas, and from looking for the hidden treasures in the most unexpected places.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0342.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: noncoding RNA; biomarkers; breast cancer; prognostic; diagnostic
Online: 25 May 2022 (05:09:11 CEST)
For decades since the central dogma, cancer biology research has been focusing on the involvement of genes encoding proteins. It has been not until more recent times that a new molecular class has been discovered, named non-coding RNA (ncRNA), which has been shown to play crucial roles in shaping the activity of cells. An extraordinary number of studies into shown that ncRNAs represent an extensive and prevalent group of RNAs, including both oncogenic or tumor suppressive molecules. Henceforth, various clinical trials involving ncRNAs as extra ordinary biomarkers or therapies have started to emerge. In this review, we will focus on the prognostic and diagnostic role of ncRNAs for breast cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0149.v2
Online: 23 December 2021 (11:34:00 CET)
Research Highlights: This study identified the cell cycle genes in birch that likely play important roles during plant growth and development. This analysis provides a basis for understanding the regulatory mechanism of various cell cycles in Betula pendula. Background and Objectives: The cell cycle factors not only influence cell cycle progression together, but also regulate accretion, division and differentiation of cells, and then regulate growth and development of plant. In this study, we identified the putative cell cycle genes in B. pendula genome, based on the annotated cell cycle genes in A. thaliana. It could serve as a foundation for further functional studies. Materials and Methods: The transcript abundance was determined for all the cell cycle genes in xylem, root, leaf and flower tissues using RNA-seq technology. Results: We identified 59 cell cycle gene models in the genome of B. pendula, 17 highly expression genes among them. These genes were BpCDKA.1, BpCDKB1.1, BpCDKB2.1, BpCKS1.2, BpCYCB1.1, BpCYCB1.2, BpCYCB2.1, BpCYCD3.1, BpCYCD3.5, BpDEL1, BpDpa2, BpE2Fa, BpE2Fb, BpKRP1, BpKRP2, BpRb1 and BpWEE1. Conclusions: We identified 17 core cell cycle genes in the genome of birch by combining phylogenetic analysis and tissue specific expression data.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0030.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Crop, CRISPR/Cas9; Resistance; RNA interference; Stress
Online: 1 July 2021 (14:13:20 CEST)
With the rapid population growth, there is an urgent need for innovative crop improvement approaches to meet the increasing demand for food. Classical crop improvement approaches involve, however, a backbreaking process that cannot equipoise with increasing crop demand. RNA based approaches i.e. RNAi-mediated gene regulation and site-specific nuclease based CRISPR/Cas9 system for gene editing has made advances in the efficient targeted modification in many crops for the higher yield and resistance to diseases and different stresses. In functional genomics, RNA interference (RNAi) is a propitious gene regulatory approach that plays a significant role in crop improvement by permitting down-regulation of gene expression by small molecules of interfering RNA without affecting the expression of other genes. Gene editing technologies viz. clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein (CRISPR/Cas) have appeared prominently as a powerful tool for precise targeted modification of nearly all crops genome sequence to generate variation and accelerate breeding efforts. In this regard, the review highlights the diverse roles and applications of RNAi and CRISPR/Cas9 system as powerful technologies to improve agronomically important plants to enhance crop yields and increase tolerance to environmental stress (biotic or abiotic). Ultimately, these technologies can prove to be important in view of global food security and sustainable agriculture.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: evolution; darwinism; genetic code; RNA; homoestasis; physics
Online: 6 January 2021 (15:06:41 CET)
The physics–biology continuum relies on the fact that life emerged from prebiotic molecules. Here, I argue that life emerged from the physical coupling between the synthesis of nucleic acids and the synthesis of amino acid polymers. Owing to this physical coupling, amino acid polymers (or proto-phenotypes) maintained the physicochemical parameter equilibria (proto-homeostasis) in the immediate environment of their encoding nucleic acids (or proto-genomes). This protected the proto-genome physicochemical integrity (i.e., atomic composition) from environmental physicochemical stresses, and therefore increased the probability of reproducing the proto-genome without variation. From there, genomes evolved depending on the biological activities they generated in response to environmental fluctuations. Thus, a genome generating an internal environment whose physicochemical parameters guarantee homeostasis and genome integrity has a higher probability to be reproduced without variation and therefore to reproduce the same phenotype in offspring. Otherwise, the genome is modified by the imbalances of the internal physicochemical parameters it generates, until new emerging biological activities maintain homeostasis. In sum, evolution depends on feedforward and feedback loops between genome and phenotype, since the internal physicochemical conditions that a genome generates in response to environmental fluctuations in turn either guarantee the stability or direct the variation of the genome.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0522.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Physical Chemistry Keywords: RNA Nucleotides; Uracil; Intermolecular Binding; Cyclic Compounds
Online: 30 April 2020 (08:58:21 CEST)
Exogenous RNA comprises the genetic material associated with several diseases which require immediate treatment, and thus mechanisms to hinder intracellular translation and reproduction of RNA viral agents are of great importance. Applying recent developments from this lab in methods relating to the interaction of DNA with steroid hormones, cyclic compounds are presented for intermolecular binding to nucleic acids. The requirements to achieve binding with RNA nucleotide pairs are described, which involve at a minimum functional elements positioned to interact with the lateral phosphate groups for each of the RNA strands through coupling with a positively charged ion, such as Mg2+, Ca2+, or Zn2+ ions; and an intermolecular hydrogen bond with the oxygen element of uracil at the carbon two location. Additional features of the binding molecules are examined for enhancements and differentiation in binding capability and include aromatic groups that have both a structural role of steric hindrance and a functional role to stabilize the binding mechanisms. Several categories of cyclic compounds are associated to have specific binding capabilities, and the interaction of these structures with potential receptor molecules are evaluated for assessment in delivery and binding of the compound to nucleic acids.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0161.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: RNA virus; evolution; epidemics; phylogeography; secondary structure
Online: 11 July 2019 (15:31:59 CEST)
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a mosquito-borne alphavirus of the family Togaviridae, has recently emerged in the Americas from lineages from two continents, Asia and Africa. Historically, CHIKV circulated as at least four lineages worldwide with both enzootic and epidemic transmission cycles. To understand the recent patterns of emergence and the current status of the CHIKV spread, updated analyses of the viral genetic data and metadata are needed. Here, we performed phylogenetic and comparative genomics screens of CHIKV genomes, taking advantage of the public availability of many recently sequenced isolates. Based on these new data and analyses, we derive a revised phylogeny from nucleotide sequences in coding regions. Using this phylogeny, we uncover the presence of several distinct lineages in Africa that were previously considered a single one. In parallel, we performed thermodynamic modeling of CHIKV untranslated regions (UTRs), which revealed evolutionarily conserved structured and unstructured RNA elements in the 3'UTR. We provide evidence for duplication events in recently emerged American isolates of the Asian CHIKV lineage and propose the existence of a flexible 3'UTR architecture among different CHIKV lineages.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0124.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: RNA-Seq, htseq-count, HISAT2, bioinformatics, strandedness
Online: 11 March 2019 (09:06:40 CET)
RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) is a complicated protocol, both in the laboratory in generation of data and at the computer in analysis of results. Several decisions during RNA-Seq library construction have important implications for analysis, most notably strandedness during complementary DNA (cDNA) library construction. Here we clarify bioinformatic decisions related to strandedness in both alignment of DNA sequencing reads to reference genomes and subsequent determination of transcript abundance.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0564.v2
Online: 27 February 2019 (11:32:02 CET)
Current cellular facts allow us to follow the link from chemical to biochemical metabolites, from the ancient to the modern world. In this context, the "RNA world" hypothesis proposes that early in the evolution of life, the ribozyme was responsible for the storage and transfer of genetic information and for the catalysis of biochemical reactions. Accordingly, the hammerhead ribozyme (HHR) and the hairpin ribozyme, belong to a family of endonucleolytic RNAs performing self-cleavage that might occur during replication. Furthermore, regarding the ultraconserved occurrence of HHR in several genomes of modern organisms (from mammals to small parasites and elsewhere), these small ribozymes have been regarded as living fossils of a primitive RNA world. They fold into 3D structures that generally require long-range intramolecular interactions to adopt the catalytically active conformation under specific physicochemical conditions. By studying viroids as plausible remains of ancient RNA, we recently demonstrated that they replicate in non-specific hosts, emphasizing their adaptability to different environments, which enhanced their survival probability over the ages. All these results exemplify ubiquitously features of life. Those are the versatility and efficiency of small RNAs, viroids and ribozymes, as well as their diversity and adaptability to various extreme conditions. All these traits must have originated in early life to generate novel RNA populations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0384.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: RNA modification; tRNA methyltransferase; tRNA modification; methylase
Online: 16 November 2018 (07:31:19 CET)
More than 90 different modified nucleosides have been identified in tRNA. Among the tRNA modifications, the 7-methylguanosine (m7G) modification is found widely in eubacteria, eukaryotes, and a few archaea. In most cases, the m7G modification occurs at position 46 in the variable region and is a product of tRNA (m7G46) methyltransferase. The m7G46 modification forms a tertiary base pair with C13-G22, and stabilizes the tRNA structure. Recently, we have proposed a reaction mechanism for eubacterial tRNA m7G methyltransferase (TrmB) based on the results of biochemical studies and previous biochemical, bioinformatic, and structural studies by others. However, an experimentally determined mechanism of methyl-transfer remains to be ascertained. The physiological functions of m7G46 in tRNA have started to be determined over the past decade. To be able to better respond to diseases and infections in which the m7G modification is considered to be involved, it is still necessary to further understand the catalytic mechanism of AdoMet and/or the tRNA bound form of m7G methyltransferases. In this review, information of tRNA m7G modifications and tRNA m7G methyltransferases are summarized and the differences in reaction mechanism between tRNA m7G methyltransferase and rRNA or mRNA m7G methylation enzyme are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0085.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: alfalfa; drought; microRNA; small RNA; differential expression
Online: 23 February 2017 (09:50:07 CET)
Alfalfa, an important legume forage, is an ideal crop for sustainable agriculture and a potential bioenergy plant. Drought, one of the most common environmental stresses, substantially affects plants’ growth, development and productivity. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are newly discovered gene expression regulators that have been linked to several plant stress responses. To elucidate the role of miRNAs in drought stress regulation of alfalfa, a high-throughput sequencing approach was used to analyze 12 small RNA libraries comprising of 4 samples, each with 3 biological replicates. We identified 348 known miRNAs, belonging to 80 miRNA families, from the 12 libraries and 281 novel miRNAs using Mireap software. 18 known miRNAs in roots and 12 known miRNAs in leaves were screened out as drought-responsive miRNAs. Except for miR319d and miR157a which were upregulated under drought stress, the expression pattern of drought-responsive miRNAs were different between roots and leaves in alfalfa. This is the first study discovering miR157a, miR1507, miR3512, miR3630, miR5213, miR5294, miR5368 and miR6173 are drought-responsive miRNAs. Target transcripts of drought-responsive miRNAs were computationally predicted. All 447 target genes for the known miRNAs were predicted using an online tool. This study provides a significant insight on understanding drought-responsive mechanisms of alfalfa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0372.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: RNA genome; RNA structure; Cell compartment-specific folding; LTR-retrotransposon; gRNA dimerization; gRNA cyclization; tRNA annealing; Ty1; Gag.
Online: 25 July 2022 (10:07:00 CEST)
The structural transitions RNAs undergo during trafficking are not well-understood. Here, we used the well-developed yeast Ty1 retrotransposon to provide the first structural model of genome (g) RNA in the nucleus from a retrovirus-like transposon. Through a detailed comparison of nuclear Ty1 gRNA structure with those established in the cytoplasm, virus-like particles (VLPs), and synthesized in vitro, we detected Ty1 gRNA structural alternations that occur during retrotransposition. Full-length Ty1 gRNA serves as the mRNA for Gag and Gag-Pol proteins and as the genome that is reverse transcribed within VLPs. We show that about 60% of base pairs predicted for the nuclear Ty1 gRNA appear in the cytoplasm, and active translation does not account for such structural differences. Most of the shared base pairs are represented by short-range interactions, while the long-distance pairings seem unique for each compartment. Highly structured motifs tend to be preserved after nuclear export of Ty1 gRNA. In addition, our study highlights the important role of Ty1 Gag in mediating critical RNA:RNA interactions required for retrotransposition.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0267.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Physical Chemistry Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp); remdesivir; homology model; molecular dynamics; free energy perturbation
Online: 17 March 2020 (04:07:15 CET)
Starting from December 2019, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a once-in-a-century pandemic with deadly consequences, which urgently calls for new treatments, cures and supporting apparatuses. Remdesivir was reported by World Health Organization (WHO) as the most promising drug currently available for the treatment of COVID-19. Here, we use molecular dynamics simulations and free energy perturbation methods to study the inhibition mechanism of remdesivir to its target SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). In the absence of a crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 RdRp, we first construct the homology model of this polymerase based on a previously available structure of SARS-CoV NSP12 RdRp (with a sequence identify of 95.8%). We then build the putative binding mode by aligning the remdesivir + RdRp complex to the ATP bound poliovirus RdRp. The putative binding structure is further optimized with molecular dynamics simulations and demonstrated to be stable, indicating a reasonable binding mode for remdesivir. The relative binding free energy of remdesivir is calculated to be -8.28 ± 0.65 kcal/mol, much stronger than the natural substrate ATP (-4.14 ± 0.89 kcal/mol) which is needed for the polymerization. The ~800-fold improvement in the Kd from remdesivir over ATP indicates an effective replacement of APT in blocking of the RdRp binding pocket. Key residues D618, S549 and R555 are found to be the contributors to the binding affinity of remdesivir. These findings demonstrate that remdesivir can potentially act as a SARS-CoV-2 RNA-chain terminator, effectively stopping its RNA reproduction, with key residues also identified for future lead optimization and/or drug resistance studies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0015.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: RGSV; movement proteins; gene silencing; transgenic mechanism; virus-induced small interfering RNA; RNA silencing pathway; antiviral plant defenses
Online: 2 November 2017 (03:05:04 CET)
Rice grassy stunt virus (RGSV) a member of Tenuivirus family, is very potent and destructive which effects rice crop in many countries, particularly China. Non coding RNAs have important functions in development and epigenetic regulation of gene expression in numerous organsisms. There is three type of small non coding RNAs have been found in eukaryotes, which are small interferring RNAs (siRNAs), microRNAs (miRNAs) and piwi interacting RNAs (piRNAs). Small RNAs (sRNAs) origination is from the infecting virus which is known as virus-derived small interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs), has responsibility for RNA silencing in plants. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is mainly dependent on RNA silencing (RNAi). Interestingly, RNA silencing happens in plants during viral infections. RNAi technique showed significant results in Nephotettix cincticeps. RNAi technique demonstrated the gene silencing of planthopper Nilaparvata lugens. The proteins P5, pcf4, Dnj, psn5, and pn6 act as potential movement proteins and serve as silencing suppressors for RGSV. VsiRNAs originate from dsRNA molecules which require Dicer-like (DCL) proteins, RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) proteins, and Argonaute (AGO) proteins. RdRP uses ssRNA for perfect RNA amplification process and can also be used for DCL dependent secondary vsiRNA formation. VSRs interfere with the movement of signals during silencing mechanism. Moreover, intercellular movement of viruses is facilitated by virus-encoded movement protein. RNAi is found in many eukaryotes which are related to transcriptional or post-transcriptional regulation by gene suppression. Transcription is bidirectional in ssDNA viruses which are originated from dsRNA molecules. In this review, we highlighted the biology of Rice grassy stunt virus and its insect vector and its silencing suppressors. This work will be helpful for plant virologists to understand the whole biogenesis mechanism for rice viruses especially RGSV.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0189.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase; chemical evolution; origin of life; primordial tRNA; RNA inverted repeats; RNA repeats; tRNA; tRNAome; variable loop
Online: 14 September 2022 (03:48:10 CEST)
Evolutionary, sequence and structural analyses of tRNA variable (V) loops provides a new understanding. Type I tRNA V loops have a primordial length of 5 nt, and type II tRNA V loops have a primordial length of 14 nt. Sequence-based alignments of type I and type II V loops gave deceptive results. Type II V loops are characterized by the trajectory of the V arm, the size and sequence of the loop and the first and last V loop nucleotides and their known contacts. Depending on the V arm trajectory, type II V stems and loops can be interaction sites for aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. So, type II V arms for tRNALeu, tRNASer and tRNATyr (found in Bacteria) were coevolved and selected to distinguish determinants to support cognate tRNA charging. The alignment of type I and type II V loops was adjusted based on tRNA evolution. Results are consistent with Archaea being an older and simpler life form than Bacteria. TRNAome sequences were derived from radiation of an ordered tRNAPri (Pri for primordial) sequence comprised of known RNA repeats and inverted repeats. V loop and tRNA sequences, therefore, convey a history of the primary successful pathway in the origin of life.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0104.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: C19ORF66; FLJ11286; shiftless; SVA-1; RyDEN; IRAV; ISG; innate immune response; RNA stabil-ity; translation; RNA granules; ribosomal frameshift
Online: 9 May 2022 (05:57:15 CEST)
Since its initial characterization in 2016, the interferon stimulated gene Shiftless (SHFL) has proven to be a critical piece of the innate immune response to viral infection. SHFL expression stringently restricts the replication of multiple DNA, RNA, and retroviruses with an extraordinary diversity of mechanisms that differ from one virus to the next. These inhibitory strategies include the negative regulation of viral RNA stability, translation, and even the manipulation of RNA granule formation during viral infection. Even more surprisingly, SHFL is the first human protein found to directly inhibit the activity of the -1 programmed ribosomal frameshift, a translation recoding strategy utilized across nearly all domains of life and a several human viruses. Recent literature has shown that SHFL expression also significantly impacts viral pathogenesis in mouse models, highlighting its in-vivo efficacy. To help reconcile the many mechanisms by which SHFL restricts viral replication, we provide here a comprehensive review of this complex ISG, its influence over viral RNA fate, and the implications of its functions on the virus-host arms race for control of the cell.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0236.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Archaea; transcription inhibition; RNA polymerase; viruses; evolution; antibiotics
Online: 12 August 2022 (11:25:05 CEST)
Multisubunit RNA polymerases (RNAP) carry out transcription in all domains of life; during vi-rus infection, RNAPs are targeted by transcription factors encoded by either the cell or the virus, resulting in the global repression of transcription with distinct outcomes for different host-virus combinations. These repressors serve as versatile molecular probes to study RNAP mechanisms, as well as they aid the exploration of druggable sites for the development of new antibiotics. Here, we review the mechanisms and structural basis of RNAP inhibition by the viral repressor RIP and the crenarchaeal negative regulator TFS4, which follow distinct strategies. RIP operates by occluding the DNA-binding channel and mimicking the initiation factor TFB/TFIIB. RIP binds tightly to the clamp and locks it into one fixed position, thereby preventing conformational oscil-lations that are critical for RNAP function as it progresses through the transcription cycle. TFS4 engages with RNAP in a similar manner to transcript cleavage factors such as TFS/TFIIS through the NTP-entry channel; TFS4 interferes with the trigger loop and bridge helix within the active site by occlusion and allosteric mechanisms, respectively. The conformational changes of RNAP described above are universally conserved and are also seen in inactive dimers of eukaryotic RNAPI and several inhibited RNAP complexes of both bacterial and eukaryotic RNA polymer-ases, including inactive states that precede transcription termination. A comparison of target sites and inhibitory mechanisms reveals that proteinaceous repressors and RNAP-specific antibiotics use surprisingly common ways to inhibit RNAP function.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202207.0162.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Circular RNA; Cutaneous Melanoma; Immunotherapy; metastasis; LncRNA; ecRNA
Online: 11 July 2022 (14:14:53 CEST)
Cutaneous Melanoma (CM) is the most lethal form of skin cancer if it becomes metastatic, where treatment options and survival chances decrease dramatically. Immunotherapy treatments based on the immunologic checkpoint inhibitors (PD-1 and CTLA4) constituted a main breakthrough in the treatment of metastatic CM, particularly in the long-term benefit. However, several molecular pathways are responsible for the failure of this strategy in about 50-70% of CM patients. Some Long Non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and circular RNAs (circRNA) are implicated in triggering pro- and antitumorigenic responses to various cancer treatments. The relationship between lncRNA, circRNA and Immune Checkpoint Blockade (ICB) immunotherapy is not extensively explored in cutaneous metastatic melanoma (CMM). The aim of this study is to evaluate the potential role of both circRNA and lncRNA as a predictive immunotherapy biomarker in CMM. RNA-seq from 12 FFPE samples from the metastatic biopsy of metastatic melanoma patients treated with Nivolumab were analyzed. Our findings indicate that specific lncRNA and circRNA are involved in regulatory networks of the immune response against metastatic melanoma under treatment with nivolumab. Moreover, we have established a risk score that allows the prediction of Overall survival (OS) and Progression-free survival (PFS) of CMM patients with high accuracy. This proof of principle work provides a possible insight on the function of ceRNA, contributing to decipher the complex molecular mechanism of ICB cancer treatment response.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0314.v1
Online: 20 December 2021 (14:03:29 CET)
The provenance of the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS) poses challenging questions because of their role in the emergence and evolution of genetic coding. We investigate evidence about their ancestry from curated structure-based multiple sequence alignments of a structurally invariant “scaffold” shared by all 10 canonical Class I aaRS. Three uncorrelated phylogenetic metrics—residue-by-residue conservation, its variance, and row-by-row cladistic congruence—imply that the Class I scaffold is a mosaic assembled from distinct, successive genetic sources. These data are especially significant in light of: (i) experimental fragmentations of the Class I scaffold into three partitions that retain catalytic activities in proportion to their length; and (ii) evidence that two of these partitions arose from an ancestral Class I aaRS gene encoding a Class II ancestor in frame on the opposite strand. Phylogenetic metrics of different modules vary in accordance with their presumed functionality. A 46-residue Class I “protozyme” roots the Class I molecular tree prior to the adaptive radiation of the Rossmann dinucleotide binding fold that refined substrate discrimination. Such rooting is consistent with near simultaneous emergence of genetic coding and the origin of the proteome, resolving a conundrum posed by previous inferences that Class I aaRS evolved long after the genetic code had been implemented in an RNA world. Further, pinpointing discontinuous enhancements of aaRS fidelity establishes a timeline for the growth of coding from a binary amino acid alphabet.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0349.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: microRNA; SNP’s; breast cancer; RNA induced silencing complex
Online: 25 October 2021 (12:50:03 CEST)
MiRNAs are 20-22 nucleotide long single-stranded non-coding RNA sequences, which can regulate post transcriptional activity of mRNA by binding with it at 3’UTR region (untranslated region). Thus deregulation of miRNA expression is responsible for dysregulating mRNA function which contributes in developing various diseases as well as cancerous phenotypes. Alteration of single nucleotide in miRNA sequence is one of the reasons behind deregulation of miRNA expression. The most frequent carcinoma in current day is breast cancer which causes a high mortality among women around the world as well as India. Despite of the advancement of diagnostic tools, strategies and treatment, the cases of breast cancer is increasing every year. There are plenty of biomarkers like ER, PR, Her2, Ki-67, etc available which are frequently used in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. After the discovery of MiRNA in 1993 in Caenorhabiditis elegans, it is attracting all the limelight in diagnosis and treatment of different carcinomas as well as breast cancer. In this review we will discuss on involvement of different types of MiRNAs and miR SNPs in breast cancer occurrence and susceptibility in a detailed manner.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0130.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: fusion protein; extracellular vesicles; target delivery; RNA sorting
Online: 8 October 2021 (09:21:36 CEST)
The advancement of precision medicine critically depends on the robustness and specificity of the carriers used for the targeted delivery of effector molecules in the human body. Numerous nanocarriers have been explored in vivo, to ensure the precise delivery of molecular cargos via tissue-specific targeting, including the endocrine part of the pancreas, thyroid, and adrenal glands. However, even after reaching the target organ, the cargo-carrying vehicle needs to enter the cell and then escape from lysosomal destruction. Most of artificial nanocarriers suffer from intrinsic limitations that either prevent them from completing the specific delivery of the cargo. In this respect, extracellular vesicles (EVs) seem to be the natural tool for payload delivery due to their versatility and low toxicity. However, EV-mediated delivery is not selective and usually short-ranged. By inserting the viral membrane fusion proteins into exosomes, it is possible to increase the efficiency of membrane recognition and also ease the process of membrane fusion. This review describes the molecular details of the viral-assisted interaction between the target cell and extracellular vesicles. We also discuss the question of the usability of viral fusion proteins in developing extracellular vesicle-based nanocarriers with higher efficacy of payload delivery. Finally, this review specifically highlights the role of Gag and RNA binding proteins in RNA sorting into extracellular vesicles.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0224.v1
Online: 14 September 2021 (08:19:04 CEST)
The major threats to the sustainable supply of forest tree products are adverse climate, pests and diseases. Climate change, exemplified by increased drought, poses a unique threat to global forest health. This is attributed to the unpredictable behavior of forest pathosystems, which can favor fungal pathogens over the host under persistent drought stress conditions in the future. Currently, the effects of drought on tree resistance against pathogens are hypothetical, thus research is needed to identify these correlations. Norway spruce (Picea abies) is one of the most economically important tree species in Europe, and is considered highly vulnerable to changes in climate. Dedicated experiments to investigate how disturbances will affect the Norway spruce - Heterobasidion sp. pathosystem are important, in order to develop different strategies to limit the spread of H. annosum s.l. under the predicted climate change. Here, we report a transcriptional study to compare Norway spruce gene expressions to evaluate the effects of water availability and the infection of Heterobasidion parviporum. We performed inoculation studies of three-year-old saplings in a greenhouse (purchased from a nursery). Norway spruce saplings were treated in either high (+) or low (-) water groups: high water group received double the water amount than the low water group. RNA was extracted and sequenced. Similarly, we quantified gene expression levels of candidate genes in biotic stress and jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathways using qRT-PCR, through which we discovered a unique preferential defense response of H. parviporum-infected Norway spruce under drought stress at the molecular level. Disturbances related to water availability, especially low water conditions can have negative effects on the tree host and benefit the infection ability of the pathogens in the host. From our RNA-seq analysis, 114 differentially expressed gene regions were identified between high (+) and low (-) water groups under pathogen attack. None of these gene pathways were identified to be differentially expressed from both non-treated and mock-control treatments between high (+) and low (-) water groups. Finally, only four genes were found to be associated with drought in all treatments.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0551.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Telomere attrition in covid19; telomerase and spike RNA
Online: 22 March 2021 (15:48:20 CET)
In this letter we investigate if SARS-CoV-2 RNA is involved in the increased ageing of alveolar cells. Our in silico study is explorative. With the results we are able to outline experiments with AEC2 repair of bleomycin damaged alveolar cells. If AEC2 repair capability is diminished by spike RNA then perhaps this result provides a first step on a route to treat immortal lung cancer cells.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0021.v2
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: virus; population bottleneck; positive sense RNA virus; evolution
Online: 1 October 2020 (08:28:45 CEST)
Many positive sense RNA viruses, especially those infecting plants, are known to experience stringent, stochastic population bottlenecks inside the cells they invade, but exactly how and why these populations become bottlenecked are unclear. A model proposed ten years ago advocates that such bottlenecks are evolutionarily favored because they cause the isolation of individual viral variants in separate cells. Such isolation in turn allows the viral variants to manifest the phenotypic differences they encode. Recently published observations lend mechanistic support to this model, and prompt us to refine the model with novel molecular details. The refined model, designated Bottleneck, Isolate, Amplify, Select (BIAS), postulates that these viruses impose population bottlenecks on themselves by encoding bottleneck-enforcing proteins (BNEPs) that function in a concentration-dependent manner. In cells simultaneously invaded by numerous virions of the same virus, BNEPs reach the bottleneck-ready concentration sufficiently early to arrest nearly all internalized viral genomes. As a result, very few (as few as one) viral genomes stochastically escape to initiate reproduction. Repetition of this process in successively infected cells isolate viral genomes with different mutations in separate cells. This isolation prevents mutant viruses encoding defective viral proteins from hitchhiking on sister genome-encoded products, leading to the swift purging of such mutants. Importantly, genome isolation also ensures viral genomes harboring beneficial mutations accrue the cognate benefit exclusively to themselves, leading to the fixation of such beneficial mutations. Further interrogation of the BIAS hypothesis promises to deepen our understanding of virus evolution, and inspire new solutions to virus disease mitigation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0708.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: streptococcus suis; transcriptome; ferrous iron; cobalt; RNA sequencing
Online: 31 August 2020 (09:51:43 CEST)
Streptococcus suis is a zoonotic pathogen causing serious infections in both swine and humans. Although metals are essential for life, excess amounts of metals they are toxic to bacteria. when accumulated in excess amounts. Except for zinc, Transcriptome-level data of the mechanisms for resistance to metal-induced toxicity in S. suis are available for no metals other than zinc. have not been investigated from the transcriptome level in S. suis. Herein, we explored the transcriptome-level changes of in S. suis in response to ferrous iron and cobalt toxicity by RNA sequencing. Many A lot of genes were differentially expressed in the presence of excess ferrous iron and cobalt. Most of the genes in response to cobalt toxicity showed the same expression trends as those were expressed in the same trend in response to ferrous iron toxicity. qRT-PCR analysis of the selected genes confirmed the accuracy of RNA sequencing results. Bioinformatics analysis of the differentially expressed genes indicated that ferrous iron and cobalt have similar impacts effects on the cellular processes of S. suis. Treatment with ferrous Ferrous iron treatment resulted in down-regulation of several oxidative stress tolerance-related genes involved in oxidative stress tolerance and up-regulation of the genes in an amino acid ABC transporter operon. Expression of the several genes in the arginine deiminase system was down-regulated in the presence of after ferrous iron and cobalt treatment. Collectively, our results suggested that S. suis alters the expression of a lot of multiple genes to respond to ferrous iron and cobalt toxicity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0711.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: co-expression network; residual feed intake; RNA-Seq
Online: 30 July 2020 (09:39:36 CEST)
Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) can regulate several aspects of gene expression, being associated with complex phenotypes in humans and livestock species. In taurine beef cattle, recent evidence points to the involvement of lncRNA in feed efficiency (FE), a proxy for increased productivity and sustainability. Here, we hypothesized specific regulatory roles of lncRNA in FE of indicine cattle. Using RNA-Seq data from liver, muscle, hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal gland from Nellore bulls with divergent FE, we submitted new transcripts to a series of filters to confidently predict lncRNA. Then, we identified lncRNA that were differentially expressed (DE) and/or key regulators of FE. Finally, we explored lncRNA genomic location and interactions with miRNA and mRNA to infer potential function. We were able to identify 126 relevant lncRNA for FE in Bos indicus, some with high homology to previously identified lncRNA in Bos taurus and some possible specific regulators of FE in indicine cattle. Moreover, lncRNA identified here were linked to previously described mechanisms related to FE in hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and are expected to help elucidate this complex phenotype. This study contributes to expanding the catalogue of lncRNA, particularly in indicine cattle, and identifies candidates for further studies in animal selection and management.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0398.v1
Online: 17 July 2020 (16:02:28 CEST)
The pandemic respiratory disease COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), emerged in Wuhan in December 2019 and then spread throughout the world; Italy was the most affected European country. Despite the close pet-human contact, little is known about the predisposition of pets to SARS-CoV-2. Among these, felines are the most susceptible. In this study, a domestic cat with clear symptoms of pneumonia, confirmed by Rx imaging, was found to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 using quantitative RT–qPCR from a nasal swab. This is the first Italian study reporting on the request of the scientific community to focus attention on the possible role of pets as a SARS-CoV-2 reservoir. An important question remains unanswered: did the cat die from SARS-CoV-2 infection?
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0183.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Oncology & Oncogenics Keywords: Bioinformatics, Cancer, Genomics, Computational Biology, RNA sequencing, TCGA
Online: 13 December 2019 (10:57:29 CET)
This study aimed to rank cancers by the strength of relationship between comprehensive mRNA expression of the most harmful or protective genes and patient survival. Using TCGA dataset including RNA-SEQ and clinical data, we investigated not only gene specific prognostic availability, but also comprehensive prognostic availability of prognostic genes filtered by cox coefficient, and ranked cancers by specially designed prognostic indicator. Through Kaplan-Meier plots, we checked that cancers vary in the strength of influence of prognostic genes, and they follow as the rank. Developing treatment with method to reduce or increase expression of biomarkers for specific cancer which ranked bottom, it would be not efficient in high probability. The results of this study can be a scientific evidence for that.
DATASET | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0180.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, General Medical Research Keywords: IBS; BMI; Nanostring; White Blood Cells; RNA expression
Online: 13 December 2019 (10:41:56 CET)
Chronic gastro-abdominal pain with altered bowel habits are associated with pathologies including gastroenteritis, autoimmune and inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In IBS, diagnostic evidence of infection or inflammation are absent, yet symptoms nonetheless include chronic abdominal pain and alterations of stool frequency and consistency, with most common subtypes including diarrhea-predominant (IBS-D) or constipation predominant (IBS-C). [1, 2] IBS is a common clinical complaint in westernized nations, with females more frequently diagnosed than males . Obesity is also associated with increased likelihood of chronic pain , and is associated with intestinal dysbiosis, and systemic inflammatory signatures . Improving personalized medicine therefore requires patient stratification based on a combination of biological factors contributing to the individual’s symptom and biomarker spectrum. The “buffy coat” method isolates leukocytes and PBMCs from whole blood, comprises the immune cell population in peripheral blood. These cells are relatively inactive but are primed to respond to generalized and localized immune activation signals; they are under active investigation as diagnostic biomarkers . Collection of buffy coat is a standard method in clinical laboratories; detection of immune activation via RNA expression biomarkers will be informative of differential biological response, and be tractable to collect in clinical settings. Results of differential expression, pathway analysis, and cell-type abundance analysis from buffy coat RNA, is presented here using variables for BMI, Gender, and IBS-subtype from publicly available Nanostring RNA expression and phenotypic data from the NCBI GEO database.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0042.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: RNA-Seq; Oncology; DNA repair; Survival; PCNA metagene
Online: 4 February 2019 (16:55:20 CET)
Removal of the proliferation component of gene expression by PCNA adjustment has been addressed in numerous survival prediction studies for breast cancer and all cancers in the TCGA. These studies indicate that widespread co-regulation of proliferation upwardly biases survival prediction when gene selection is performed on a genome-wide basis. In addition, removal of the correlative effects of proliferation does not reduce the random bias associated with survival prediction using random gene selection. Since most cancers become addicted to DNA repair as a result of forced cellular replication, increased oxidation, and repair deficiencies from oncogenic loss or genetic polymorphisms, we pursued an investigation to remove the proliferation component of expression in DNA repair genes to determine survival prediction. This translational hypothesis-driven focus on DNA repair genes is directly amenable to finding new sets of DNA repair genes that could potentially be studied for inhibition therapy. Overall survival (OS) prediction was evaluated in 18 cancers by using normalized RNA-Seq data for 126 DNA repair genes with expression available in TCGA. Transformations for normality and adjustments for age at diagnosis, stage, and PCNA metagene expression were performed for all DNA repair genes. We also analyzed genomic event rates (GER) for somatic mutations, deletions, and amplification in driver genes and DNA repair genes. After performing empirical p-value testing with use of randomly selected gene sets, it was observed that OS could be predicted significantly by sets of DNA repair genes for 61% (11/18) of the cancers. Interestingly, PARP1 was not a significant predictor of survival for any of the 11 cancers. Results from cluster analysis of GERs indicates that the most opportunistic cancers for inhibition therapy may be AML, colorectal, and renal papillary, because of potentially less confounding due to lower GERs for mutations, deletions, and amplifications in DNA repair genes. However, the most opportunistic cancer for inhibition therapy is likely to be AML, since it showed the lowest GERs for mutations, deletions, and amplifications in DNA repair genes. In conclusion, our hypothesis-driven focus to target DNA repair gene expression adjusted for the PCNA metagene as a means of predicting OS in various cancers resulted in statistically significant sets of genes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0486.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: Histone deacetylase, metabolism, peanut, hairy roots, RNA-seq
Online: 25 September 2018 (12:40:05 CEST)
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is a crop plant with high economic value, but the epigenetic regulation of its growth and development has only rarely been studied. The peanut histone deacetylase 1 gene (AhHDA1) has been isolated and is known to be ABA- and drought-responsive. In this paper, we investigate the role of AhHDA1 in more detail, focussing on the effect of altered AhHDA1 expression in hairy roots at both the phenotypic and transcriptional levels. Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation of A. hypogaea hairy roots was used to analyse how overexpression or RNA interference of AhHDA1 affects this tissue. In both types of transgenic hairy root, RNA sequencing was adopted to identify genes that were differentially expressed, and these genes were assigned to specific metabolic pathways. AhHDA1-overexpressing hairy roots were growth-retarded after 20 d in vitro cultivation, and superoxide anions and hydrogen peroxide accumulated to a greater extent than in control or RNAi groups. Overexpression of AhHDA1 is likely to accelerate flux through various secondary synthetic metabolic pathways in hairy roots, as well as reduce photosynthesis and oxidative phosphorylation. Genes encoding the critical enzymes caffeoyl-CoA O-methyltransferase (Araip.XGB85) and caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (Araip.Z3XZX) in the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway, chalcone synthase (Araip.B8TJ0) and polyketide reductase (Araip.MKZ27) in the flavonoid biosynthesis pathway, and hydroxyisoflavanone synthase (Araip.0P3RJ) and isoflavone 2'-hydroxylase (Araip.S5EJ7) in the isoflavonoid biosynthesis pathway were significantly upregulated by AhHDA1 overexpression, while their expression in AhHDA1-RNAi and control hairy roots remained at a lower level or was unchanged. Our results suggest that alteration of secondary metabolism activities is related to overexpression of AhHDA1, which is mainly reflected in phenylpropanoid, flavonoid and flavonoid biosynthesis. Future studies will focus on the function of AhHDA1 interacting proteins and their action on cell growth and stress responses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0257.v1
Online: 30 March 2018 (06:02:33 CEST)
Recently, selection in pigs has been focused on improving the lean meat content in carcasses; this focus has been most evident in breeds constituting a paternal component in breeding. Such sire-breeds are used to improve the meat quantity of cross-breed pig lines. However, even in one breed, a significant variation in the meatiness level can be observed. In the present study, the comprehensive analysis of genes and microRNA expression profiles in porcine muscle tissue was applied to identify the genetic background of meat content. The comparison was performed between whole gene expression and miRNA profiles of muscle tissue collected from two sire-line pig breeds (Piertain, Hampshire). The RNA-seq approach allowed the identification of 627 and 416 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between pig groups differing in terms of loin weight between Pietrain and Hampshire breeds, respectively. The comparison of miRNA profiles showed differential expression of 57 microRNAs for Hampshire and 34 miRNAs for Pietrain pigs. Next, 43 genes and 18 miRNAs were selected as differentially expressed in both breeds and potentially related to muscle development. According to Gene Ontology analysis, identified DEGs and microRNAs were involved in the regulation of the cell cycle, fatty acid biosynthesis and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. The most deregulated pathways dependent on muscle mass were the Hippo signalling pathway connected with the TGF-beta signalling pathway and controlling organ size via the regulation of ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, cell proliferation and apoptosis. The identified target genes were also involved in pathways such as the FoxO signalling pathway, signalling pathways regulating pluripotency of stem cells and the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway. The obtained results indicate molecular mechanisms controlling porcine muscle growth and development. Identified genes (SOX2, SIRT1, KLF4, PAX6 and genes belonging to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily) could be considered candidate genes for determining muscle mass in pigs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0744.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: long non-coding RNA (lncRNA); RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription; gene regulation; tandem transcriptional interference (tTI); antisense transcription; DNA processing
Online: 31 July 2020 (10:47:08 CEST)
RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) frequently transcribes non-protein coding DNA sequences in eukaryotic genomes into long non-coding RNA (lncRNA). Here, we focus on the impact of the act of lncRNA transcription on nearby functional DNA units. Distinct molecular mechanisms linked to the position of lncRNA relative to the coding gene illustrate how non-coding transcription controls gene expression. We review the biological significance of the act of lncRNA transcription on DNA processing, highlighting common themes, such as mediating cellular responses to environmental changes. This review presents the background in chromatin signaling to appreciate examples in different organisms where we can interpret functions of non-coding DNA through the act of RNAPII transcription.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0606.v1
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: viroid; pathogenicity; RNA silencing; Dicer-like proteins; small interfering RNA; microRNA398; microRNA398a-3p; superoxide dismutase 1; reactive oxygen species; systemic necrosis
Online: 28 November 2018 (06:50:07 CET)
To examine the role of RNA silencing in defense against viroid, a Dicer-like 2 and 4 (DCL2&4)—double knockdown transgenic tomato line 72E was created. The expression of endogenous DCL2 and DCL4 in line 72E decreased to about a half of the empty cassette line EC. When challenged with potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd), 72E allowed significantly higher level of PSTVd accumulation early in infection and showed lethal systemic necrosis. The size distribution of PSTVd-derived small RNA was significantly changed: the numbers of 21 and 22 nucleotides (nt) species in line 72E was approximately 66.7% and 5% of those in line EC, respectively. Conversely, the numbers of 24-nt species increased by 1100%. Furthermore, expression of miR398a-3p and miR398 increased 770–868% in the PSTVd-infected 72E, compared to the PSTVd-infected EC. In parallel, superoxide dismutase (SOD1) in PSTVd-infected 72E showed higher expression levels. In concert with miR398a-3p, SOD1 controls detoxification of reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated in cells. Since high levels of ROS production and its scavenging activity were observed in PSTVd-infected 72E, the lack of full-activity of DCLs was thought to have made the plant incapable to control excessive ROS production and thus resulted in to develop lethal systemic necrosis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0271.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: Idaeovirus; Blackcurrant leaf chlorosis associated virus; next-generation sequencing (NGS); bridge reads; abutting primers; RNase R digestion; circular RNA; concatenated RNA
Online: 30 March 2018 (11:40:46 CEST)
Blackcurrant leaf chlorosis associated virus (BCLCaV) was detected recently by next-generation sequencing (NGS) and proposed as a new and distinct species in the genus Idaeovirus. Genomic components of BCLCaV that were detected and confirmed include: 1) RNA-1 that is monocistronic and encodes the replicase complex; 2) a bicistronic RNA-2 that encodes a movement protein (MP) and the coat protein (CP) of the virus, with open reading frames (ORF) that overlap by a single adenine (A) nucleotide (nt) representing the third position of an opal stop codon of the MP ORF2a and the first position of the start codon of the CP ORF2b; 3) a subgenomic form of RNA-2 (RNA-3) that contains ORF2b; and 4) a concatenated form of RNA-2 that consists of a complementary and inverted RNA-3 conjoined to the full-length RNA-2. Analysis of NGS-derived paired-end reads revealed the existence of bridge reads encompassing the 3’-terminus and 5’-terminus of RNA-2 or RNA-3 of BCLCaV. The full RNA-2 or RNA-3 could be amplified using outward facing or abutting primers; also RNA-2/RNA-3 could be detected even after three consecutive RNase R enzyme treatments with denaturation at 95 oC preceding each digestion. Evidence was obtained indicating that there are circular forms of BCLCaV RNA-2 and RNA-3.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0149.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: immune response; fatty acid; lipid metabolism; RNA-Seq; transcriptome
Online: 10 February 2022 (10:57:03 CET)
The objective of this study was to identify key transcription factors involved in lipid metabolism and immune response related to the differentially expressed genes (DEG) from the liver samples of 35 pig model for metabolic diseases fed diets containing either 1.5 or 3.0% soybean oil (SOY1.5 or SOY3.0). A total of 281 DEG between SOY1.5 and SOY3.0 diets (log2fold-change ≥ 1 or ≤ −1; FDR-corrected p-value < 0.1) were identified, in which 129 were down-regulated and 152 were up-regulated in SOY1.5 group. The functional annotation analysis detected transcription factors linked to lipid homeostasis and immune response, such as RXRA, EGFR, and SREBP2 precursor. These findings demonstrated that key transcription factors related to lipid metabolism could be modulated by dietary inclusion of soybean oil. It could contribute to nutrigenomics research field that aims to elucidate dietary interventions in animal and human health, as well as to drive the food technology and science.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0087.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2 RNA; mitochondria; placenta; padlock
Online: 6 January 2022 (12:35:00 CET)
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic dictated new priorities in biomedicine research. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus. In this pilot study, we optimized our padlock assay to visualize genomic/subgenomic regions using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded placental samples obtained from a confirmed case of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was localized in trophoblastic cells. We also checked the presence of the virion by immunolocalization of its glycoprotein spike. In addition, we imaged mitochondria of placental villi keeping in mind that the mitochondrion has been suggested as a potential residence of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Indeed, we observed a substantial overlapping of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and mitochondria in trophoblastic cells. This intriguing linkage correlated with an aberrant mitochondrial network. Overall, to our knowledge, this is the first study that provides the evidence of a co-localization of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and mitochondria in SARS-CoV-2 infected tissue. These findings also support the notion that SARS-CoV-2 infection could reprogram mitochondrial activity in highly specialized maternal/fetal interface.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0565.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: Salt stress; Jerusalem artichoke; Time series analysis; RNA-seq
Online: 30 November 2021 (11:55:51 CET)
Background: Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) is tolerant to salinity stress and has high economic value. The salt tolerance mechanisms of Jerusalem artichoke are still unclear. Especially in the early stage of Jerusalem artichoke exposure to salt stress, the plant physiology, biochemistry and gene transcription are likely to undergo large changes. Elucidating these changes may be of great significance to understanding the salt tolerance mechanisms of it. Results: We obtained high-quality transcriptome from leaves and roots of Jerusalem artichoke exposed to salinity (300 mM NaCl) for 0 h, 6 h, 12 h, 24 h and 48 h, with 150,129 unigenes and 9023 DEGs (Differentially Expressed Genes). The RNA-seq data were clustered into time-dependent groups (nine clusters each in leaves and roots); gene functions were distributed evenly among the groups convergence. KEGG enrichment analysis showed the genes related to plant hormone signal transduction were enriched in almost all treatment comparisons. Under salt stress, genes belongs to PYL (abscisic acid receptor PYR / PYL family), PP2C (Type 2C protein phosphatases), GH3 (Gretchen Hagen3), ETR (ethylene receptor), EIN2/3 (ethylene-insensitive protein 2/3), JAZ (Genes such as jasmonate ZIM-domain gene) and MYC2 (Transcription factor MYC2) had extremely similar expression patterns. The results of qPCR of 12 randomly selected genes confirmed the accuracy of RNA-seq. Conclusions: Under the impact of high salinity (300mM) environment, Jerusalem artichoke in the seedling stage was difficult to survive for a long time, and the phenotype was severe in the short term. Based on the expression of genes on the time scale, we found that the distribution of gene functions in time is relatively even. Upregulation of the phytohormone signal transduction had a crucial role in the response of Jerusalem artichoke seedlings to salt stress, the genes of abscisic acid, auxin, ethylene, and jasmonic acid had the most obvious change pattern.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0385.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: n/aRNA genome; Viruses; host-viruses interactions; RNA world
Online: 22 November 2021 (11:43:15 CET)
In recent years, the role of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in regulating cell physiology has begun to be better understood. Recent discoveries in viral molecular biology have revealed that such cellular functions are disturbed during viral infections mainly due to host cell ncRNAs, cellular factors, and virus-derived ncRNAs. Apart from the interplay between those molecules, other interactions derive from the specific folding of RNA virus genomes. These fulfill canonical regulation functions such as replication, translation, and viral packaging. In some cases, folds serve as precursors of small viral RNAs whose biogenesis is not yet clearly understood. Since ncRNAs and RNA viral genomes modulate complex molecular and cellular processes in viral infections, a new taxonomy is being proposed here overarching three main categories, considering the current information about ncRNA interactions in some well-known viral infections. The first category shows examples of host ncRNAs associated with the trigger of the immune response under viral infections. The second category describes interactions between the virus and host ncRNAs. The last category shows how the shape of the RNA viral genome is essential in processing RNAs derived from viruses. Finally, we introduce evidence of how these three categories can also work as a framework in order to organize known interactions of ncRNAs and cellular factors under DENV infection. This new taxonomy of interactions provides a comprehensive framework for organizing the ncRNA regulatory roles in the context of viral interactions and an RNA world.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0374.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Stable Isotope Probing; RNA; density gradient; ultracentrifugation; microbial ecology
Online: 22 November 2021 (10:41:51 CET)
Cesiumtrifluoroacetate (CsTFA) is a key chemical for RNA-based stable isotope analyses to link the structure and function of microbial communities. We report a protocol to easily synthesize CsTFA from Cesiumcarbonate (Cs2CO3) and Trifluoroacetate (TFA) and show that self-synthesized CsTFA behaves similar to commercial CsTFA in the separation of isotopically labelled and unlabelled E. coli RNA.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0203.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: flower development; epigenetics; RNA biology; Genomics; single cell biology
Online: 10 November 2021 (11:00:03 CET)
The rise of data science in biology stimulates interdisciplinary collaborations to address fundamental questions. Here, we report the outcome of the first SINFONIA symposium focused on revealing the mechanisms governing plant reproductive development across biological scales. The intricate and dynamic target networks of known regulators of flower development remain poorly understood. To analyze development from the genome to the final floral organ morphology, high-resolution data that capture spatiotemporal regulatory activities are necessary and require advanced computational methods for analysis and modeling. Moreover, frameworks to share data, practices and approaches that facilitate the combination of varied expertise to advance the field are called for. Training young researchers in interdisciplinary approaches and science communication offers the opportunity to establish a collaborative mindset to shape future research.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0196.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Single cell RNA-seq; spatial reconstruction; development; coalescent embedding
Online: 5 March 2021 (21:21:59 CET)
Single cell RNA-seq (scRNA-seq) profiles conceal temporal and spatial tissue developmental information. De novo reconstruction of single cell temporal trajectory has been fairly addressed, but reverse engineering single cell 3D spatial tissue localization is hitherto landmark based, and de novo spatial reconstruction is a compelling computational open problem. Here we show that a new algorithm - named D-CE - for coalescent embedding of single cell transcriptomic networks can address this open problem. We rely merely on the spatial information encoded in the expression patterns of developmental signal transcription factor (DST) genes, and we find that D-CE of cell-cell association DST-transcriptomic networks reliably reconstructs the Geo-seq or single cell samples’ 3D spatial tissue distribution. Comparison to the novoSpaRC and CSOmap (recent and only available de novo 3D spatial reconstruction methods) on 16 datasets and 681 reconstructions, reveals a significantly distinctive superior performance of D-CE.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0039.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Zika Virus; Phylogenomics; Viral Genomic Variability; Conserved RNA structures
Online: 1 March 2021 (18:17:53 CET)
Zika virus (ZIKV), without a vaccine or no effective treatment approved as yet, have globally spread since the past century. The infection caused by ZIKV in humans has changed progressively from mild to subclinical in the last years, causing epidemics with greater infectivity, tropism towards new tissues, and other related symptoms as a product of various emergent ZIKV-host cell interactions. However, it is still unknown why or how the RNA genome structure impacts those interactions in differential evolutionary origin strains. Moreover, genomic comparison of ZIKV strains from the sequence-based phylogenetic analysis is well known, but differences from RNA structure comparisons are less known. Thus, in order to understand the RNA genome variability of lineages of various geographic distributions better, 412 complete genomes in a phylogenomic scanning were used for studying the conservation of structured RNAs. We found specific genomic regions, which highlight their patterns of conserved RNA structures at the level of inter-geographical comparisons. We have proposed these structures as candidates for further experimental validation to establish their potential role in vital functions of the viral cycle of ZIKV and their possible associations with the singularities of different outbreaks that occurred in specific geographic regions.