Gene Summary

Gene:DICER1; dicer 1, ribonuclease III
Aliases: DCR1, MNG1, Dicer, HERNA, RMSE2, Dicer1e, K12H4.8-LIKE
Summary:This gene encodes a protein possessing an RNA helicase motif containing a DEXH box in its amino terminus and an RNA motif in the carboxy terminus. The encoded protein functions as a ribonuclease and is required by the RNA interference and small temporal RNA (stRNA) pathways to produce the active small RNA component that represses gene expression. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:endoribonuclease Dicer
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: DICER1 (cancer-related)

Gao XH, Li J, Liu Y, et al.
ZNF148 modulates TOP2A expression and cell proliferation via ceRNA regulatory mechanism in colorectal cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(1):e5845 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) regulation is a novel hypothesized mechanism that states RNA molecules share common target microRNAs (miRNAs) and may competitively combine into the same miRNA pool.
METHODS: Zinc finger protein 148 (ZNF148) and TOP2A expression were analyzed in 742 colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues using immunohistochemistry (IHC). ZNF148 mRNA, TOP2A mRNA, miR101, miR144, miR335, and miR365 expression were estimated in 53 fresh frozen CRC tissues by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Mechanisms underpinning ceRNA were examined using bioinformatics, correlation analysis, RNA interference, gene over-expression, and luciferase assays.
RESULTS: Protein levels of ZNF148 and TOP2A detected by IHC positively correlated (Spearman correlation coefficient [rs] = 0.431, P < 0.001); mRNA levels of ZNF148 and TOP2A also positively correlated (r = 0.591, P < 0.001). Bioinformatics analysis demonstrated that ZNF148 and TOP2A mRNA had 13 common target miRNAs, including miR101, miR144, miR335, and miR365. Correlation analysis demonstrated that levels of ZNF148 mRNA were negatively associated with levels of miR144, miR335, and miR365. Knockdown and overexpression tests showed that ZNF148 mRNA and TOP2A mRNA regulated each other in HCT116 cells, respectively, but not in Dicer-deficient HCT116 cells. Luciferase assays demonstrated that ZNF148 and TOP2A regulated each other through 3'UTR. Overexpression of ZNF148 mRNA and TOP2A mRNA caused significant downregulation of miR101, miR144, miR335, and miR365 in the HCT116 cells. We also found that knockdown of ZNF148 and TOP2A significantly promoted cell growth, and overexpression of ZNF148 and TOP2A inhibited cell proliferation, which was abrogated in Dicer-deficient HCT116 cells.
CONCLUSION: ZNF148 and TOP2A regulate each other through ceRNA regulatory mechanism in CRC, which has biological effects on cell proliferation.

Meurgey A, Descotes F, Mery-Lamarche E, Devouassoux-Shisheboran M
Lack of mutation of DICER1 and FOXL2 genes in microcystic stromal tumor of the ovary.
Virchows Arch. 2017; 470(2):225-229 [PubMed] Related Publications
Microcystic stromal tumors (MCST), first described in 2009 by Irving et al., are rare ovarian neoplasms. The entity was introduced into the 2014 WHO classification of tumors of female reproductive organs in the group of sex cord-stromal tumors, which is rather heterogeneous. We studied three cases of ovarian tumor with the characteristic morphological features and immunohistochemical marker profiles of MCST. The three tumors showed micro, and macrocystic patterns with solid areas, and were composed of small round to spindle-shaped cells, without atypia. The tumors diffusely and strongly expressed CD10, FOXL2, and nuclear β-catenin, but without immmunoreactivity for hormone receptors, calretinin, or inhibin. Genome analyses showed no somatic mutation of exon 1 of the FOXL2 gene and of exons 24 and 25 of DICER1 gene, the latter not having been reported previously. The patients are well, without evidence of tumor progression 1 to 10 years after diagnosis.The absence of FOXL2 and DICER1 gene mutation, along with strong FOXL2 immunoreactivity provides additional evidence to place MCST within pure gonadal stromal rather than sex cord ovarian tumors.

Zhu Y, Cai L, Guo J, et al.
Depletion of Dicer promotes epithelial ovarian cancer progression by elevating PDIA3 expression.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(10):14009-14023 [PubMed] Related Publications
Dicer is an essential component of the microRNA (miRNA) processing machinery whose low expression is associated with advanced stage and poor clinical outcome in epithelial ovarian cancer. To investigate the functional relevance of Dicer in epithelial ovarian cancer and to identify its downstream effectors, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis combined with mass spectrometry was used for proteomic profiling. Dicer depletion promoted ovarian cancer cell proliferation and migration accompanied by a global upregulation of proteins. Twenty-six proteins, 7 upregulated and 19 downregulated, were identified. The functions of the identified proteins and their interactions were bioinformatically analyzed. Among them, protein disulfide-isomerase A3 (PDIA3) was considered to be a potential target protein of Dicer. PDIA3 repression by siRNA could significantly relieve the proliferation- and migration-promoting effect mediated by Dicer depletion in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, the miRNAs targeting PDIA3 were decreased in cells with Dicer depletion. In summary, low Dicer expression contributes to epithelial ovarian cancer progression by elevating PDIA3 expression.

Wang Y, Lin G
TP53INP1 3'-UTR functions as a ceRNA in repressing the metastasis of glioma cells by regulating miRNA activity.
Biotechnol Lett. 2016; 38(10):1699-707 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To explore the effects of the competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) network between TP53INP1 and E-cadherin on the invasion and migration of glioma.
RESULTS: TP53INP1 and E-cadherin mRNA and protein were significantly overexpressed in normal brain tissues compared with glioma tissue specimens and correlated with the grades of glioma negatively. The expression of TP53INP1 and E-cadherin were correlated positively. Patients with higher TP53INP1 or E-cadherin expression had longer overall survival. Moreover, TP53INP1 3'-UTR inhibited glioma cell proliferation, invasion and proliferation; Furthermore, the 3'-UTRs of TP53INP1 and E-cadherin harboured seven identical miRNAs binding sites, and TP53INP1 3'-UTR could increase the expression of E-cadherin and decrease the expression of vimentin thus repressing the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). However, the coding sequence of TP53INP1 could not increase the expression of E-cadherin and the inhibitory effect on EMT of TP53INP1 3'-UTR was reversed by the siRNA against Dicer.
CONCLUSIONS: TP53INP1 3'-UTR could inhibit the EMT, thus hindering the migration and invasion of glioma via acting as a ceRNA for E-cadherin.

Gu H, Liu M, Ding C, et al.
Hypoxia-responsive miR-124 and miR-144 reduce hypoxia-induced autophagy and enhance radiosensitivity of prostate cancer cells via suppressing PIM1.
Cancer Med. 2016; 5(6):1174-82 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer cells in hypoxia usually make adaptive changes in cellular metabolism, such as altered autophagy. This might be a cause of enhanced radioresistance in some types of cancer. In this study, we investigated hypoxia-responsive miRNAs in two prostate cancer cell lines (DU145 and PC3). This study firstly reported that hypoxia induces further downregulation of miR-124 and miR-144, which might be a result of impaired dicer expression. These two miRNAs can simultaneously target 3'UTR of PIM1. Functional study showed that miR-124 or miR-144 overexpression can inhibit hypoxia-induced autophagy and enhance radiosensitivity at least via downregulating PIM1. Therefore, hypoxia induced miR-124 and miR-144 downregulation may contribute to a prosurvival mechanism of prostate cancer cells to hypoxia and irradiation at least through attenuated suppressing of PIM1. This finding presents a potential therapeutic target for prostate cancer.

Durieux E, Descotes F, Mauduit C, et al.
The co-occurrence of an ovarian Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor with a thyroid carcinoma is highly suggestive of a DICER1 syndrome.
Virchows Arch. 2016; 468(5):631-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The DICER1 gene encodes an endoribonuclease involved in the production of mature microRNAs which regulates gene expression through several mechanisms. Carriers of germline DICER1 mutations are predisposed to a rare cancer syndrome, the DICER1 syndrome. Pleuropulmonary blastoma is the most frequent lesion seen in this syndrome. Thyroid abnormalities are also a common finding, essentially concerning multinodular goiter. However, differentiated thyroid carcinoma is infrequently seen in such pedigrees. In addition to germline DICER1 mutations, specific somatic mutations have been identified in the DICER1 RNase IIIb catalytic domain in several tumor types, including ovarian Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors. We report two cases of differentiated thyroid carcinoma associated with ovarian Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor and with a heterozygous DICER1 gene mutation, occurring in two unrelated young girls without pleuropulmonary blastoma. Both thyroid carcinomas showed an E1813 mutation in exon 25 while the ovarian tumors harboured a somatic mutation in E1705 in exon 24 and a D1709 mutation in exon 25. Our observations confirm that the occurrence of an ovarian Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor with a thyroid carcinoma is highly suggestive of a DICER1 syndrome. We contend that the possibility of a relationship between sporadic thyroid carcinoma in young patients and somatic DICER1 gene mutation needs further investigation.

Gurtner A, Falcone E, Garibaldi F, Piaggio G
Dysregulation of microRNA biogenesis in cancer: the impact of mutant p53 on Drosha complex activity.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
A widespread decrease of mature microRNAs is often observed in human malignancies giving them potential to act as tumor suppressors. Thus, microRNAs may be potential targets for cancer therapy. The global miRNA deregulation is often the result of defects in the miRNA biogenesis pathway, such as genomic mutation or aberrant expression/localization of enzymes and cofactors responsible of miRNA maturation. Alterations in the miRNA biogenesis machinery impact on the establishment and development of cancer programs. Accumulation of pri-microRNAs and corresponding depletion of mature microRNAs occurs in human cancers compared to normal tissues, strongly indicating an impairment of crucial steps in microRNA biogenesis. In agreement, inhibition of microRNA biogenesis, by depletion of Dicer1 and Drosha, tends to enhance tumorigenesis in vivo. The p53 tumor suppressor gene, TP53, is mutated in half of human tumors resulting in an oncogene with Gain-Of-Function activities. In this review we discuss recent studies that have underlined a role of mutant p53 (mutp53) on the global regulation of miRNA biogenesis in cancer. In particular we describe how a new transcriptionally independent function of mutant p53 in miRNA maturation, through a mechanism by which this oncogene is able to interfere with the Drosha processing machinery, generally inhibits miRNA processing in cancer and consequently impacts on carcinogenesis.

Ren W, Shen S, Sun Z, et al.
Jak-STAT3 pathway triggers DICER1 for proteasomal degradation by ubiquitin ligase complex of CUL4A(DCAF1) to promote colon cancer development.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 375(2):209-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic intestinal inflammation is closely associated with colon cancer development and STAT3 seems to take center stage in bridging chronic inflammation to colon cancer progress. Here, we discovered that DICER1 was significantly downregulated in response to IL-6 or LPS stimulation and identified a novel mechanism for DICER1 downregulation via proteasomal degradation by ubiquitin ligase complex of CUL4A(DCAF1) in colon cancer cells. Meanwhile, PI3K-AKT signaling pathway phosphorylated DICER1 and contributed to its proteasomal degradation. The regulation of DICER1 by CUL4A(DCAF1) affected cell growth and apoptosis which is controlled by IL-6 activated Jak-STAT3 pathway. Intervention of CUL4A(DCAF1) ubiquitin ligase complex led to fluctuation in expression levels of DICER1 and microRNAs, and thus affected tumor growth in a mouse xenograft model. A panel of microRNAs that were downregulated by IL-6 stimulation was rescued by siRNA-CUL4A, and their predicated functions are involved in regulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis and motility. Furthermore, clinical specimen analysis revealed that decreased DICER1 expression was negatively correlated with STAT3 activation and cancer progression in human colon cancers. DICER1 and p-STAT3 expression levels correlated with 5-year overall survival of colon cancer patients. Consequently, this study proposes that inflammation-induced Jak-STAT3 signaling leads to colon cancer development through proteasomal degradation of DICER1 by ubiquitin ligase complex of CUL4A(DCAF1), which suggests a novel therapeutic opportunity for colon cancer.

Fan Y, Li H, Ma X, et al.
Dicer suppresses the malignant phenotype in VHL-deficient clear cell renal cell carcinoma by inhibiting HIF-2α.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(14):18280-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Both the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL)/hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway and microRNA (miRNA) regulation are important mechanisms underlying the development and progression of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Here we demonstrate that VHL deficiency leads to downregulation of Dicer and, in turn, defects in the miRNA biogenesis machinery in ccRCCs. Dicer inhibited expression of HIF-2α, which was a direct target of Dicer-dependent miR-182-5p in VHL-deficient ccRCCs. Ectopic Dicer expression in VHL-deficient ccRCCs suppressed tumor growth and angiogenesis by inhibiting HIF-2α both in vitro and in vivo. Reduced Dicer mRNA levels served as an independent prognostic factor for poor survival in patients with VHL-deficient ccRCC. Our results indicate that downregulation of Dicer in VHL-deficient ccRCCs contributes to high levels of HIF-2α and a malignant phenotype, which suggests Dicer could be a useful therapeutic target for managing this disease.

Vo DD, Tran TP, Staedel C, et al.
Oncogenic MicroRNAs Biogenesis as a Drug Target: Structure-Activity Relationship Studies on New Aminoglycoside Conjugates.
Chemistry. 2016; 22(15):5350-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a recently discovered category of small RNA molecules that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Accumulating evidence indicates that miRNAs are aberrantly expressed in a variety of human cancers and that the inhibition of these oncogenic miRNAs could find application in the therapy of different types of cancer. Herein, we describe the synthesis and biological evaluation of new small-molecule drugs that target oncogenic miRNAs production. In particular, we chose to target two miRNAs (i.e., miRNA-372 and -373) implicated in various types of cancer, such as gastric cancer. Their precursors (pre-miRNAs) are overexpressed in cancer cells and lead to mature miRNAs after cleavage of their stem-loop structure by the enzyme Dicer in the cytoplasm. Some of the newly synthesized conjugates can inhibit Dicer processing of the targeted pre-miRNAs in vitro with increased efficacy relative to our previous results (D.D. Vo et al., ACS Chem. Biol. 2014, 9, 711-721) and, more importantly, to inhibit proliferations of adenocarcinoma gastric cancer (AGS) cells overexpressing these miRNAs, thus representing promising leads for future drug development.

Zhang X, Gee H, Rose B, et al.
Regulation of the tumour suppressor PDCD4 by miR-499 and miR-21 in oropharyngeal cancers.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The rates of oropharyngeal cancers such as tonsil cancers are increasing. The tumour suppressor protein Programmed Cell Death Protein 4 (PDCD4) has been implicated in the development of various human cancers and small RNAs such as microRNAs (miRNAs) can regulate its expression. However the exact regulation of PDCD4 by multiple miRNAs in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is not well understood.
RESULTS: Using two independent oropharyngeal SCC cohorts with a focus on the tonsillar region, we identified a miRNA profile differentiating SCC tissue from normal. Both miR-21 and miR-499 were highly expressed in tonsil SCC tissues displaying a loss of PDCD4. Interestingly, expression of the miRNA machinery, Dicer1, Drosha, DDX5 (Dead Box Helicase 5) and DGCR8 (DiGeorge Syndrome Critical Region Gene 8) were all elevated by greater than 2 fold in the tonsil SCC tissue. The 3'UTR of PDCD4 contains three binding-sites for miR-499 and one for miR-21. Using a wild-type and truncated 3'UTR of PDCD4, we demonstrated that the initial suppression of PDCD4 was mediated by miR-21 whilst sustained suppression was mediated by miR-499. Moreover the single miR-21 site was able to elicit the same magnitude of suppression as the three miR-499 sites.
CONCLUSION: This study describes the regulation of PDCD4 specifically in tonsil SCC by miR-499 and miR-21 and has documented the loss of PDCD4 in tonsil SCCs. These findings highlight the complex interplay between miRNAs and tumour suppressor gene regulation and suggest that PDCD4 loss may be an important step in tonsillar carcinogenesis.

Eide HA, Halvorsen AR, Bjaanæs MM, et al.
The MYCN-HMGA2-CDKN2A pathway in non-small cell lung carcinoma--differences in histological subtypes.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Extensive research has increased our understanding of the molecular alterations needed for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) development. Deregulation of a pathway including MYCN, HMGA2 and CDKN2A, with the participation of DICER1, is of importance in several solid tumours, and may also be of significance in the pathogenesis of NSCLC.
METHODS: Gene expression of MYCN, HMGA2, CDKN2A and DICER1 were investigated with RT-qPCR in surgically resected NSCLC tumour tissue from 175 patients. Expression of the let-7 microRNA family was performed in 78 adenocarcinomas and 16 matching normal lung tissue samples using microarrays. The protein levels of HMGA2 were determined by immunohistochemistry in 156 tumour samples and the protein expression was correlated with gene expression. Associations between clinical data, including time to recurrence, and expression of mRNA, protein and microRNAs were analysed.
RESULTS: Compared to adenocarcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas had a median 5-fold increase in mRNA expression of HMGA2 (p = 0.003). A positive correlation (r = 0.513, p < 0.010) between HMGA2 mRNA expression and HMGA2 protein expression was seen. At the protein level, 90% of the squamous cell carcinomas expressed high levels of the HMGA2 protein compared to 47% of the adenocarcinomas (p < 0.0001). MYCN was positively correlated with HMGA2 (p < 0.010) and DICER1 mRNA expression (p < 0.010), and the expression of the let-7 microRNAs seemed to be correlated with the genes studied. MYCN expression was associated with time to recurrence in multivariate survival analyses (p = 0.020).
CONCLUSIONS: A significant difference in HMGA2 mRNA expression between the histological subtypes of NSCLC was seen with a higher expression in the squamous cell carcinomas. This was also found at the protein level, and we found a good correlation between the mRNA and the protein expression of HMGA2. Moreover, the expression of MYCN, HMGA2, and DICER1 seems to be correlated to each other and the expression of the let7-genes impacted by their expression. MYCN gene expression seems to be of importance in time to recurrence in this patient cohort with resected NSCLC.

Sahm F, Jakobiec FA, Meyer J, et al.
Somatic mutations of DICER1 and KMT2D are frequent in intraocular medulloepitheliomas.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; 55(5):418-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Intraocular medulloepithelioma (IO-MEPL) is an uncommon embryonal neuroepithelial neoplasm of the eye. Little is known about the cytogenetics, molecular biology, and pathogenesis of this tumor. In the present study we investigated the mutational landscape of 19 IO-MEPL using targeted next-generation sequencing. Routinely prepared paraffin-embedded samples were assessed with high-coverage genome sequencing on the Illumina NextSeq 500 platform using a customized gene panel set covering the coding region of 130 genes. This revealed several notable genomic alterations, including mutations of DICER1 (6 tumors) and KMT2D (also known as MLL2; 5 tumors)-which are frequently recurrent and mutually exclusive molecular events for IO-MEPL. Non-recurrent mutations in the cancer-associated genes BRCA2, BRCA1, NOTCH2, CDH1, and GSE1 were also identified. IO-MEPL samples harboring a DICER1 mutation disclosed few chromosomal alterations and formed a separate DNA methylation cluster, indicating potential differences in genetic and epigenetic events arising perhaps from the presence of this aberration in the tumor genome. The high proportion of recurrent somatic DICER1 and KMT2D mutations in this series of sporadic IO-MEPL points to their likely important roles in the molecular pathogenesis of these rare embryonal tumors, and perhaps suggests the existence of distinct molecular variants of IO-MEPL. Although the precise role of these recurrent mutations in the development of IO-MEPL, and their relationship to pro-oncogenic molecular mechanisms, have yet to be determined, unraveling their roles could eventually be exploited for nonsurgical therapies of these neoplasms.

Kubo T, Yanagihara K, Seyama T
In Vivo RNAi Efficacy of Palmitic Acid-Conjugated Dicer-Substrate siRNA in a Subcutaneous Tumor Mouse Model.
Chem Biol Drug Des. 2016; 87(6):811-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Short interfering RNAs are used in RNA interference technology and are powerful tools for target gene silencing in a sequence-specific manner. In this study, we synthesized Dicer-substrate siRNAs consisting of 27-nt double-stranded RNAs conjugated with palmitic acid at the 5'-end of the sense strand and investigated their RNA interference efficacies in vitro and in vivo. The palmitic acid-conjugated 27-nt DsiRNAs (C16-Dsi27RNAs) were prepared by our simple synthesis strategy and achieved a good yield. C16-Dsi27RNAs showed enhanced in vitro RNA interference potency compared with not only non-modified Dsi27RNAs but also cholesterol-conjugated Dsi27RNAs against both an exogenous enhanced green fluorescent protein and the endogenous vascular endothelial growth factor gene in a human scirrhous-type gastric cancer cell line that stably expressed the enhanced green fluorescent protein gene (GCIY-eGFP). Additionally, C16-Dsi27RNAs had potent gene silencing activity against both enhanced green fluorescent protein and vascular endothelial growth factor as target genes in a subcutaneous tumor mouse model generated from GCIY-eGFP cells administered by intratumoral injection. These results suggest that the C16-Dsi27RNAs will be useful next-generation RNA interference molecules that can overcome the problems associated with RNA interference technology.

Ouyang W, Zhang S, Yang B, et al.
β-catenin is regulated by USP9x and mediates resistance to TRAIL-induced apoptosis in breast cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(2):717-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
To investigate the regulatory mechanisms of decoy receptor expression in TRAIL-resistant breast cancer MCF-7 cells, cytotoxicity and apoptosis assays were applied to examine sensitivity to TRAIL in breast cancer cells. Immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation were used to detect the co-localization and interaction of USP9x and β-catenin. Luciferase assay was used to examine activity of the DcR1/DcR2/OPG reporter. Overexpression/silencing of β-catenin was performed to confirm β-catenin mediated transcription of the decoy receptors. Additionally, silencing of USP9x was performed to prove that USP9X stabilizes β-catenin and mediates TRAIL-resistance. It was found that USP9x interacted with β-catenin and inhibited the degradation of β-catenin through the deubiquitination of β-catenin. Luciferase reporter assays showed induction of DcR1/DcR2/OPG reporter activity observed upon co-transfection of β-catenin and Tcf-4. The overexpression/silencing of β-catenin further confirmed the role of β-catenin in the regulation of transcription of the decoy receptors. Silencing of USP9x directly evidenced that USP9x affected the protein expression level of β-catenin, the transcription level of the decoy receptors, and reversed TRAIL-resistance of MCF-7 cells. In conclusion, USP9x interacted with and stabilized β-catenin through deubiquitination to mediate transcription of the decoy receptors in breast cancer cells. Our results offer new insights into the mechanisms of resistance to TRAIL, and USP9x could potentially be a therapeutic target for TRAIL-resistant breast cancers.

Soares AR, Fernandes N, Reverendo M, et al.
Conserved and highly expressed tRNA derived fragments in zebrafish.
BMC Mol Biol. 2015; 16:22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) are a class of transcripts implicated in several eukaryotic regulatory mechanisms, namely gene silencing and chromatin regulation. Despite significant progress in their identification by next generation sequencing (NGS) we are still far from understanding their full diversity and functional repertoire.
RESULTS: Here we report the identification of tRNA derived fragments (tRFs) by NGS of the sncRNA fraction of zebrafish. The tRFs identified are 18-30 nt long, are derived from specific 5' and 3' processing of mature tRNAs and are differentially expressed during development and in differentiated tissues, suggesting that they are likely produced by specific processing rather than random degradation of tRNAs. We further show that a highly expressed tRF (5'tRF-Pro(CGG)) is cleaved in vitro by Dicer and has silencing ability, indicating that it can enter the RNAi pathway. A computational analysis of zebrafish tRFs shows that they are conserved among vertebrates and mining of publicly available datasets reveals that some 5'tRFs are differentially expressed in disease conditions, namely during infection and colorectal cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: tRFs constitute a class of conserved regulatory RNAs in vertebrates and may be involved in mechanisms of genome regulation and in some diseases.

Osuch-Wojcikiewicz E, Bruzgielewicz A, Niemczyk K, et al.
Association of Polymorphic Variants of miRNA Processing Genes with Larynx Cancer Risk in a Polish Population.
Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015:298378 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Laryngeal cancer (LC) is one of the most prevalent types of head and neck cancer. An increasing interest has been focused on the role of microRNA (miRNAs) in LC development. The study group consisted of 135 larynx cancer patients and 170 cancer-free individuals. Nine polymorphisms of pre-miRNA processing genes, DROSHA (rs6877842), DGCR8 (rs3757, rs417309, and rs1640299), RAN (rs14035), XPO5 (rs11077), DICER1 (rs13078 and rs3742330) and TARBP2 (rs784567), were performed by TaqMan SNP Genotyping Assay. It was found that the frequency of the GT and the TT polymorphic variants of XPO5 gene were higher in LC patients than in controls (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.000183, resp.). In turn, the frequency of the CT genotype of RAN gene was higher in controls than in LC patients (p < 0.0001). The TT and the AG of DICER1 gene (p = 0.034697 for rs13078 and p = 0.0004 for rs3742330) as well as the AG and the GG genotypes of TARBP2 gene (p = 0.008335 and p < 0.0001, resp.) were associated with higher risk of LC occurrence. Our data suggested that polymorphisms of miRNA processing genes might be useful as predictive factors for the LC development.

Wang T, Gantier MP, Xiang D, et al.
EpCAM Aptamer-mediated Survivin Silencing Sensitized Cancer Stem Cells to Doxorubicin in a Breast Cancer Model.
Theranostics. 2015; 5(12):1456-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Understanding the molecular basis of drug resistance and utilising this information to overcome chemoresistance remains a key challenge in oncology. Here we report that survivin, a key protein implicated in drug resistance, is overexpressed in cancer stem cell pool of doxorubicin-resistant breast cancer cells. Moreover, by utilising an active targeting system consisting of an RNA aptamer targeted against the epithelial cell adhesion molecule and a Dicer substrate survivin siRNA, we could deliver a high dose of the siRNA to cancer stem cells in xenograft tumours. Importantly, silencing of survivin with this aptamer-siRNA chimera in cancer stem cell population led to the reversal of chemoresistance, such that combined treatment with low dose of doxorubicin inhibited stemness, eliminated cancer stem cells via apoptosis, suppressed tumour growth, and prolonged survival in mice bearing chemoresistant tumours. This strategy for in vivo cancer stem cell targeting has wide application for future effective silencing of anti-death genes and in fact any dysregulated genes involved in chemoresistance and tumour relapse.

Eisenberg I, Kotaja N, Goldman-Wohl D, Imbar T
microRNA in Human Reproduction.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2015; 888:353-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
microRNAs constitute a large family of approximately 21-nucleotide-long, noncoding RNAs. They emerged more than 20 years ago as key posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. The regulatory role of these small RNA molecules has recently begun to be explored in the human reproductive system. microRNAs have been shown to play an important role in control of reproductive functions, especially in the processes of oocyte maturation, folliculogenesis, corpus luteum function, implantation, and early embryonic development. Knockout of Dicer, the cytoplasmic enzyme that cleaves the pre-miRNA to its mature form, results in postimplantation embryonic lethality in several animal models, attributing to these small RNA vital functions in reproduction and development. Another intriguing characteristic of microRNAs is their presence in body fluids in a remarkably stable form that is protected from endogenous RNase activity. In this chapter we will describe the current knowledge on microRNAs, specifically relating to human gonadal cells. We will focus on their role in the ovarian physiologic process and ovulation dysfunction, regulation of spermatogenesis and male fertility, and putative involvement in human normal and aberrant trophoblast differentiation and invasion through the process of placentation.

Holt JE, Stanger SJ, Nixon B, McLaughlin EA
Non-coding RNA in Spermatogenesis and Epididymal Maturation.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016; 886:95-120 [PubMed] Related Publications
Testicular germ and somatic cells express many classes of small ncRNAs, including Dicer-independent PIWI-interacting RNAs, Dicer-dependent miRNAs, and endogenous small interfering RNA. Several studies have identified ncRNAs that are highly, exclusively, or preferentially expressed in the testis and epididymis in specific germ and somatic cell types. Temporal and spatial expression of proteins is a key requirement of successful spermatogenesis and large-scale gene transcription occurs in two key stages, just prior to transcriptional quiescence in meiosis and then during spermiogenesis just prior to nuclear silencing in elongating spermatids. More than 60 % of these transcripts are then stockpiled for subsequent translation. In this capacity ncRNAs may act to interpret and transduce cellular signals to either maintain the undifferentiated stem cell population and/or drive cell differentiation during spermatogenesis and epididymal maturation. The assignation of specific roles to the majority of ncRNA species implicated as having a role in spermatogenesis and epididymal function will underpin fundamental understanding of normal and disease states in humans such as infertility and the development of germ cell tumours.

Akpa MM, Iglesias D, Chu L, et al.
Wilms Tumor Suppressor, WT1, Cooperates with MicroRNA-26a and MicroRNA-101 to Suppress Translation of the Polycomb Protein, EZH2, in Mesenchymal Stem Cells.
J Biol Chem. 2016; 291(8):3785-95 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hereditary forms of Wilms arise from developmentally arrested clones of renal progenitor cells with biallelic mutations of WT1; recently, it has been found that Wilms tumors may also be associated with biallelic mutations in DICER1 or DROSHA, crucial for miRNA biogenesis. We have previously shown that a critical role for WT1 during normal nephrogenesis is to suppress transcription of the Polycomb group protein, EZH2, thereby de-repressing genes in the differentiation cascade. Here we show that WT1 also suppresses translation of EZH2. All major WT1 isoforms induce an array of miRNAs, which target the 3' UTR of EZH2 and other Polycomb-associated transcripts. We show that the WT1(+KTS) isoform binds to the 5' UTR of EZH2 and interacts directly with the miRNA-containing RISC to enhance post-transcriptional inhibition. These observations suggest a novel mechanism through which WT1 regulates the transition from resting stem cell to activated progenitor cell during nephrogenesis. Our findings also offer a plausible explanation for the fact that Wilms tumors can arise either from loss of WT1 or loss of miRNA processing enzymes.

Cai L, Wang Z, Liu D
Interference with endogenous EZH2 reverses the chemotherapy drug resistance in cervical cancer cells partly by up-regulating Dicer expression.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(5):6359-69 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cervical cancer is one of the most common female malignancies in the world, and chemotherapeutic drug resistance is a major obstacle to cancer therapy. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is an enzymatic subunit of polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) and catalyzes the repressive histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). However, the role of EZH2 on the chemotherapy drug resistance in cervical cancers remains unclear. In the present study, the cervical carcinoma specimens and paired normal tissue specimens were obtained and the expression of EZH2 was detected by western blotting. The results showed that high levels of EZH2 were detected in cervical carcinoma tissues, compared with paired control tissues (**p < 0.01). Next, three pairs of shRNA specific to EZH2 were designed and used to interfere with endogenous EZH2 expression. Cell viability was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays following treatment with various concentrations of cisplatin in HeLa and HeLa/DDP cells. The MTT assay results showed that knockdown of EZH2 in HeLa/DDP cells caused a 2.29- or 1.83-fold decrease in the cisplatin IC50 values (for shRNA1-EZH2, 34.88 vs. 15.21 μg/mL; p < 0.01; for shRNA3-EZH2, 34.88 vs. 19.09 μg/mL; p < 0.01). The EZH2 activity was also suppressed by 3-deazaneplanocin A (DZNep), EZH2 inhibitor, and the results demonstrated that, meanwhile, DZNep potently inhibited cell viability of HeLa/DDP cells, partly by suppression the levels of EZH2 and H3K27me3, but not H3K27me2, which was detected by western blotting analysis. Moreover, cell migration assay results showed that knockdown of EZH2 decreased cell metastasis of cervical cancer cells. Furthermore, cell cycle was detected by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) assay and the results demonstrated that interference with EZH2 expression increased the percentage of cells at G0/G1 phase and the HeLa/DDP cells were blocked at G0/G1 phase. Interestingly, western blotting results revealed that higher expression of EZH2 was related with lower level of Dicer in HeLa/DDP cells. Finally, in vivo tumorigenicity experiments results demonstrated that interference with endogenous EZH2 by shRNA specific to EZH2 or inhibition EZH2 by DZNep could significantly increase antitumor effects in nude mice. Thus, inhibiting the levels of endogenous EZH2 effectively reversed the cisplatin resistance and increased the cisplatin sensitivity in cisplatin-resistant HeLa/DDP cells. EZH2 might be a potential target for treating chemotherapeutic drug-resistant cervical cancers.

Piscuoglio S, Burke KA, Ng CK, et al.
Uterine adenosarcomas are mesenchymal neoplasms.
J Pathol. 2016; 238(3):381-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Uterine adenosarcomas (UAs) are biphasic lesions composed of a malignant mesenchymal (ie stromal) component and an epithelial component. UAs are generally low-grade and have a favourable prognosis, but may display sarcomatous overgrowth (SO), which is associated with a worse outcome. We hypothesized that, akin to breast fibroepithelial lesions, UAs are mesenchymal neoplasms in which clonal somatic genetic alterations are restricted to the mesenchymal component. To characterize the somatic genetic alterations in UAs and to test this hypothesis, we subjected 20 UAs to a combination of whole-exome (n = 6), targeted capture (n = 13) massively parallel sequencing (MPS) and/or RNA sequencing (n = 6). Only three genes, FGFR2, KMT2C and DICER1, were recurrently mutated, all in 2/19 cases; however, 26% (5/19) and 21% (4/19) of UAs harboured MDM2/CDK4/HMGA2 and TERT gene amplification, respectively, and two cases harboured fusion genes involving NCOA family members. Using a combination of laser-capture microdissection and in situ techniques, we demonstrated that the somatic genetic alterations detected by MPS were restricted to the mesenchymal component. Furthermore, mitochondrial DNA sequencing of microdissected samples revealed that epithelial and mesenchymal components of UAs were clonally unrelated. In conclusion, here we provide evidence that UAs are genetically heterogeneous lesions and mesenchymal neoplasms.

Sand M, Bechara FG, Gambichler T, et al.
Next-generation sequencing of the basal cell carcinoma miRNome and a description of novel microRNA candidates under neoadjuvant vismodegib therapy: an integrative molecular and surgical case study.
Ann Oncol. 2016; 27(2):332-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified as key players in posttranscriptional gene regulation and have a significant impact on basal cell carcinoma (BCC) development. The Sonic hedgehog pathway inhibitor vismodegib has been approved for oral therapy of metastatic or advanced BCC. Here, a high-throughput miRNA sequencing analysis was carried out to identify differentially expressed miRNAs and possible novel miRNA candidates in vismodegib-treated BCC tissue. Additionally, we described our surgical experience with neoadjuvant oral vismodegib therapy.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A punch biopsy (4 mm) from a patient with an extensive cranial BCC under oral vismodegib therapy and a corresponding nonlesional epithelial skin biopsy were harvested. Total RNA was isolated, after which a sequencing cDNA library was prepared, and cluster generation was carried out, which was followed by an ultra-high-throughput miRNA sequencing analysis to indicate the read number of miRNA expression based on miRBase 21. In addition to the identification of differentially expressed miRNAs from RNA sequencing data, additional novel miRNA candidates were determined with a tool for identifying new miRNA sequences (miRDeep2).
RESULTS: We identified 33 up-regulated miRNAs (fold change ≥2) and 39 potentially new miRNA candidates (miRDeep scores 0-43.6). A manual sequence analysis of the miRNA candidates on the genomic locus of chromosome 1 with provisional IDs of chr1_1913 and chr1_421 was further carried out and rated as promising (chr1_1913) and borderline (chr1_421). Histopathology revealed skip lesions in clinically healthy appearing skin at the tumor margins, which were the cause of seven re-excisions by micrographic controlled surgery to achieve tumor-free margins.
CONCLUSION: miRNA sequencing revealed novel miRNA candidates that need to be further confirmed in functional Dicer knockout studies. Clinically, on the basis of our surgical experience described here, neoadjuvant vismodegib therapy in BCC appears to impede histopathologic evaluations with effects on surgical therapy. Thus, larger studies are necessary, but are not preferable at this time if other options are available.

Mehraein Y, Schmid I, Eggert M, et al.
DICER1 syndrome can mimic different genetic tumor predispositions.
Cancer Lett. 2016; 370(2):275-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
DICER1, a RNAse endonuclease involved in the processing of siRNA and microRNA, is known to play a pivotal role in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Germ line mutations in the DICER1 gene increase the risk for different types of tumors. At present, DICER1 syndrome is an established, though not well defined, member of the group of genetic tumor predisposition syndromes. Here, we report a DICER1 syndrome family with a medical history of different rare tumors mostly occurring at a young age. The tumor spectrum in this family included both DICER1 syndrome-typical forms, such as pleuropulmonary blastoma, multinodular goiter, and cystic nephroma, and not previously reported manifestations, such as pilomatrixoma, and juvenile basal cell carcinoma. The latter tumor types are usually considered to be indicators of familial adenomatous polyposis and basal cell nevus syndrome.

Zhu L, Gao J, Huang K, et al.
miR-34a screened by miRNA profiling negatively regulates Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in Aflatoxin B1 induced hepatotoxicity.
Sci Rep. 2015; 5:16732 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Aflatoxin-B1 (AFB1), a hepatocarcinogenic mycotoxin, was demonstrated to induce the high rate of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) participate in the regulation of several biological processes in HCC. However, the function of miRNAs in AFB1-induced HCC has received a little attention. Here, we applied Illumina deep sequencing technology for high-throughout profiling of microRNAs in HepG2 cells lines after treatment with AFB1. Analysis of the differential expression profile of miRNAs in two libraries, we identified 9 known miRNAs and 1 novel miRNA which exhibited abnormal expression. KEGG analysis indicated that predicted target genes of differentially expressed miRNAs are involved in cancer-related pathways. Down-regulated of Drosha, DGCR8 and Dicer 1 indicated an impairment of miRNA biogenesis in response to AFB1. miR-34a was up-regulated significantly, down-regulating the expression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway by target gene β-catenin. Anti-miR-34a can significantly relieved the down-regulated β-catenin and its downstream genes, c-myc and Cyclin D1, and the S-phase arrest in cell cycle induced by AFB1 can also be relieved. These results suggested that AFB1 might down-regulate Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in HepG2 cells by up-regulating miR-34a, which may involve in the mechanism of liver tumorigenesis.

Rutter MM, Jha P, Schultz KA, et al.
DICER1 Mutations and Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma: Evidence of a Direct Association.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016; 101(1):1-5 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CONTEXT: DICER1 germline mutation carriers have an increased predisposition to cancer, such as pleuropulmonary blastoma (PPB) and Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor (SLCT), and a high prevalence of multinodular goiter (MNG). Although differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) has been reported in some DICER1 mutation carriers with PPB treated with chemotherapy, the association of DTC with DICER1 mutations is not well established.
CASE DESCRIPTION: We report a family with DICER1 mutation and familial DTC without a history of chemotherapy. A 12-year-old female (patient A) and her 14-year-old sister (patient B) presented with MNG. Family history was notable for a maternal history of DTC and bilateral ovarian SLCT. Both sisters underwent total thyroidectomy. Pathological examination showed nodular hyperplasia and focal papillary thyroid carcinoma within hyperplastic nodules. Subsequently, patient A developed virilization secondary to a unilateral ovarian SLCT. During her evaluation, an incidental cystic nephroma was also found. Three other siblings had MNG on surveillance ultrasound examination; two had thyroidectomies, and one had two microscopic foci of papillary carcinoma. Patient A, her mother, and four affected siblings had a germline heterozygous pathogenic DICER1 mutation c.5441C>T in exon 25, resulting in an amino acid change from p.Ser1814Leu of DICER1. Somatic DICER1 RNase IIIb missense mutations were identified in thyroid nodules from three of the four siblings.
CONCLUSIONS: This family provides novel insight into an emerging phenotype for DICER1 syndrome, with evidence that germline DICER1 mutations are associated with an increased risk of developing familial DTC, even in the absence of prior treatment with chemotherapy.

Zou Y, Deng W, Wang F, et al.
A novel somatic MAPK1 mutation in primary ovarian mixed germ cell tumors.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(2):725-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
A recent exome-sequencing study revealed prevalent mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1) p.E322K mutation in cervical carcinoma. It remains largely unknown whether ovarian carcinomas also harbor MAPK1 mutations. As paralogous gene mutations co‑occur frequently in human malignancies, we analyzed here a total of 263 ovarian carcinomas for the presence of MAPK1 and paralogous MAPK3 mutations by DNA sequencing. A previously unreported MAPK1 p.D321N somatic mutation was identified in 2 out of 18 (11.1%) ovarian mixed germ cell tumors, while no other MAPK1 or MAPK3 mutation was detected in our samples. Of note, OCC‑115, the MAPK1‑mutated sample with bilateral cancerous ovaries affected, harbored MAPK1 mutation in the right ovary while retained the left ovary intact, implicating that the genetic alterations underlying ovarian mixed germ cell tumor may be different, even in patients with similar genetic backgrounds and tumor microenvironments. The results of evolutionary conservation and protein structure modeling analysis implicated that MAPK1 p.D321N mutation may be pathogenic. Additionally, mutations in protein phosphatase 2 regulatory subunit α (PPP2R1A), ring finger protein 43 (RNF43), DNA directed polymerase ε (POLE1), ribonuclease type III (DICER1), CCCTC‑binding factor (CTCF), ribosomal protein L22 (RPL22), DNA methyltransferase 3α (DNMT3A), transformation/transcription domain‑associated protein (TRRAP), isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)1 and IDH2 were not detected in ovarian mixed germ cell tumors, implicating these genetic alterations may be not associated with MAPK1 mutation in the development of this malignancy. The present study identified a previously unreported MAPK1 mutation in ovarian mixed germ cell tumors for the first time, and this mutation may be actively involved in the tumorigenesis of this disease.

Narayan G, Xie D, Ishdorj G, et al.
Epigenetic inactivation of TRAIL decoy receptors at 8p12-21.3 commonly deleted region confers sensitivity to Apo2L/trail-Cisplatin combination therapy in cervical cancer.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; 55(2):177-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple chromosomal regions are affected by deletions in cervical cancer (CC) genomes, but their consequence and target gene involvement remains unknown. Our single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array identified 8p copy number losses localized to an 8.4 Mb minimal deleted region (MDR) in 36% of CC. The 8p MDR was associated with tumor size, treatment outcome, and with multiple HPV infections. Genetic, epigenetic, and expression analyses of candidate genes at MDR identified promoter hypermethylation and/or inactivation of decoy receptors TNFRSF10C and TNFRSF10D in the majority of CC patients. TNFRSF10C methylation was also detected in precancerous lesions suggesting that this change is an early event in cervical tumorigenesis. We further demonstrate here that CC cell lines exhibiting downregulated expression of TNFRSF10C and/or TNFRSF10D effectively respond to TRAIL-induced apoptosis and this affect was synergistic in combination with DNA damaging chemotherapeutic drugs. We show that the CC cell lines harboring epigenetic inactivation of TRAIL decoy receptors effectively activate downstream caspases suggesting a critical role of inactivation of these genes in efficient execution of extrinsic apoptotic pathway and therapy response. Therefore, these findings shed new light on the role of genetic/epigenetic defects in TRAIL decoy receptor genes in the pathogenesis of CC and provide an opportunity to explore strategies to test decoy receptor gene inactivation as a biomarker of response to Apo2L/TRAIL-combination therapy.

Kuhlen M, Hönscheid A, Schemme J, et al.
Hodgkin lymphoma as a novel presentation of familial DICER1 syndrome.
Eur J Pediatr. 2016; 175(4):593-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: DICER1 germline mutations are associated with an inherited cancer syndrome, most commonly presenting with pleuropulmonary blastoma (PPB), ovarian sex cord tumors, thyroid cysts/goitre, and cystic nephroma. We describe the occurrence of a Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) of the T cell phenotype in a family with DICER1 syndrome. The patient presented with PPB Type I and HL. Immunohistochemical staining of the Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg cells revealed CD30, TGP, CD2, CD3, CD15, and IRF4 positivity and weekly positivity of PAX5. T cell receptor repertoire analysis suggested HL of T cell origin, which is in contrast to common B cell-derived HL. The mother had been diagnosed with thyroid cysts, one sister had died from a primitive neuroectodermal tumor, and a brother had died from PPB Type III. Two mutational events were revealed in all affected family members; a single bp deletion, c.5299delC, leading to a frameshift and premature stop in exon 24 and a heterozygous variant (c.4616C>T; p.Thr1539Met) located in exon 23 of the DICER1 gene. This variant is predicted to be benign by in silico analysis.
CONCLUSION: Future studies looking for DICER1 mutations in HL cases of the T cell phenotype will be important to confirm its association with constitutional DICER1 syndrome.
WHAT IS KNOWN: • DICER1 germline mutations are associated with an inherited cancer syndrome, most commonly pleuropulmonary blastoma, ovarian sex cord tumors, thyroid cysts/goitre, and cystic nephroma. • Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the most frequent types of malignant lymphomas and typically arises sporadically. T cell-derived Hodgkin lymphomas are exceptionally rare. What is New: • DICER1 syndrome may have an even broader phenotypic spectrum and seems to be associated with rare forms of T cell Hodgkin lymphoma.

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