Cancer Biology


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0 Q&A 1617 Views Dec 5, 2022

N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is the most prevalent internal modification of eukaryotic messenger RNAs (mRNAs), affecting their fold, stability, degradation, and cellular interaction(s) and implicating them in processes such as splicing, translation, export, and decay. The m6A modification is also extensively present in non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs (miRNAs), ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), and transfer RNAs (tRNAs). Common m6A methylation detection techniques play an important role in understanding the biological function and potential mechanism of m6A, mainly including the quantification and specific localization of m6A modification sites. Here, we describe in detail the dot blotting method for detecting m6A levels in RNA (mRNA as an example), including total RNA extraction, mRNA purification, dot blotting, and data analysis. This protocol can also be used to enrich specific RNAs (such as tRNA, rRNA, or miRNA) by isolation technology to detect the m6A level of single RNA species, so as to facilitate further studies of the role of m6A in biological processes.

0 Q&A 3834 Views Feb 5, 2020
Visualization of RNA molecules in situ helps to better understand the functions of expressed genes. Currently, most conventional in situ hybridization methods for visualization of individual RNAs are based on fluorescence detection. Herein we present a chromogenic in situ hybridization protocol for visualization of single RNA molecules in fixed cells and tissues. The protocol is based on padlock probing and rolling circle amplification to generate detectable chromogenic signal from single RNA molecules. Chromogenic signal can avoid background autofluorescence and can be preserved for a longer period than fluorescence signal.
0 Q&A 10125 Views Feb 20, 2017
miRNA are short non-coding RNA which inhibit translation of mRNA. miRNA regulate several cellular processes. Certain miRNA are known to induce oncogenesis. miRNA can be measured by real-time PCR and be imaged using a combination of in situ hybridization (ISH) and quantum dots (QD). The advantage of using quantum dots is that several miRNA can be simultaneously measured using multiplexed QD. Additionally, miRNA can be visualized in different regions of the tissue. Since miRNA are biomarkers of various disease states, miRNA can be visualized and quantitated in tissue sections for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. Here we describe ISH-QD analysis of tissue sections. Tissue sections from xenografts or clinical specimens are used. These are deparaffinized, treated with Proteinase K and hybridized with a biotin-probe to specific to the miRNA. The in situ hybridization is performed by labeling the biotin-probes and followed by labeling with streptavidin tagged quantum dots. Image acquisition of the quantum dots is performed and analyzed for the miRNA expression levels. Combining ISH and QD gives a powerful tool to detect miRNA in different cells of the tissue.
0 Q&A 7450 Views Feb 20, 2017
Cancer cells and cancer associated stromal cells co-evolve secrete extracellular vesicles to the surrounding regions and regulate several processes involved in cancer metastasis. miRNAs have been known to be mediators of cancer progression and metastasis. miRNAs consist of short noncoding RNA. miRNAs are stable in extracellular fluids such as serum, plasma and urine. miRNAs are secreted by cells in normal and diseased conditions. miRNAs signatures have been identified specific to certain disease conditions. Therefore they are valuable biomarkers for different diseases. In our study we identified certain miRNAs, miR-409-3p and miR-409-5p, which were secreted by activated stromal fibroblast cells and were taken up by cancer cells to induce explosive tumor growth, through activation of epithelial to mesenchymal transition of cancer cells. Here we describe a procedure to determine miRNAs (miR-409-3p and miR-409-5p) in extracellular vesicles, which were secreted by prostate cancer stromal cells expressing miR-409. In this procedure, conditioned media from the stromal fibroblasts was used to extract the vesicular fraction. RNA was purified from the vesicular fraction, and specific miRNA was reverse transcribed and quantitated using real-time PCR assay.
5 Q&A 28817 Views Feb 5, 2017
Eukaryotic cells adapt to changes in external or internal signals by precisely modulating the expression of specific gene products. The expression of protein-coding genes is controlled at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Among the latter steps, the regulation of translation is particularly important in cellular processes that require rapid changes in protein expression patterns. The translational efficiency of mRNAs is altered by RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and noncoding (nc)RNAs such as microRNAs (Panda et al., 2014a and 2014b; Abdelmohsen et al., 2014). The impact of factors that regulate selective mRNA translation is a critical question in RNA biology. Polyribosome (polysome) fractionation analysis is a powerful method to assess the association of ribosomes with a given mRNA. It provides valuable information about the translational status of that mRNA, depending on the number of ribosomes with which they are associated, and identifies mRNAs that are not translated (Panda et al., 2016). mRNAs associated with many ribosomes form large polysomes that are predicted to be actively translated, while mRNAs associated with few or no ribosomes are expected to be translated poorly if at all. In sum, polysome fractionation analysis allows the direct determination of translation efficiencies at the level of the whole transcriptome as well as individual mRNAs.
0 Q&A 23696 Views Dec 20, 2016
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) have recently emerged as crucial players in the regulation of gene expression. The interactions of RBPs with target mRNAs control the levels of gene products by altering different regulatory steps, including pre-mRNA splicing and maturation, nuclear mRNA export, and mRNA stability and translation (Glisovic et al., 2008). There are several methodologies available today to identify RNAs bound to specific RBPs; some detect only recombinant molecules in vitro, others detect recombinant and endogenous molecules, while others detect only endogenous molecules. Examples include systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX), biotinylated RNA pulldown assay, RNA immunoprecipitation (RIP) assay, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), RNA footprinting analysis, and various UV crosslinking and immunoprecipitation (CLIP) methods such as CLIP, PAR-CLIP, and iCLIP (Popova et al., 2015). Here, we describe a simple and informative method to study and identify the RNA region of interaction between an RBP and its target transcript (Panda et al., 2014 and 2016). Its reproducibility and ease of use make this protocol a fast and useful method to identify interactions between RBPs and specific RNAs.

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