BACKGROUND: Ionizing radiation (IR) can be extremely harmful for human cells since an improper DNA-damage response (DDR) to IR can contribute to carcinogenesis initiation. Perturbations in DDR pathway can originate from alteration in the functionality of the microRNA-mediated gene regulation, being microRNAs (miRNAs) small noncoding RNA that act as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. In this study we gained insight into the role of miRNAs in the regulation of DDR to IR under microgravity, a condition of weightlessness experienced by astronauts during space missions, which could have a synergistic action on cells, increasing the risk of radiation exposure. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed miRNA expression profile of human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) incubated for 4 and 24 h in normal gravity (1 g) and in modeled microgravity (MMG) during the repair time after irradiation with 0.2 and 2Gy of γ-rays. Our results show that MMG alters miRNA expression signature of irradiated PBL by decreasing the number of radio-responsive miRNAs. Moreover, let-7i*, miR-7, miR-7-1*, miR-27a, miR-144, miR-200a, miR-598, miR-650 are deregulated by the combined action of radiation and MMG. Integrated analyses of miRNA and mRNA expression profiles, carried out on PBL of the same donors, identified significant miRNA-mRNA anti-correlations of DDR pathway. Gene Ontology analysis reports that the biological category of "Response to DNA damage" is enriched when PBL are incubated in 1 g but not in MMG. Moreover, some anti-correlated genes of p53-pathway show a different expression level between 1 g and MMG. Functional validation assays using luciferase reporter constructs confirmed miRNA-mRNA interactions derived from target prediction analyses. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: On the whole, by integrating the transcriptome and microRNome, we provide evidence that modeled microgravity can affects the DNA-damage response to IR in human PBL.

Analysis of miRNA and mRNA Expression Profiles Highlights Alterations in Ionizing Radiation Response of Human Lymphocytes under Modeled Microgravity

GIRARDI, CRISTINA;DE PITTA', CRISTIANO;SALES, GABRIELE;LANFRANCHI, GEROLAMO;CELOTTI, LUCIA;MOGNATO, MADDALENA
2012

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Ionizing radiation (IR) can be extremely harmful for human cells since an improper DNA-damage response (DDR) to IR can contribute to carcinogenesis initiation. Perturbations in DDR pathway can originate from alteration in the functionality of the microRNA-mediated gene regulation, being microRNAs (miRNAs) small noncoding RNA that act as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. In this study we gained insight into the role of miRNAs in the regulation of DDR to IR under microgravity, a condition of weightlessness experienced by astronauts during space missions, which could have a synergistic action on cells, increasing the risk of radiation exposure. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We analyzed miRNA expression profile of human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) incubated for 4 and 24 h in normal gravity (1 g) and in modeled microgravity (MMG) during the repair time after irradiation with 0.2 and 2Gy of γ-rays. Our results show that MMG alters miRNA expression signature of irradiated PBL by decreasing the number of radio-responsive miRNAs. Moreover, let-7i*, miR-7, miR-7-1*, miR-27a, miR-144, miR-200a, miR-598, miR-650 are deregulated by the combined action of radiation and MMG. Integrated analyses of miRNA and mRNA expression profiles, carried out on PBL of the same donors, identified significant miRNA-mRNA anti-correlations of DDR pathway. Gene Ontology analysis reports that the biological category of "Response to DNA damage" is enriched when PBL are incubated in 1 g but not in MMG. Moreover, some anti-correlated genes of p53-pathway show a different expression level between 1 g and MMG. Functional validation assays using luciferase reporter constructs confirmed miRNA-mRNA interactions derived from target prediction analyses. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: On the whole, by integrating the transcriptome and microRNome, we provide evidence that modeled microgravity can affects the DNA-damage response to IR in human PBL.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2490224
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