An integrative genomic approach identifies p73 and p63 as activators of miR-200 microRNA family transcription

Abstract

Although microRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression, the transcriptional regulation of miRNAs themselves is not well understood. We employed an integrative computational pipeline to dissect the transcription factors (TFs) responsible for altered miRNA expression in ovarian carcinoma. Using experimental data and computational predictions to define miRNA promoters across the human genome, we identified TFs with binding sites significantly overrepresented among miRNA genes overexpressed in ovarian carcinoma. This pipeline nominated TFs of the p53/p63/p73 family as candidate drivers of miRNA overexpression. Analysis of data from an independent set of 253 ovarian carcinomas in The Cancer Genome Atlas showed that p73 and p63 expression is significantly correlated with expression of miRNAs whose promoters contain p53/p63/p73 family binding sites. In experimental validation of specific miRNAs predicted by the analysis to be regulated by p73 and p63, we found that p53/p63/p73 family binding sites modulate promoter activity of miRNAs of the miR-200 family, which are known regulators of cancer stem cells and epithelial-mesenchymal transitions. Furthermore, in chromatin immunoprecipitation studies both p73 and p63 directly associated with the miR-200b/a/429 promoter. This study delineates an integrative approach that can be applied to discover transcriptional regulatory mechanisms in other biological settings where analogous genomic data are available.

DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkr731

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@inproceedings{Knouf2012AnIG, title={An integrative genomic approach identifies p73 and p63 as activators of miR-200 microRNA family transcription}, author={Emily Christine Knouf and Kavita S Garg and Jason D David Arroyo and Yesenia Correa and Deepayan Sarkar and Rachael K. Parkin and Kaitlyn A Wurz and Kathy C. O’Briant and Andrew K. Godwin and Nicole D. Urban and Walter L. Ruzzo and Robert Gentleman and Charles W. Drescher and Elizabeth M. Swisher and Muneesh Tewari}, booktitle={Nucleic acids research}, year={2012} }