mir-21 is associated with inactive low molecular weight Argonautecomplexes in thyroid cancer cell lines

Powell Bonita H. et al.

Thyroid cancer is the most prevalent endocrine malignancy. We and others have shown that several microRNAs, which are post-transcriptional gene regulators, are aberrantly expressed in anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) and papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) tissues, as well as cell lines derived from these cancers. In the cell, miRNAs are bound to Argonaute (AGO) proteins as what could be termed low molecular weight RNA-Induced Silencing Complexes (LMW-RISCs) that can assemble with additional proteins, mRNA, and translation machinery into high molecular weight RISCs (HMW-RISCs) that exert regulatory function. In this study, we sought to analyze the association of miRNAs with RISC complexes in ATC and PTC. For ATC and PTC lines, miRNA species were enriched in both HMW-RISC and LMW-RISC cellular fractions, compared with intermediate molecular weight fractions and very low molecular weight (AGO-poor) fractions. Furthermore, 60\% of all miRNAs were slightly more abundant in LMW-RISC versus HMW-RISC fractions by ~2-4 fold. Surprisingly, miR-21-5p, one of the most abundant miRNAs in both ATC and PTC lines and one of the most widely studied oncogenic miRNAs in many solid tumors, was consistently one the least abundant miRNAs in HMW-RISC and the most enriched miRNA in LMW-RISC fractions. These findings may suggest that miR-21 has a role or roles distinct from canonical post-transcriptional regulation in cancer. Furthermore, the methodology described here is a useful way to assess the distribution of miR-21 between HMW and LMW-RISCs and may help to reveal the true roles of this miRNA in thyroid cancer development, progression, and treatment.

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Products used in this publication

  • D-Plex Total RNA-seq Kit for Illumina
    D-Plex Total RNA-seq Kit for Illumina


  • FASEB Biological Methylation: Fundamental Mechanisms
    Porto, Portugal
    Jul 28-Aug 1, 2024


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