IMR Press / FBL / Volume 11 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.2741/1941

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Micro-RNA-like effects of complete intronic sequences
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1 Department of Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama 35294, USA
2 Pittman General Clinical Research Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham,1918 University Blvd., 796 MCLM, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0005
3 Physiology and Biophysics, University of Alabama at Birmingham,1918 University Blvd., 796 MCLM, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0005
4 Department of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham,1918 University Blvd., 796 MCLM, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0005
5 The Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1918 University Blvd., 796 MCLM, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0005
6 Center for AIDS Research , at the University of Alabama at Birmingham,1918 University Blvd., 796 MCLM, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0005
7 Department of Pediatric Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Mayer 656, Boston, MA 02115
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2006, 11(2), 1998–2006; https://doi.org/10.2741/1941
Published: 1 May 2006
Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been suggested as suppressors of numerous target genes in human cells. In this report, we present gene chip array data indicating that in the absence of miRNA sequences, complete human introns are similarly capable of coordinating expression of large numbers of gene products at spatially diverse sites within the genome. The expression of selected intronic sequences (6a, 14b and 23) derived from the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene caused extensive and specific transcriptional changes in epithelial cells (HeLa) that do not normally express this gene product. Each intron initiated a distinctive pattern of gene transcription. Affected genes such as FOXF1, sucrase-isomaltase, collagen, interferon, complement and thrombospondin 1 have previously been linked to CFTR function or are known to contribute to the related processes of epithelial differentiation and repair. A possible regulatory function of this nature has not been demonstrated previously for non-coding sequences within eukaryotic DNA. The results are consistent with the observation that splicesomal introns are found only in eukaryotic organisms and that the number of introns increases with phylogenetic complexity.

Keywords
intron
function
micro-RNA
regulation
transcription
gene signalling
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