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Title: The complex network of p53-regulated small non-coding RNAs and their gene targets in cancer
Author: Krell, Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 4770
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2014
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DNA damage transactivates TP53-regulated surveillance mechanisms that are crucial in maintaining cellular integrity and suppressing tumorigenesis. TP53 mediates this directly by transcriptionally modulating gene and microRNA (miRNA) expression and by regulating miRNA biogenesis through interaction with the DROSHA complex. However, the regulative mechanism of miRNA-AGO2 loading and the global change in AGO2 binding to its gene targets in response to DNA damage have not been investigated yet. In addition, the role of other non-coding RNAs, such as snoRNAs, in the TP53-mediated response to DNA damage has not yet been defined. Here we identify a novel group of TP53-regulated miRNAs and show that DNA damage induces and reduces the loading of a subset of miRNAs, including the let-7 family members onto AGO2, in a TP53-dependent manner and that this previously undescribed process is most likely the result of TP53 binding to AGO2. These findings indicate that TP53 control of AGO2 loading is a new mechanism of miRNA regulation in carcinogenesis. Using AGO2 RIP-Seq and PAR-CLIP we also show that TP53 modulates the reduction, induction and remodelling of AGO2 binding to the 3'UTR of different mRNA targets at specific RNA motifs. Furthermore, we determine on a transcriptome-wide level the miRNA-mRNA interaction networks involved in the response to DNA damage both in the presence or absence of TP53. We also show that those miRNAs whose cellular abundance or differential loading onto AGO2 is regulated by TP53, are involved in an intricate network of regulatory feedback and feedforward circuits that fine tune gene expression levels in response to DNA damage to permit DNA repair or the initiation of programmed cell death. Finally, we demonstrate a relationship between TP53 and the GAS5-derived snoRNAs both in cancer cell lines and human tissue samples which implies that this class of non-coding RNAs might also be involved in coordinating the TP53-mediated response. These findings provide a novel insight into the complexities surrounding the role of non-coding RNAs in the TP53 response to DNA damage and their relevance to carcinogenesis.
Supervisor: Stebbing, Justin ; Castellano, Leandro Sponsor: Medical Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available