Kamel W, Segerman B, Punga T, Akusjärvi G
PLoS ONE 9 (8) e105746 [2014-08-21; online 2014-08-21]
Human adenoviruses (HAds) encode for one or two highly abundant virus-associated RNAs, designated VA RNAI and VA RNAII, which fold into stable hairpin structures resembling miRNA precursors. Here we show that the terminal stem of the VA RNAs originating from Ad4, Ad5, Ad11 and Ad37, all undergo Dicer dependent processing into virus-specific miRNAs (so-called mivaRNAs). We further show that the mivaRNA duplex is subjected to a highly asymmetric RISC loading with the 3'-strand from all VA RNAs being the favored strand, except for the Ad37 VA RNAII, where the 5'-mivaRNAII strand was preferentially assembled into RISC. Although the mivaRNA seed sequences are not fully conserved between the HAds a bioinformatics prediction approach suggests that a large fraction of the VA RNAII-, but not the VA RNAI-derived mivaRNAs still are able to target the same cellular genes. Using small RNA deep sequencing we demonstrate that the Dicer processing event in the terminal stem of the VA RNAs is not unique and generates 3'-mivaRNAs with a slight variation of the position of the 5' terminal nucleotide in the RISC loaded guide strand. Also, we show that all analyzed VA RNAs, except Ad37 VA RNAI and Ad5 VA RNAII, utilize an alternative upstream A start site in addition to the classical +1 G start site. Further, the 5'-mivaRNAs with an A start appears to be preferentially incorporated into RISC. Although the majority of mivaRNA research has been done using Ad5 as the model system our analysis demonstrates that the mivaRNAs expressed in Ad11- and Ad37-infected cells are the most abundant mivaRNAs associated with Ago2-containing RISC. Collectively, our results show an unexpected variability in Dicer processing of the VA RNAs and a serotype-specific loading of mivaRNAs into Ago2-based RISC.