Epithelial carcinomas are well known to activate a prolonged wound-healing program that promotes malignant transformation. Wound closure requires the activation of keratinocyte migration via a dual-state molecular switch. This switch involves production of either the anti-migratory microRNA miR-198 or the pro-migratory follistatin-like 1 (FSTL1) protein from a single transcript; miR-198 expression in healthy skin is down-regulated in favor of FSTL1 upon wounding, which enhances keratinocyte migration and promotes re-epithelialization.
Oxidative stress (OS) is caused by an imbalance between pro- and anti-oxidant reactions leading to accumulation of reactive oxygen species within cells. We here investigate the effect of OS on the transcriptome of human fibroblasts. OS causes a rapid and transient global induction of transcription characterized by pausing of RNA polymerase II (PolII) in both directions, at specific promoters, within 30 minutes of the OS response.
Malignant gliomas are the most aggressive forms of brain tumors, associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Recurrence and tumorigenesis are attributed to a subpopulation of tumor-initiating glioma stem cells (GSCs) that are intrinsically resistant to therapy. Initiation and progression of gliomas have been linked to alterations in microRNA expression. Here, we report the identification of microRNA-138 (miR-138) as a molecular signature of GSCs and demonstrate a vital role for miR-138 in promoting growth and survival of bona fide tumor-initiating cells with self-renewal potential.