Profile Url: soundhar-ramasamy
Researcher at CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB)
The Journal of Experimental Biology, 2018-11-16
High fecundity, transparent embryos for monitoring the rapid development of organs and the availability of a well-annotated genome has made zebrafish a model organism of choice for developmental biology and neurobiology. This vertebrate model, a favourite in chronobiology studies, shows striking circadian rhythmicity in behaviour. Here, we identify novel genes in the zebrafish genome, which shows their expression in the zebrafish retina. We further resolve the expression pattern over time and assign specific novel transcripts to the retinal cell type, predominantly in the inner nuclear layer. Using chemical ablation and free run experiments we segregate the transcripts that are rhythmic when entrained by light from those that show sustained oscillations in the absence of external cues. The transcripts reported here with rigorous annotation and specific functions in circadian biology provide the groundwork for functional characterisation of novel players in the zebrafish retinal clock.
miRNAs are key non-protein coding regulators of gene expression in various pathophysiological conditions. Targeting miRNA with small molecules offer an unconventional approach, where clinically active compounds with RNA binding activity can be tested for their ability to modulate miRNA levels and thus for drug repositioning. Aminoglycoside antibiotics are highly effective microbicidal RNA binding molecules that bind to prokaryotic rRNA secondary structures. Here, we report that specific subsets of miRNA can be modulated by aminoglycosides. However, ototoxicity (cochlear and vestibular) and nephrotoxicity of multiple origins resulting from prolonged use are a well-known disadvantage of aminoglycosides. Mature non-coding RNAs and their precursors can present off-target sites, by forming secondary structures that resemble ribosomal RNA, thus providing an additional molecular basis for the toxicity of aminoglycosides. Using in vitro, in cellulae and physiological responses, we provide evidence for the direct functional perturbation of the miR-96 cluster leading to selective cell death in neuromasts - the zebrafish equivalent of cochlear hair cells - by Streptomycin, a prototype aminoglycoside antibiotic, thus contributing to the observed ototoxicity. Our observations, collectively underscore the importance of re-evaluating RNA binding drugs for their off-targeting effects in the context of miRNA and other functional non-coding RNA.
RNA modifications contribute to RNA and protein diversity in eukaryotes and lead to amino acid substitutions, deletions, and changes in gene expression levels. Several methods have developed to profile RNA modifications, however, a less laborious identification of inosine and pseudouridine modifications in the whole transcriptome is still not available. Herein, we address the first step of the above question by sequencing synthetic RNA constructs with inosine and pseudouridine modification using Oxford Nanopore Technology, which is a direct RNA sequencing platform for rapid detection of RNA modification in a relatively less labor-intensive manner. Our analysis of multiple nanopore parameters reveals mismatch error majorly distinguish unmodified versus modified nucleobase. Moreover, we have shown that acrylonitrile selective reactivity with inosine and pseudouridine generates a differential profile between the modified and treated construct. Our results offer a new methodology to harness selectively reactive chemical probe-based modification along with existing direct RNA sequencing methods to profile multiple RNA modifications on a single RNA. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
The circadian clock regulates vital cellular processes by adjusting the physiology of the organism to daily changes in the environment. Rhythmic transcription of core Clock Genes (CGs) and their targets regulate these processes at the cellular level. Circadian clock disruption has been observed in people with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Also, ablation of CGs during development has been shown to affect neurogenesis in both in vivo and in vitro models. Previous studies on the function of CGs in the brain have used knock-out models of a few CGs. However, a complete catalog of CGs in different cell types of the developing brain is not available and it is also tedious to obtain. Recent advancements in single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has revealed novel cell types and elusive dynamic cell states of the developing brain. In this study by using publicly available single-cell transcriptome datasets we systematically explored CGs-coexpressing networks (CGs-CNs) during embryonic and adult neurogenesis. Our meta-analysis reveals CGs-CNs in human embryonic radial glia, neurons and also in lesser studied non-neuronal cell types of the developing brain.