Dynamic regulation of microRNA expression following interferon-gamma-induced gene transcription.
- Platform LUXGEN - Micro-Array
MicroRNAs are major players in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Even small changes in miRNA levels may have profound consequences for the expression levels of target genes. Hence, miRNAs themselves need to be tightly, albeit dynamically, regulated. Here, we investigated the dynamic behavior of miRNAs over a wide time range following stimulation of melanoma cells with interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), which activates the transcription factor STAT1. By applying several bioinformatic and statistical software tools for visualization and identification of differentially expressed miRNAs derived from time-series microarray experiments, 8.9% of 1105 miRNAs appeared to be directly or indirectly regulated by STAT1. Focusing on distinct dynamic expression patterns, we found that the majority of robust miRNA expression changes occurred in the intermediate time range (24-48 h). Three miRNAs (miR-27a, miR-30a, miR-34a) had a delayed regulation occurring at 72 h while none showed significant expression changes at early time points between 30 min and 6 h. Expression patterns of individual miRNAs were altered gradually over time or abruptly increased or decreased between two time points. Furthermore, we observed coordinated dynamic transcription of most miRNA clusters while few were found to be regulated independently of their genetic cluster. Most interestingly, several "star" or passenger strand sequences were specifically regulated over time while their "guide" strands were not.