Contribution of miRNAs, tRNAs and tRFs to Aberrant Signaling and Translation Deregulation in Lung Cancer

Cancers (Basel). 2020 Oct 20;12(10):3056. doi: 10.3390/cancers12103056.


Transcriptomics profiles of miRNAs, tRNAs or tRFs are used as biomarkers, after separate examination of several cancer cell lines, blood samples or biopsies. However, the possible contribution of all three profiles on oncogenic signaling and translation as a net regulatory effect, is under investigation. The present analysis of miRNAs and tRFs from lung cancer biopsies indicated putative targets, which belong to gene networks involved in cell proliferation, transcription and translation regulation. In addition, we observed differential expression of specific tRNAs along with several tRNA-related genes with possible involvement in carcinogenesis. Transfection of lung adenocarcinoma cells with two identified tRFs and subsequent NGS analysis indicated gene targets that mediate signaling and translation regulation. Broader analysis of all major signaling and translation factors in several biopsy specimens revealed a crosstalk between the PI3K/AKT and MAPK pathways and downstream activation of eIF4E and eEF2. Subsequent polysome profile analysis and 48S pre-initiation reconstitution experiments showed increased global translation rates and indicated that aberrant expression patterns of translation initiation factors could contribute to elevated protein synthesis. Overall, our results outline the modulatory effects that possibly correlate the expression of important regulatory non-coding RNAs with aberrant signaling and translation deregulation in lung cancer.

Keywords: lung cancer; miRNAs; signaling; tRFs; tRNAs; translation.