Temporal and Spatial Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Zebrafish Tie1 mRNA by Long Noncoding RNA During Brain Vascular Assembly
Objective—Tie1 (tyrosine kinase containing immunoglobulin and epidermal growth factor homology 1), an endothelial and hematopoietic cell–specific receptor tyrosine kinase, is an important regulator of angiogenesis and critical for maintaining vascular integrity. The post-transcriptional regulation of tie1 mRNA expression is not understood, but it might partly explain Tie1’s differential expression pattern in endothelium. Following up on our previous work that identified natural antisense transcripts from the tie1 locus—tie1 antisense (tie1AS), which regulates tie1 mRNA levels in zebrafish—we attempted to identify the mechanism of this regulation.
Approach and Results—Through in vitro and in vivo ribonucleoprotein binding studies, we demonstrated that tie1AS long noncoding RNA interacts with an RNA binding protein—embryonic lethal and abnormal vision Drosophila-like 1 (Elavl1)—that regulates tie1 mRNA levels. When we disrupted the interaction between tie1AS and Elavl1 by using constitutively active antisense morpholino oligonucleotides or photoactivatable morpholino oligonucleotides, tie1 mRNA levels increased between 26 and 31 hours post-fertilization, particularly in the head. This increase correlated with dilation of primordial midbrain channels, smaller eyes, and reduced ventricular space. We also observed these phenotypes when we used CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)–mediated CRISPRi (CRISPR-mediated interference) to knock down tie1AS. Treatment of the morpholino oligonucleotide–injected embryos with a small molecule that decreased tie1 mRNA levels rescued all 3 abnormal phenotypes.
Conclusions—We identified a novel mode of temporal and spatial post-transcriptional regulation of tie1 mRNA. It involves long noncoding RNA, tie1AS, and Elavl1 (an interactor of tie1AS).
- Received January 31, 2018.
- Accepted April 19, 2018.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.