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    Some miRNAs are located in RNA precursors (pri-miRNAs) annotated as long non-coding (lncRNAs) due to absence of long open reading frames (ORFs). However, recent studies have shown that some lnc pri-miRNAs encode peptides called miPEPs (miRNA-encoded peptides). Initially discovered in plants, three miPEPs have also been identified in humans. Herein, we found that a dozen human pri-miRNAs potentially encode miPEPs, as revealed by ribosome profiling and proteomic databases survey. So far, the only known function of plant miPEPs is to enhance the transcription of their own pri-miRNAs, thereby increasing the level and activity of their associated miRNAs and downregulating the expression of their target genes. To date, in humans, only miPEP133 was shown to promote a positive autoregulatory loop. We investigated whether other human miPEPs are also involved in regulating the expression of their miRNAs by studying miPEP155, encoded by the lnc MIR155HG, miPEP497, a sORF-encoded peptide within lnc MIR497HG, and miPEP200a, encoded by the pri-miRNA of miR-200a/miR-200b. We show that overexpression of these miPEPs is unable to impact the expression/activity of their own pri-miRNA/miRNAs in humans, indicating that the positive feedback regulation observed with plant miPEPs and human miPEP133 is not a general rule of human miPEP function.


    Anne Prel, Christine Dozier, Jean-Philippe Combier, Serge Plaza, Arnaud Besson. Evidence That Regulation of Pri-miRNA/miRNA Expression Is Not a General Rule of miPEPs Function in Humans. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Mar 26;22(7)

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    PMID: 33810468

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