Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26673698
Nucleic Acids Res. 2016 Apr;44(7):3070-81
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a major role in the post-transcriptional regulation of target genes, especially in development and differentiation. Our understanding about the transcriptional regulation of miRNA genes is limited by inadequate annotation of primary miRNA (pri-miRNA) transcripts. Here, we used CAGE-seq and RNA-seq to provide genome-wide identification of the pri-miRNA core promoter repertoire and its dynamic usage during zebrafish embryogenesis. We assigned pri-miRNA promoters to 152 precursor-miRNAs (pre-miRNAs), the majority of which were supported by promoter associated post-translational histone modifications (H3K4me3, H2A.Z) and RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) occupancy. We validated seven miR-9 pri-miRNAs by in situ hybridization and showed similar expression patterns as mature miR-9. In addition, processing of an alternative intronic promoter of miR-9-5 was validated by 5′ RACE PCR. Developmental profiling revealed a subset of pri-miRNAs that are maternally inherited. Moreover, we show that promoter-associated H3K4me3, H2A.Z and RNAPII marks are not only present at pri-miRNA promoters but are also specifically enriched at pre-miRNAs, suggesting chromatin level regulation of pre-miRNAs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that CAGE-seq also detects 3′-end processing of pre-miRNAs on Drosha cleavage site that correlates with miRNA-offset RNAs (moRNAs) production and provides a new tool for detecting Drosha processing events and predicting pre-miRNA processing by a genome-wide assay.