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RNA. 2011 Jun;17(6):1076-89. doi: 10.1261/rna.2701111. Epub 2011 Apr 25.

Precursor miR-886, a novel noncoding RNA repressed in cancer, associates with PKR and modulates its activity.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555, USA.


Noncoding RNAs have drawn significant attention in biology recently. Whereas the current research is highly inclined to microRNAs, research on other noncoding RNAs has lagged behind. Here, we investigated a novel noncoding RNA that has been known as precursor microRNA miR-886 (pre-miR-886). Pre-miR-886 has been proposed also as a vault RNA, a component of the vault complex implicated in cancer drug resistance. We identified pre-miR-886 as a 102-nucleotide-long, abundant cytoplasmic RNA that is neither a genuine pre-microRNA nor a vault RNA. Pre-miR-886 is physically associated with PKR (Protein Kinase RNA-activated), an interferon-inducible and double-stranded RNA dependent kinase. The suppression of pre-miR-886 activates PKR and its downstream pathways, eIF2α phosphorylation and the NF-κB pathway, leading to impaired cell proliferation. We also found that pre-miR-886 is suppressed in a wide-range of cancer cell lines and in clinical specimens. This study is the first intense characterization of pre-miR-886 as well as the initial report on its function as a PKR regulator, which suggests a critical role in tumorigenesis.

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