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PLOS Papers on RNAs in Metastatic Prostate Cancer, Ebola Field Lab, Embryonic RNA Editing

Foshan First Municipal People's Hospital's Liao-Yuan Li and colleagues used RNA-seq data to uncover circular RNAs, miRNAs and mRNAs that are differentially expressed in primary versus metastatic prostate cancer. They report in PLOS One that they then developed a competing endogenous RNA network based on 45 circRNAs, 24 miRNAs, and 56 mRNAs as well as a protein-protein interaction network with 10 hub genes, six of which were associated with disease-free survival. "The circRNA-mediated ceRNA network provides potential prognostic biomarkers for metastatic prostate cancer," the researchers say.

A team from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Uganda Virus Research Institute describe their establishment of a frontline field laboratory during a 2019 Ebola virus outbreak in Uganda. As they recount in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the group established a lab with rapid containment kits to inactive viruses within patient specimens and a GeneXpert Instrument from Cepheid to test for Ebola. During the field lab's 46 operational days, 76 patient specimens were processed, ruling out Ebola. This, they note, was followed by confirmatory testing at UVRI. "Although no EVD cases were detected by the field laboratory, it played an important role in patient management and epidemiological surveillance by providing diagnostic results in <3 hours," the researchers write.

Researchers from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and elsewhere used single-cell RNA sequencing data to examine embryonic RNA editing. As they report in PLOS Computational Biology, the researchers found that more than a third of RNA editing sites had differential editing ratios at different points in development. They further found that differentially edited RNA editing sites were over-represented on splicing sites and that lncRNA editing sites were in particular more likely to be on RNA splicing sites. At the same time, editing of lncRNAs was associated with expression level changes, suggesting RNA editing could regulate alternative splicing of lncRNAs and affect expression.