Discovery of MicroRNAs associated with myogenesis by deep sequencing of serial developmental skeletal muscles in pigs

Xinhua Hou, Zhonglin Tang, Honglin Liu, Ning Wang, Huiming Ju, Kui Li
PloS One 2012, 7 (12): e52123
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, single-stranded non-coding RNAs that repress their target genes by binding their 3' UTRs. These RNAs play critical roles in myogenesis. To gain knowledge about miRNAs involved in the regulation of myogenesis, porcine longissimus muscles were collected from 18 developmental stages (33-, 40-, 45-, 50-, 55-, 60-, 65-, 70-, 75-, 80-, 85-, 90-, 95-, 100- and 105-day post-gestation fetuses, 0 and 10-day postnatal piglets and adult pigs) to identify miRNAs using Solexa sequencing technology. We detected 197 known miRNAs and 78 novel miRNAs according to comparison with known miRNAs in the miRBase (release 17.0) database. Moreover, variations in sequence length and single nucleotide polymorphisms were also observed in 110 known miRNAs. Expression analysis of the 11 most abundant miRNAs were conducted using quantitative PCR (qPCR) in eleven tissues (longissimus muscles, leg muscles, heart, liver, spleen, lung, kidney, stomach, small intestine and colon), and the results revealed that ssc-miR-378, ssc-miR-1 and ssc-miR-206 were abundantly expressed in skeletal muscles. During skeletal muscle development, the expression level of ssc-miR-378 was low at 33 days post-coitus (dpc), increased at 65 and 90 dpc, peaked at postnatal day 0, and finally declined and maintained a comparatively stable level. This expression profile suggested that ssc-miR-378 was a new candidate miRNA for myogenesis and participated in skeletal muscle development in pigs. Target prediction and KEGG pathway analysis suggested that bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 (MAPK1), both of which were relevant to proliferation and differentiation, might be the potential targets of miR-378. Luciferase activities of report vectors containing the 3'UTR of porcine BMP2 or MAPK1 were downregulated by miR-378, which suggested that miR-378 probably regulated myogenesis though the regulation of these two genes.

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