The Porcine microRNAome is Revealed
Released on: August 20, 2010, 4:44 am
Results blaze a trail for advancement in pig biology as well
the use of pigs as model organism for human biological and biomedical
Houston (August 20, 2010) Researchers from LC Sciences LLC and a collaboration of
Universities1 have established a porcine microRNAome, a complete catalog of all
microRNAs expressed in the species Sus scrofa2. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small
regulatory RNA molecules known to control a wide array of cellular functions such as
growth and development and whose dysregulation has been associated with disease. The
findings of this study lay the groundwork for a greater understanding of the species
through further mapping of tissue- and stage-specific miRNAs.
The domestic pig is an important species from various standpoints. First, it is a
major protein source in the human diet world-wide. Additionally, its anatomy,
physiology, and genome size are very similar to the human species, and there has
been increasing molecular genetic evidence showing the comparability of human and
pig, making it a suitable model system for human biology. Pigs are now model
animals for biomedical research of cardiovascular, immunological, cancer, diabetes,
and a range of other diseases. Finally, the pig has become an important source of
organs and tissue for transplantation into humans.
Prior to this study, miRbase3, the primary public repository for miRNA sequence
data, listed only 73 unique pig miRNAs, this out of a total of 10,883 database
entries encompassing over 100 species. The number of miRNAs for pig was
significantly lower than for other species with similar size genomes (such as Human
with 894 miRNAs) suggesting the existence of far more pig miRNAs.
The researchers used advanced deep sequencing and developed bioinformatics
technologies to analyze all the small RNA molecules that are transcribed from all
the genes in the pig genome. After filtering, mapping, alignment and classification
of all the reads, they had shown that the pig miRNAome has 777 unique miRNA
sequences. The sequencing results will not only greatly enhance the utility of the
pig microRNAome as the blueprint of advanced pathway network studies of miRNA and
their target mRNAs, but also provide information on time-dependent variations of the
microRNAome as to sequence lengths, counts, composition, genomic location, and the
relative expression of conserved versus pig-specific miRNAs.
This first pig miRNAome report has opened a path for exploration and better
understanding of pig molecular biology in cell growth and development, and for
advanced pathway and function modeling in pig relevant to complex human diseases.
About microRNA – microRNAs are small non-protein-coding RNA molecules that function
as regulators of gene expression by mature miRNAs targeting specific mRNAs. These
interactions may result in variations in mRNA and/or protein expression.
About LC Sciences - LC Sciences is a leader in miRNA discovery and profiling
offering flexible services and delivering high quality results based on our
innovative µParaflo® custom microarray platform and the latest deep sequencing
technologies. We have developed complementary bioinformatics tools necessary for
extracting biological and functional information from large microRNA and miRNAome
data sets. LC Sciences provides microfluidic made-to-order microarrays and delivers
the most up-to-date genomics application tools for advancement in basic science and
applied biomedical fields.
1 - Institute of Animal Genetics and Breeding, College of Animal Science and
Technology, Sichuan Agricultural University, Ya'an, Sichuan, China - Department of
Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA - Department of
Biology, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China - LC Sciences, Houston, TX,
USA - Chongqing Academy of Animal Science, Chongqing, China - School of Life
Science, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, China
2 - Li M, Xia Y, Gu Y, Zhang K, Lang Q, Chen L, Guan J, Luo Z, Chen H, Li Y, Li Q,
Li X, Jiang AA, Shuai S, Wang J, Zhu Q, Zhou X, Gao X, Li X. (2010) MicroRNAome of
porcine pre- and postnatal development. PLoS One 5(7), e11541.
3 - Griffiths-Jones S, Grocock R, van Dongen S, Bateman A, Enright A. (2006)
miRBase: microRNA sequences, targets and gene nomenclature. Nucleic Acids Res
34(Database issue), D140–44.
Contact Details: Chris Hebel
2575 West Bellfort Street
Houston, TX 77054
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