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Li M.,Sichuan Agricultural University | Liu Y.,Sichuan Agricultural University | Wang T.,Sichuan Agricultural University | Guan J.,Sichuan Agricultural University | And 16 more authors.
International Journal of Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a large family of short endogenous RNAs known to post-transcriptionally repress gene expression, participate in the regulation of almost every cellular process. Changes in miRNA expression are associated with many pathologies. Ovarian folliculogenesis and testicular spermatogenesis are complex and coordinated bio-logical processes, in which tightly regulated expression and interaction of a multitude of genes could be regulated by these miRNAs. Identification and preliminary characterization of gonad-specific miRNAs would be a prerequisite for a thorough understanding of the role that miRNA-mediated posttranscriptional gene regulation plays in mammalian reproduction. Method: Here, we present the identification of a repertoire of porcine miRNAs in adult ovary and testis using deep sequencing technology. A bioinformatics pipeline was developed to distinguish authentic mature miRNA sequences from other classes of small RNAs repre-sented in the sequencing data. Results: Using this approach, we detected 582 precursor hairpins (pre-miRNAs) encoding for 732 mature miRNAs, of which 673 are unique. Statistically, 224 unique miRNAs (out of 673, 33.28%) were identified which had significant differential expression (DE) between ovary and testis libraries (P < 0.001). Most of DE miRNAs located on the X chromosome (X-linked miRNAs) (24 out of 34, 70.59%) significantly up-regulated in ovary versus testis (P < 0.001). Predictably, X-linked miRNAs are expressed in a testis-preferential or testis-specific pattern. To explore the potential for co-expression among genomic location clusters of X-linked miRNAs, we surveyed the relationship between the distance separating miRNA loci and the coordinate expression patterns of 32 high confidence X-linked miRNAs in seven normal pig tissues using the real-time quantitative PCR (q-PCR) approach. Our results show that proximal pairs of miRNAs are generally co-expressed implying that miRNAs within 50 kb of genomic bases are typically derived from a common transcript. Conclusions: The present study characterizes the miRNA transcriptome of adult porcine gonads, with an emphasis on the co-expression patterns of X-linked miRNAs. Our report should facilitate studies of the organ-specific reproductive roles of miRNAs. © Ivyspring International Publisher.

Li M.,Sichuan Agricultural University | Xia Y.,University of Houston | Gu Y.,Sichuan Agricultural University | Zhang K.,Sichuan Agricultural University | And 15 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

The domestic pig is of enormous agricultural significance and valuable models for many human diseases. Information concerning the pig microRNAome (miRNAome) has been long overdue and elucidation of this information will permit an atlas of microRNA (miRNA) regulation functions and networks to be constructed. Here we performed a comprehensive search for porcine miRNAs on ten small RNA sequencing libraries prepared from a mixture of tissues obtained during the entire pig lifetime, from the fetal period through adulthood. The sequencing results were analyzed using mammalian miRNAs, the precursor hairpins (pre-miRNAs) and the first release of the high-coverage porcine genome assembly (Sscrofa9, April 2009) and the available expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences. Our results extend the repertoire of pig miRNAome to 867 pre-miRNAs (623 with genomic coordinates) encoding for 1,004 miRNAs, of which 777 are unique. We preformed real-time quantitative PCR (q-PCR) experiments for selected 30 miRNAs in 47 tissue-specific samples and found agreement between the sequencing and q-PCR data. This broad survey provides detailed information about multiple variants of mature sequences, precursors, chromosomal organization, development-specific expression, and conservation patterns. Our data mining produced a broad view of the pig miRNAome, consisting of miRNAs and isomiRs and a wealth of information of pig miRNA characteristics. These results are prelude to the advancement in pig biology as well the use of pigs as model organism for human biological and biomedical studies. © 2010 Li et al.

Hebert S.S.,Laval University | Wang W.-X.,University of Kentucky | Zhu Q.,LC science | Nelson P.T.,University of Kentucky
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2013

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (20-22 nucleotides) regulatory non-coding RNAs that strongly influence gene expression. Most prior studies addressing the role of miRNAs in neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) have focused on individual diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), making disease-to-disease comparisons impossible. Using RNA deep sequencing, we sought to analyze in detail the small RNAs (including miRNAs) in the temporal neocortex gray matter from non-demented controls (n = 2), AD (n = 5), dementia with Lewy bodies (n = 4), hippocampal sclerosis of aging (n = 4), and frontotemporal lobar dementia (FTLD) (n = 5) cases, together accounting for the most prevalent ND subtypes. All cases had short postmortem intervals, relatively high-quality RNA, and state-of-the-art neuropathological diagnoses. The resulting data (over 113 million reads in total, averaging 5.6 million reads per sample) and secondary expression analyses constitute an unprecedented look into the human cerebral cortical miRNome at a nucleotide resolution. While we find no apparent changes in isomiR or miRNA editing patterns in correlation with ND pathology, our results validate and extend previous miRNA profiling studies with regard to quantitative changes in NDs. In agreement with this idea, we provide independent cohort validation for changes in miR-132 expression levels in AD (n = 8) and FTLD (n = 14) cases when compared to controls (n = 8). The identification of common and ND-specific putative novel brain miRNAs and/or short-hairpin molecules is also presented. The challenge now is to better understand the impact of these and other alterations on neuronal gene expression networks and neuropathologies. © 2013 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Zhou Q.,Yaan Vocational College | Li M.,Sichuan Agricultural University | Wang X.,Sichuan Agricultural University | Li Q.,Sichuan Agricultural University | And 6 more authors.
International Journal of Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

Breast milk is a complex liquid rich in immunological components that affect the development of the infant's immune system. Exosomes are membranous vesicles of endocytic origin that are found in various body fluids and that can mediate intercellular communication. Mi-croRNAs (miRNAs), a well-defined group of non-coding small RNAs, are packaged inside exosomes in human breast milk. Here, we identified 602 unique miRNAs originating from 452 miRNA precursors (pre-miRNAs) in human breast milk exosomes using deep sequencing technology. We found that, out of 87 well-characterized immune-related pre-miRNAs, 59 (67.82%) are presented and enriched in breast milk exosomes (P < 10 -16, χ 2 test). In addition, compared with exogenous synthetic miRNAs, these endogenous immune-related miRNAs are more resistant to relatively harsh conditions. It is, therefore, tempting to speculate that these exosomal miRNAs are transferred from the mother's milk to the infant via the digestive tract, and that they play a critical role in the development of the infant immune system. © Ivyspring International Publisher.

PubMed | Huazhong Agricultural University, Sichuan Province General Station of Animal Husbandry, LC science and Sichuan Agricultural University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Animal growth curves can provide essential information for animal breeders to optimize feeding and management strategies. However, the genetic mechanism underlying the phenotypic differentiation between the inflection point and asymptotic stages of the growth curve is not well characterized. Here, we employed Liangshan pigs in stages of growth at the inflection point (under inflection point: UIP) and the two asymptotic stages (before the inflection point: BIP, after the inflection point: AIP) as models to survey global gene expression in the longissimus dorsi muscle using digital gene expression (DGE) tag profiling. We found Liangshan pigs reached maximum growth rate (UIP) at 163.6 days of age and a weight of 134.6 kg. The DGE libraries generated 117 million reads of 5.89 gigabases in length. 21,331, 20,996 and 20,139 expressed transcripts were identified BIP, UIP and AIP, respectively. Among them, we identified 757 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between BIP and UIP, and 271 DEGs between AIP and UIP. An enrichment analysis of DEGs proved the immune system was strengthened in the AIP stage. Energy metabolism rate, global transcriptional activity and bone development intensity were highest UIP. Meat from Liangshan pigs had the highest intramuscular fat content and most favorable fatty acid composition in the AIP. Three hundred eighty (27.70%) specific expression genes were highly enriched in QTL regions for growth and meat quality traits. This study completed a comprehensive analysis of diverse genetic mechanisms underlying the inflection point and asymptotic stages of growth. Our findings will serve as an important resource in the understanding of animal growth and development in indigenous pig breeds.

Feng J.,Zhejiang GongShang University | Liu S.,Zhejiang Sci-Tech University | Wang M.,Zhejiang Sci-Tech University | Lang Q.,LC science | Jin C.,LC science
Planta | Year: 2014

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play important regulatory roles in plant development and stress responses. Tomato is an economically important vegetable crop in the world with publicly available genomic information database, but only a limited number of tomato miRNAs have been identified. In this study, two independent small RNA libraries from mock and Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV)-infected tomatoes were constructed, respectively, and sequenced with a high-throughput Illumina Solexa system. Based on sequence analysis and hairpin structure prediction, a total of 50 plant miRNAs and 273 potentially candidate miRNAs (PC-miRNAs) were firstly identified in tomato, with 12 plant miRNAs and 82 PC-miRNAs supported by both the 3p and 5p strands. Comparative analysis revealed that 79 miRNAs (including 15 new tomato miRNAs) and 40 PC-miRNAs were differentially expressed between the two libraries, and the expression patterns of some new tomato miRNAs and PC-miRNAs were further validated by qRT-PCR. Moreover, potential targets for some of the known and new tomato miRNAs were identified by the recently developed degradome sequencing approach, and target annotation indicated that they were involved in multiple biological processes, including transcriptional regulation and virus resistance. Gene ontology analysis of these target transcripts demonstrated that defense response- and photosynthesis-related genes were most affected in CMV-Fny-infected tomatoes. Because tomato is not only an important crop but also is a genetic model for basic biology research, our study contributes to the understanding of miRNAs in response to virus infection. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Krishnamoorthy S.,University of Houston | Liu Z.,University of Houston | Liu Z.,Hunan Normal University | Hong A.,LC science | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The architecture of cellular proteins connected to form signaling pathways in response to internal and external cues is much more complex than a group of simple protein-protein interactions. Post translational modifications on proteins (e.g., phosphorylation of serine, threonine and tyrosine residues on proteins) initiate many downstream signaling events leading to protein-protein interactions and subsequent activation of signaling cascades leading to cell proliferation, cell differentiation and cell death. As evidenced by a rapidly expanding mass spectrometry database demonstrating protein phosphorylation at specific motifs, there is currently a large gap in understanding the functional significance of phosphoproteins with respect to their specific protein connections in the signaling cascades. A comprehensive map that interconnects phospho-motifs in pathways will enable identification of nodal protein interactions that are sensitive signatures indicating a disease phenotype from the physiological hemostasis and provide clues into control of disease. Using a novel phosphopeptide microarray technology, we have mapped endogenous tyrosine-phosphoproteome interaction networks in breast cancer cells mediated by signaling adaptor protein GRB2, which transduces cellular responses downstream of several RTKs through the Ras-ERK signaling cascade. We have identified several previously reported motif specific interactions and novel interactions. The peptide microarray data indicate that various phospho-motifs on a single protein are differentially regulated in various cell types and shows global downregulation of phosphoprotein interactions specifically in cells with metastatic potential. The study has revealed novel phosphoprotein mediated signaling networks, which warrants further detailed analysis of the nodes of protein-protein interaction to uncover their biomarker or therapeutic potential. © 2013 Krishnamoorthy et al.

Liu Z.,Hunan Normal University | Zhu Q.,LC science | Hu W.,Hunan Normal University | Liang S.,Hunan Normal University
Protein and Peptide Letters | Year: 2013

Hainantoxin-III (HNTX-III) purified from the venom of the spider Ornithoctonus hainana is a novel neurotoxin preferentially inhibiting tetrodotoxin-sensitive voltage-gated sodium channels in rat dorsal root ganglion cells. The structure of this toxin in aqueous solution was investigated using 2-D 1H-NMR techniques. The complete sequencespecific assignments of proton resonances in the 1H-NMR spectra were obtained by analyzing a series of 2-D spectra, including DQF-COSY, TOCSY and NOESY spectra, in H 2O or D2O. All the backbone protons and more than 95% of the side-chain protons have been assigned by dαN, d βN, and dNN connectivities in NOESY spectrum. Furthermore, the secondary structure of HNTX-III was identified from NMR data. It consists mainly of a short triple-stranded antiparallel sheet formed by Asp7 to Cys9, Tyr21 to Ser23, and Lys27 to Val30. Because HNTX-III shares high sequence identity (>70%) with HWTX-I and HNTX-I, we proposed that they all share a structural scaffold known as the inhibitor cystine knot architectural motif. This study provides a basis for the further determination of the solution conformation of HNTX-III. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

PubMed | Nano3D Biosciences, Inc., LC science and Rice University
Type: | Journal: Scientific reports | Year: 2015

An ongoing challenge in biomedical research is the search for simple, yet robust assays using 3D cell cultures for toxicity screening. This study addresses that challenge with a novel spheroid assay, wherein spheroids, formed by magnetic 3D bioprinting, contract immediately as cells rearrange and compact the spheroid in relation to viability and cytoskeletal organization. Thus, spheroid size can be used as a simple metric for toxicity. The goal of this study was to validate spheroid contraction as a cytotoxic endpoint using 3T3 fibroblasts in response to 5 toxic compounds (all-trans retinoic acid, dexamethasone, doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil, forskolin), sodium dodecyl sulfate (+control), and penicillin-G (-control). Real-time imaging was performed with a mobile device to increase throughput and efficiency. All compounds but penicillin-G significantly slowed contraction in a dose-dependent manner (Z=0.88). Cells in 3D were more resistant to toxicity than cells in 2D, whose toxicity was measured by the MTT assay. Fluorescent staining and gene expression profiling of spheroids confirmed these findings. The results of this study validate spheroid contraction within this assay as an easy, biologically relevant endpoint for high-throughput compound screening in representative 3D environments.

PubMed | University of Nevada, Reno, University of Rochester, LC science and Wonkwang University
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Genome-scale expression data on the absolute numbers of gene isoforms offers essential clues in cellular functions and biological processes. Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) perform a unique contractile function through expression of specific genes controlled by serum response factor (SRF), a transcription factor that binds to DNA sites known as the CArG boxes. To identify SRF-regulated genes specifically expressed in SMCs, we isolated SMC populations from mouse small intestine and colon, obtained their transcriptomes, and constructed an interactive SMC genome and CArGome browser. To our knowledge, this is the first online resource that provides a comprehensive library of all genetic transcripts expressed in primary SMCs. The browser also serves as the first genome-wide map of SRF binding sites. The browser analysis revealed novel SMC-specific transcriptional variants and SRF target genes, which provided new and unique insights into the cellular and biological functions of the cells in gastrointestinal (GI) physiology. The SRF target genes in SMCs, which were discovered in silico, were confirmed by proteomic analysis of SMC-specific Srf knockout mice. Our genome browser offers a new perspective into the alternative expression of genes in the context of SRF binding sites in SMCs and provides a valuable reference for future functional studies.

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