IDENTIFICATION AND VALIDATION OF NOVEL microRNA MOLECULE FROM THE PELODISCUS SINENSIS BY BIOINFORMATICS APPROACHES

2015 Yong Huang#, Hong Tao Ren, Zhan Bin Wang, and Xi Hong Sun

#Fax: +86379 64563979; e-mail: huangyong1979111@126.com

Animal Science and Technology College, Henan University of Science and Technology, Luoyang City, Henan Province, 471003 PR China

Received October 2, 2014; in final form March 5, 2015

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of endogenous, short non-coding RNAs with the length of about 22 nt, which mediate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level through mRNA degradation or translational repression. Among them, some are highly evolutionally conserved in the animal kingdom; this provides a powerful strategy for identifying miRNAs in new species. The Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) is one of the most important freshwater aquaculture reptilian species in China, but related miRNAs have not been identified up to now. In the present study, a total of 10 Pelodiscus sinensis miRNAs were identified according to Pelodiscus sinensis ESTs and GSSs information in NCBI database by bioinformatics approaches. The RT-PCR-based assays were performed and found that 10 Pelodiscus sinensis miRNAs were expressed. Using these miRNAs, 22 target genes were identified. These genes encode 22 proteins involved in metabolism, signal transduction, transcriptional regulation, and development. These miRNAs and their targets will serve as useful resources for their functional analyses in miRNA-regulated processes in Pelodiscus sinensis breeding and genetic research.

Keywords: microRNA, Pelodiscus sinensis, bioinformatics prediction, target gene.