Research Papers:

Identification and characterization of L1-specific endo-siRNAs essential for early embryonic development in pig

Heng Zhang, Jilong Liu, Yurong Tai, Xiaolei Zhang, Jiaming Zhang, Shichao Liu, Jiawei Lv, Zhonghua Liu and Qingran Kong _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:23167-23176. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15517

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Heng Zhang1,*, Jilong Liu2,*, Yurong Tai1,*, Xiaolei Zhang1, Jiaming Zhang1, Shichao Liu1, Jiawei Lv1, Zhonghua Liu1, Qingran Kong1

1Laboratory of Embryo Biotechnology, College of Life Science, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province 150030, China

2College of Veterinary Medicine, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou Province 510642, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Qingran Kong, email: [email protected]

Zhonghua Liu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: endo-siRNA, deep sequencing, L1, early embryonic development, pig

Received: December 15, 2016     Accepted: February 08, 2017     Published: February 19, 2017


Small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs) play important roles in RNA interference (RNAi). In addition to microRNA (miRNA) and Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA), one key member of sncRNAs group is endogenous small interfering RNA (endo-siRNA). Some studies do show the role of endo-siRNAs in Dicer and/or Ago mutants, however, the biological functions of specific endo-siRNAs remains mostly unanswered. In the study, we have performed a comparative analysis of endo-siRNAs present in porcine sperms, oocytes and zygotes, identified by deep sequencing and bioinformatics analysis. Further, we observe a large amount of endo-siRNAs specific binding on ORF2 and 3′ UTR of porcine L1 (L1-siRNAs). And, 9 L1-siRNAs generated from a dsRNA formed between L1 transcript and a newly identified an antisense noncoding RNA was characterized. We show the L1-siRNAs regulate early embryonic development by inhibiting the activity of L1 retrotransposition. This work can contribute to understanding the functional role of abundant endo-siRNAs in embryonic development.

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