Research Papers:

Characterization of miRNA and their target gene during chicken embryo skeletal muscle development

Endashaw Jebessa, Hongjia Ouyang, Bahareldin Ali Abdalla, Zhenhui Li, Auwalu Yusuf Abdullahi, Qingshen Liu, Qinghua Nie _ and Xiquan Zhang

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:17309-17324. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.22457

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Endashaw Jebessa1,2, Hongjia Ouyang1,2, Bahareldin Ali Abdalla1,2, Zhenhui Li1,2, Auwalu Yusuf Abdullahi3, Qingshen Liu4, Qinghua Nie1,2 and Xiquan Zhang1,2

1Department of Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, Guangdong, China

2Guangdong Provincial Key Lab of Agro-Animal Genomics and Molecular Breeding and Key Lab of Chicken Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou 510642, China

3Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, Guangdong, China

4Department of Animal Production and Management, College of Animal Science, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, Guangdong, China

Correspondence to:

Qinghua Nie, email: [email protected]

Keywords: miRNA; chicken embryo; muscle

Received: March 10, 2017     Accepted: October 11, 2017     Epub: November 06, 2017     Published: April 03, 2018


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that regulate mRNA expression by degradation or translational inhibition. We investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle development based on differentially expressed genes and miRNAs. We compared mRNA and miRNA from chicken skeletal muscle at embryonic day E11, E16 and one day post-hatch (P1). The interaction networks were constructed, according to target prediction results and integration analysis of up-regulated genes with down regulated miRNAs or down-regulated genes with up-regulated miRNAs with |log2fold change| ≥ 1.75, P < 0.005. The miRNA-mRNA integration analysis showed high number of mRNAs regulated by a few number of miRNAs. In the E11_VS_E16, comparison group we identified biological processes including muscle maintenance, myoblast proliferation and muscle thin filament formation. The E11_VS_P1 group comparison included negative regulation of axon extension, sarcomere organization, and cell redox homeostasis and kinase inhibitor activity. The E16_VS_P1 comparison group contained genes for the negative regulation of anti-apoptosis and axon extension as well as glomerular basement membrane development. Functional in vitro assays indicated that over expression of miR-222a and miR-126–5p in DF-1 cells significantly reduced the mRNA levels of the target genes CPEB3 and FGFR3, respectively. These integrated analyses provide several candidates for future studies concerning miRNAs-target function on regulation of embryonic muscle development and growth.

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