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Biochem Genet. 2009 Jun;47(5-6):329-43. doi: 10.1007/s10528-009-9234-6. Epub 2009 Mar 7.

Identification and characteristics of cattle microRNAs by homology searching and small RNA cloning.

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  • 1Laboratory of Medical Microbiology, Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Shang Medical College of Fudan University, 138 Yixueyuan Road, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.


MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a class of noncoding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression by an RNA-interfering pathway through cleavage or inhibition of the translation of target mRNA. The 254 cattle miRNA candidates found by homology searching frequently clustered at certain chromosomes, and some are possibly expressed from more than one genomic locus. They were partially verified by cloning from a small cattle RNA library, where 31 distinct miRNAs were identified: 18 previously registered in the database of miRBase, 11 novel and homologous to known mammalian miRNAs, and 2 potentially novel without homology to any known miRNAs. Partial miRNA expression was detected by RT-PCR in cattle tissues, such as brain, liver, lung, and heart; some were expressed in all tissues and others in a specific tissue. Sequence alignments revealed that many had end variants, most of which differed in the 3' end; a small number differed in the 5' end. This indicates that the same miRNA gene can be individually modified in the process of miRNA biogenesis and could have a different role in regulating target gene expression.

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