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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e51003. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051003. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

A systematic analysis of miRNA transcriptome in Marek's disease virus-induced lymphoma reveals novel and differentially expressed miRNAs.

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  • 1Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, National Engineering Laboratory for Animal Breeding, MOA Laboratory of Animal Genetics and Breeding, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.


Marek's disease is a lymphoproliferative neoplastic disease of the chicken, which poses a serious threat to poultry health. Marek's disease virus (MDV)-induced T-cell lymphoma is also an excellent biomedical model for neoplasia research. Recently, miRNAs have been demonstrated to play crucial roles in mediating neoplastic transformation. To investigate host miRNA expression profiles in the tumor transformation phase of MDV infection, we performed deep sequencing in two MDV-infected samples (tumorous spleen and MD lymphoma from liver), and two non-infected controls (non-infected spleen and lymphocytes). In total, 187 and 16 known miRNAs were identified in chicken and MDV, respectively, and 17 novel chicken miRNAs were further confirmed by qPCR. We identified 28 down-regulated miRNAs and 11 up-regulated miRNAs in MDV-infected samples by bioinformatic analysis. Of nine further tested by qPCR, seven were verified. The gga-miR-181a, gga-miR-26a, gga-miR-221, gga-miR-222, gga-miR-199*, and gga-miR-140* were down-regulated, and gga-miR-146c was up-regulated in MDV-infected tumorous spleens and MD lymphomas. In addition, 189 putative target genes for seven differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted. The luciferase reporter gene assay showed interactions of gga-miR-181a with MYBL1, gga-miR-181a with IGF2BP3, and gga-miR-26a with EIF3A. Differential expression of miRNAs and the predicted targets strongly suggest that they contribute to MDV-induced lymphomagenesis.

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