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Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2017;18(6):579-588. doi: 10.2174/1389203717666160621122405.

MicroRNA in Skeletal Muscle: Its Crucial Roles in Signal Proteins, Mus cle Fiber Type, and Muscle Protein Synthesis.

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Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for Animal Nutrition and Feed Safety, Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Wuhan Polytechnic University, Wuhan 430023. China.


Pork is one of the most economical sources of animal protein for human consumption. Meat quality is an important economic trait for the swine industry, which is primarily determined by prenatal muscle development and postnatal growth. Identification of the molecular mechanisms underlying skeletal muscle development is a key priority. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNAs that have emerged as key regulators of skeletal muscle development. A number of muscle-related miRNAs have been identified by functional gain and loss experiments in mouse model. However, determining miRNA-mRNA interactions involved in pig skeletal muscle still remains a significant challenge. For a comprehensive understanding of miRNA-mediated mechanisms underlying muscle development, miRNAome analyses of pig skeletal muscle have been performed by deep sequencing. Additionally, porcine miRNA single nucleotide polymorphisms have been implicated in muscle fiber types and meat quality. The present review provides an overview of current knowledge on recently identified miRNAs involved in myogenesis, muscle fiber type and muscle protein metabolism. Undoubtedly, further systematic understanding of the functions of miRNAs in pig skeletal muscle development will be helpful to expand the knowledge of basic skeletal muscle biology and be beneficial for the genetic improvement of meat quality traits.


MicroRNAs; SNP; muscle fiber type; muscle protein synthesis; myogenesis; signal proteins

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