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BMC Genomics. 2017 Sep 5;18(1):687. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-4096-5.

Identification of microRNAs controlling hepatic mRNA levels for metabolic genes during the metabolic transition from embryonic to posthatch development in the chicken.

Author information

1
Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Polk Hall 232D, Box 7621, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA.
2
Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, USA.
3
Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Polk Hall 232D, Box 7621, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA. hc_liu@ncsu.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The transition from embryonic to posthatch development in the chicken represents a massive metabolic switch from primarily lipolytic to primarily lipogenic metabolism. This metabolic switch is essential for the chick to successfully transition from the metabolism of stored egg yolk to the utilization of carbohydrate-based feed. However, regulation of this metabolic switch is not well understood. We hypothesized that microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in the metabolic switch that is essential to efficient growth of chickens. We used high-throughput RNA sequencing to characterize expression profiles of mRNA and miRNA in liver during late embryonic and early posthatch development of the chicken. This extensive data set was used to define the contributions of microRNAs to the metabolic switch during development that is critical to growth and nutrient utilization in chickens.

RESULTS:

We found that expression of over 800 mRNAs and 30 miRNAs was altered in the embryonic liver between embryonic day 18 and posthatch day 3, and many of these differentially expressed mRNAs and miRNAs are associated with metabolic processes. We confirmed the regulation of some of these mRNAs by miRNAs expressed in a reciprocal pattern using luciferase reporter assays. Finally, through the use of yeast one-hybrid screens, we identified several proteins that likely regulate expression of one of these important miRNAs.

CONCLUSIONS:

Integration of the upstream regulatory mechanisms governing miRNA expression along with monitoring the downstream effects of this expression will ultimately allow for the construction of complete miRNA regulatory networks associated with the hepatic metabolic switch in chickens. Our findings support a key role for miRNAs in controlling the metabolic switch that occurs between embryonic and posthatch development in the chicken.

KEYWORDS:

Chicken; Genomics; Liver; Metabolism; miRNA

PMID:
28870167
PMCID:
PMC5583987
DOI:
10.1186/s12864-017-4096-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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