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BMC Genomics. 2015 Apr 22;16:331. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-1536-y.

A novel member of the let-7 microRNA family is associated with developmental transitions in filarial nematode parasites.

Author information

1
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH, UK. alan.winter@glasgow.ac.uk.
2
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH, UK. victoria.gillan@glasgow.ac.uk.
3
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH, UK. kirsty.maitland@glasgow.ac.uk.
4
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD, UK. richard.emes@nottingham.ac.uk.
5
Advanced Data Analysis Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK. richard.emes@nottingham.ac.uk.
6
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH, UK. brett.roberts@glasgow.ac.uk.
7
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH, UK. gillian.mccormack@glasgow.ac.uk.
8
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH, UK. willie.weir@glasgow.ac.uk.
9
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1SA, UK. ap6@sanger.ac.uk.
10
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1SA, UK. neh@sanger.ac.uk.
11
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Wellcome Trust Genome Campus, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire, CB10 1SA, UK. mb4@sanger.ac.uk.
12
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH, UK. collette.britton@glasgow.ac.uk.
13
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Garscube Estate, Bearsden Road, Glasgow, G61 1QH, UK. eileen.devaney@glasgow.ac.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Filarial nematodes are important pathogens in the tropics transmitted to humans via the bite of blood sucking arthropod vectors. The molecular mechanisms underpinning survival and differentiation of these parasites following transmission are poorly understood. microRNAs are small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate target mRNAs and we set out to investigate whether they play a role in the infection event.

RESULTS:

microRNAs differentially expressed during the early post-infective stages of Brugia pahangi L3 were identified by microarray analysis. One of these, bpa-miR-5364, was selected for further study as it is upregulated ~12-fold at 24 hours post-infection, is specific to clade III nematodes, and is a novel member of the let-7 family, which are known to have key developmental functions in the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Predicted mRNA targets of bpa-miR-5364 were identified using bioinformatics and comparative genomics approaches that relied on the conservation of miR-5364 binding sites in the orthologous mRNAs of other filarial nematodes. Finally, we confirmed the interaction between bpa-miR-5364 and three of its predicted targets using a dual luciferase assay.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms underpinning the transmission of third stage larvae of filarial nematodes from vector to mammal. This study is the first to identify parasitic nematode mRNAs that are verified targets of specific microRNAs and demonstrates that post-transcriptional control of gene expression via stage-specific expression of microRNAs may be important in the success of filarial infection.

PMID:
25896062
PMCID:
PMC4428239
DOI:
10.1186/s12864-015-1536-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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