MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of non-coding small RNAs that play important roles in the regulation of gene expression. Although animal miRNAs have been extensively studied in model systems, less is known in other animal with limited genome sequence data, including Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus). To increase our understanding of physiological function in this endangered urodele amphibian, researchers from Henan University of Science and Technology sought to identify the full repertoire of miRNAs expressed in the liver, spleen and muscle of A. davidianus.

In their study, three independent small RNA libraries were constructed from the liver, spleen and muscle of A. davidianus. The libraries were subjected to high-throughput sequencing by using the Illumina deep sequencing. As a result, a total of 12,831,239, 13,592,195 and 9,887,531 raw reads representing 2,240,771, 1,363,266 and 1,964,252 clean reads per library were obtained separately. Through bioinformatics analysis, they identified a total of 553 known miRNAs and 44 putative novel miRNAs in our small RNA dataset from liver, spleen and muscle tissues. Five known miRNAs (gga-miR-10a-5p, pma-miR-29d-5p, aca-miR-338-3p, hsa-miR-455-3p and ssa-miR-2184-5p_R-1) and three novel miRNAs (PC-5p-891_1763, PC-5p-32538_50 and PC-3p-33645_48) showed different expression in eight different tissues as revealed by stem-loop qPCR analysis.

This study characterized the miRNA of A. davidianus for the first time, which provides an opportunity for further understanding of miRNA regulation function in a species which has been ranked as living fossils.



Y. Huang, H. Tao Ren, J. Li Xiong, X. Chan Gao, X. Hong Sun (2017) Identification and characterization of known and novel microRNAs in three tissues of Chinese giant salamander base on deep sequencing approach Genomics doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2017.04.007 [abstract]

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