Tibetan minipig is an important animal model for human diseases. The anterior pituitary is the master gland responsible for growth, reproduction, and metabolism and is regulated by thousands of miRNAs/mRNAs molecules. However, little is known about miRNAs and their relationships with mRNAs in Tibetan minipig anterior pituitary.

Using microarray and mRNA-Sequencing, researchers recently identified 203 miRNAs and 12,040 mRNA transcripts from the anterior pituitary of Tibetan minipigs. These miRNAs corresponded to 194 hairpin precursors, 25 miRNA clusters and 24 miRNA families. In addition, 64 intragenic miRNAs were annotated. Using three bioinformatic algorithms (TargetScan, miRanda and RNAhybrid), 359,184 possible miRNA-mRNA interactions were predicted, and an integrated network of miRNAs and pituitary-specific mRNA transcripts was established. To validate the predicted results, degradome sequencing was employed to confirm miRNA-mRNA interactions, totally, 30 miRNA-mRNA pairs were identified.

This study provides a general overview of miRNA and mRNA annotation in Tibetan minipig anterior pituitary and established a miRNA-mRNA interactions database at the whole genome scale, which helps shed light on the molecular mechanisms in the anterior pituitary of pigs even other mammals.


RS Ye, M Li, T Chen, XC Wei, QE Qi, X Cheng et al. (2018) miRNAome, mRNAome and degradome analysis of Tibetan minipigs anterior pituitary General and Comparative Endocrinology doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2017.11.009 [abstract]

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