In a recent study, a small-RNA cDNA library was constructed and sequenced from skin of A. davidianus. A total of 513 conserved miRNAs belonging to 174 families were identified. The remaining 108 miRNAs we identified were novel and likely to be skin tissue-specific but were expressed at low levels. The presence of randomly selected 15 miRNAs identified and their expression in eight different tissues from A. davidianus were validated by stem-loop qRT-PCR. For better understanding the functions of miRNAs, 129,791 predicated target genes were analyzed by GO and their pathways illustrated by KEGG pathway analyses.
The results show that these identified miRNAs from A. davidianus skin are involved in a broad range of physiological functions including metabolism, growth, development, and immune responses. This study exhaustively identifies miRNAs and their target genes, which will ultimately pave the way for understanding their role in skin of A. davidianus and other amphibians. Further studies are necessary to better understand miRNA-mediated gene regulation.