• Li Z, Zhang Y, Li Y, Zheng H, Zheng Y, Liu C. (2014) Distinct expression pattern of miRNAs in Marek’s disease virus infected-chicken splenic tumors and non-tumorous spleen tissues. Research in Veterinary Science 97(1), 156-161.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNA molecules that regulate gene expression. Emerging evidence suggests that differential miRNA expression is associated with viral infection and tumorigenesis. Recently discovered microRNAs in the Marek’s disease virus (MDV) genome have been suggested to have regulatory roles during MDV oncogenesis. To gain more insight into the molecular mechanisms of the tumorigenesis of MDV, we used microarrays to screen host and viral miRNAs that were sensitive to infection by MDV. Microarray analysis showed significant differential expression of 79 miRNAs, which was confirmed by qRT-PCR analysis. These data suggest that differentially expressed miRNAs may have major roles in MDV-induced tumorigenesis. In addition, we found two clades of chicken miRNAs had increased expression in splenic tumors and non-tumorous spleen tissues from GA-infected chickens. Thus, the expression of these miRNAs can be considered signatures for MDV infection and tumorigenesis.

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