• Lu J, Xu D, Jiang Y, Kong S, Shen Z, Xia S, Lu L. (2017) Integrated analysis of mRNA and viral miRNAs in the kidney of Carassius auratus gibelio response to cyprinid herpesvirus 2. Scientific Reports 7(1), 13787.

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding single stranded RNAs that play crucial roles in numerous biological processes. Vertebrate herpesviruses encode multiple viral miRNAs that modulate host and viral genes. However, the roles of viral miRNAs in lower vertebrates have not been fully determined. Here, we used high-throughput sequencing to analyse the miRNA and mRNA expression profiles of Carassius auratus gibelio in response to infection by cyprinid herpesvirus 2 (CyHV-2). RNA sequencing obtained 26,664 assembled transcripts, including 2,912 differentially expressed genes. Based on small RNA sequencing and secondary structure predictions, we identified 17 CyHV-2 encoded miRNAs, among which 14 were validated by stem-loop quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and eight were validated by northern blotting. Furthermore, Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis of miRNAs-mRNA pairs revealed diverse affected immune signalling pathways, including the RIG-I-like receptor and JAK-STAT pathways. Finally, we presented four genes involved in RIG-I-like pathways, including host gene IRF3, RBMX, PIN1, viral gene ORF4, which are negatively regulated by CyHV-2 encoded miRNA miR-C4. The present study is the first to provide a comprehensive overview of viral miRNA-mRNA co-regulation, which might have a key role in controlling post-transcriptomic regulation during CyHV-2 infection.

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