MicroRNAs: Potentially important regulators for schistosome development and therapeutic targets against schistosomiasis
ABSTRACT MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, endogenous non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by targeting the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) of messenger RNAs. Since the discovery of the first miRNA in Caenorhabditis elegans, important regulatory roles for miRNAs in many key biological processes including development, cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis of many organisms have been described. Hundreds of miRNAs have been identified in various multicellular organisms and many are evolutionarily conserved. Schistosomes are multi-cellular eukaryotes with a complex life-cycle that require genes to be expressed and regulated precisely. Recently, miRNAs have been identified in two major schistosome species, Schistosoma japonicum and S. mansoni. These miRNAs are likely to play critical roles in schistosome development and gene regulation. Here, we review recent studies on schistosome miRNAs and discuss the potential roles of miRNAs in schistosome development and gene regulation. We also summarize the current status for targeting miRNAs and the potential of this approach for therapy against schistosomiasis.
- Parasitology 04/2012; 139(5):557-9. DOI:10.1017/S0031182012000108 · 2.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) as small non-coding RNAs play important roles in many biological processes such as development, cell signaling and immune response. Small RNA deep sequencing technology provided an opportunity for a thorough survey of miRNAs in a global key pest Plutella xylostella as well as comparative analysis of miRNA expression profile of the insect in association with parasitization by Diadegma semiclausum. Combining the deep sequencing data and bioinformatics, 235 miRNAs were identified from P. xylostella. Differential expression of host cellular miRNAs in response to parasitism was examined by making small RNA libraries from parasitized and naive second instar larvae of P. xylostella. Bantam, miR-276*, miR-10, miR-31 and miR-184 were detected as five most abundant miRNAs in both libraries and 96 miRNAs were identified that were differentially expressed after parasitization. Bantam*, miR-184 and miR-281* were significantly down-regulated and two miRNAs miR-279b and miR-2944b* were highly induced in parasitized larvae. Interestingly, high copy numbers and differential expression of several miRNA passenger strands (miRNA*) suggest their potential roles in host-parasitoid interaction. In conclusion, expression profiling of miRNAs provided insights into their possible involvement in insect immune response to parasitism and offer an important resource for further studies.Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 04/2013; 43(4). DOI:10.1016/j.ibmb.2013.01.004 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: SUMMARY Circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) have received considerable attention as a novel class of biomarkers for the diagnosis of cancer and as signalling molecules in mediating intercellular communication. Schistosomes, the causative agents of schistosomiasis, live in the blood vessels of a mammalian host in the adult stage. In the present study, we characterized schistosome-specific small RNA populations in the plasma of rabbits infected with Schistosoma japonicum (S. japonicum) using a deep sequencing method and then identified five schistosome-specific miRNAs, including four known miRNAs (Bantam, miR-3479, miR-10 and miR-3096), and one novel miRNA (miR-0001, miRBase ID: sja-miR-8185). Four of the five schistosome-specific miRNAs were also detected by real-time RT-PCR in the plasma of S. japonicum-infected mice. In addition, our study indicated that schistosome Argonaute 2/3 may be an excretory-secretory (ES) protein. In summary, our findings are expected to provide useful information for further development of novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis and also for deeper understanding of the mechanism of host-parasite interaction.Parasitology 08/2013; 140(14):1-11. DOI:10.1017/S0031182013000917 · 2.35 Impact Factor