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Conserved miRNAs are candidate post-transcriptional regulators of developmental arrest in free-living and parasitic nematodes

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Item Type:Article
Title:Conserved miRNAs are candidate post-transcriptional regulators of developmental arrest in free-living and parasitic nematodes
Creators Name:Ahmed, R. and Chang, Z. and Younis, A.E. and Langnick, C. and Li, N. and Chen, W. and Brattig, N. and Dieterich, C.
Abstract:Animal development is complex yet surprisingly robust. Animals may develop alternative phenotypes conditional on environmental changes. Under unfavorableconditions C. elegans larvae enter the dauer stage, a developmentally arrested, long-lived, and stress-resistant state. Dauer larvae of free-living nematodes and infective larvae of parasitic nematodes share many traits including a conserved endocrine signaling module (DAF/DAF-12), which is essential for the formation of dauer and infective larvae. We speculated that conserved post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism might also be involved in executing the dauer and infective larvae fate. We used an unbiased sequencing strategy to characterize the miRNA gene complement in C. elegans, P.pacificus, and S. ratti. Our study raised the number of described miRNA genes to 257 for C. elegans, tripled the known gene set for P. pacificus to 362 miRNAs and is the first to describe miRNAs in a Strongyloides parasite. Moreover, we found a limited core set of 24 conserved miRNA families in all three species. Interestingly, our estimated expression fold changes between dauer vs. non-dauer stages and infective larvae vs. free-living stages reveal that despite the speed of miRNA gene set evolution in nematodes, homologous gene families with conserved 'dauer-infective' expression signatures are present. These findings suggest that common post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms are at work and that the same miRNA families play important roles in developmental arrest as well as long-term survival in free-living and parasitic nematodes.
Keywords:microRNA, Nematodes, Dauer Larvae, Post-Transcriptional Regulation, Parasites, Animals, Nematoda, Rats
Source:Genome Biology and Evolution
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Page Range:1246-1260
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evt086
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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