Identification and characterization of microRNAs by deep-sequencing in Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks

Luo, Jin; Liu, Guang-Yuan; Chen, Ze; Ren, Qiao-Yun; Yin, Hong; Luo, Jian-Xun; Wang, Hui. 2015 Identification and characterization of microRNAs by deep-sequencing in Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks. Gene, 564 (2). 125-133.

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Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum (H.a. anatolicum) (Acari: Ixodidae) ticks are globally distributed ectoparasites with veterinary and medical importance. These ticks not only weaken animals by sucking their blood but also transmit different species of parasitic protozoans. Multiple factors influence these parasitic infections including miRNAs, which are non-coding, small regulatory RNA molecules essential for the complex life cycle of parasites. To identify and characterize miRNAs in H.a. anatolicum, we developed an integrative approach combining deep sequencing, bioinformatics and real-time PCR analysis. Here we report the use of this approach to identify miRNA expression, family distribution, and nucleotide characteristics, and discovered novel miRNAs in H.a. anatolicum. The result showed that miR-1-3p, miR-275-3p, and miR-92a were expressed abundantly. There was a strong bias on miRNA, family members, and nucleotide compositions at certain positions in H.a. anatolicum miRNA. Uracil was the dominant nucleotide, particularly at positions 1, 6, 16, and 18, which were located approximately at the beginning, middle, and end of conserved miRNAs. Analysis of the conserved miRNAs indicated that miRNAs in H.a. anatolicum were concentrated along three diverse phylogenetic branches of bilaterians, insects and coelomates. Two possible roles for the use of miRNA in H.a. anatolicum could be presumed based on its parasitic life cycle: to maintain a large category of miRNA families of different animals, and/or to preserve stringent conserved seed regions with active changes in other places of miRNAs mainly in the middle and the end regions. These might help the parasite to undergo its complex life style in different hosts and adapt more readily to the host changes. The present study represents the first large scale characterization of H.a. anatolicum miRNAs, which could further the understanding of the complex biology of this zoonotic parasite, as well as initiate miRNA studies in other related species such as Haemaphysalis longicornis and Rhipicephalus sanguineus of human and animal health significance.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0378-1119
Additional Keywords: tick, Hyalomma anatolicum anatolicum (H.a. anatolicum), microRNA (miRNA), deep-sequencing
NORA Subject Terms: Health
Biology and Microbiology
Date made live: 30 Apr 2015 16:08 +0 (UTC)

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