Recent research has highlighted roles for non-coding RNA i7n the regulation of stress tolerance in bats. In this study, we propose that microRNA could also play an important role in neuronal maintenance during hibernation. To explore this possibility, RT-PCR was employed to investigate the expression of eleven microRNAs from the brain tissue of euthermic control and torpid bats. Results show that eight microRNAs (miR-21, -29b, -103, -107, -124a, -132, -183 and -501) increased (1.2-1.9 fold) in torpid bats, while the protein expression of Dicer, a microRNA processing enzyme, did not significantly change during torpor. Bioinformatic analysis of the differentially expressed microRNA suggests that these microRNAs are mainly involved in two processes: (1) focal adhesion and (2) axon guidance. To determine the extent of microRNA sequence conservation in the bat, we successfully identified bat microRNA from sequence alignments against known mouse (Mus musculus) microRNA. We successfully identified 206 conserved pre-microRNA sequences, leading to the identification of 344 conserved mature microRNA sequences. Sequence homology of the identified sequences was found to be 94.76. ±. 3.95% and 98.87. ±. 2.24% for both pre- and mature microRNAs, respectively. Results suggest that brain function related to the differentiation of neurons and adaptive neuroprotection may be under microRNA control during bat hibernation.

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Keywords C/EBP, Dicer, KEGG, Limk1, MAPK, MdDA, Metabolic rate depression, MiR, Non-coding RNA, PVDF, Torpor
Persistent URL
Journal Gene
Biggar, K.K, & Storey, K. (2014). Identification and expression of microRNA in the brain of hibernating bats, Myotis lucifugus. Gene, 544(1), 67–74. doi:10.1016/j.gene.2014.04.048