Genome-wide prediction of microRNAs in Zika virus genomes reveals possible interactions with human genes involved in the nervous system development

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Juan CristinaPilar Moreno


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the family Flaviviridae. In 2015, ZIKV triggered a large epidemic in Brazil and spread across Latin America. In November of that year, the Brazilian Ministry of Health reported a 20-fold increase in cases of neonatal microcephaly, which corresponds geographically and temporally to the ZIKV outbreak. ZIKV was isolated from the brain tissue of a fetus diagnosed with microcephaly, and recent studies in mice models revealed that ZIKV infection may cause brain defects by influencing brain cell developments. Unfortunately, the mechanisms by which ZIKV alters neurophysiological development remain unknown. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate post-transcriptional gene expression by translational repression. In order to gain insight into the possible role of ZIKV-mediated miRNA signaling dysfunction in brain-tissue development, we computationally predicted new miRNAs encoded by the ZIKV genome and their effective hybridization with transcripts from human genes previously shown to be involved in microcephalia. The results of these studies suggest a possible role of these miRNAs on the expression of human genes associated with this disease. Besides, a new ZIKV miRNA was predicted in th...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Genome-Wide Association Study
Untranslated Regions
Entire Fetus
RNA, Untranslated
Nucleic Acid Hybridization Procedure
Transcription, Genetic
Neurological System Process

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