Variability in porcine microRNA genes and its association with mRNA expression phenotypes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Emilio Marmol-SanchezM. Amills


Background: Mature microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in repressing the expression of a wide range of protein coding transcripts by promoting their degradation or inhibiting their translation into functional proteins. The presence of segregating polymorphisms inside miRNA loci and their corresponding 3'UTR binding sites might disrupt canonical conserved miRNA-mRNA pairing, thus modifying gene expression patterns. Results: We aimed to investigate the variability of miRNA genes and their putative binding sites by analyzing whole-genome sequences from 120 pigs and wild boars from Europe and Asia. In total, 285 SNPs residing within miRNA loci were detected. From these, 221 were located in precursor regions, whereas 52 and 12 mapped to mature and seed regions, respectively. Moreover, a total of 109,724 polymorphisms were identified in 7mer-m8 miRNA binding sites within porcine 3'UTRs. A principal components analysis revealed a clear genetic divergence between Asian and European samples, which was particularly strong for 3'UTR sequences. We also observed that miRNA genes show reduced polymorphism compared with other non-miRNA regions. To assess the potential consequences of miRNA polymorphisms, we sequenced the genomes of 5 Du...Continue Reading

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