Microarray-based analysis of cadmium-responsive microRNAs in rice (Oryza sativa).

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate specific target mRNAs at the post-transcriptional level. Plant miRNAs have been implicated in developmental processes and adaptations to environmental stresses. Cadmium (Cd) is a non-essential heavy metal that is highly toxic to plants. To investigate the responsive functions of miRNAs under Cd stress, miRNA expression in Cd-stressed rice (Oryza sativa) was profiled using a microarray assay. A total of 19 Cd-responsive miRNAs were identified, of which six were further validated experimentally. Target genes were also predicted for these Cd-responsive miRNAs, which encoded transcription factors, and proteins associated with metabolic processes or stress responses. In addition, the mRNA levels of several targets were negatively correlated with the corresponding miRNAs under Cd stress. Promoter analysis showed that metal stress-responsive cis-elements tended to occur more frequently in the promoter regions of Cd-responsive miRNAs. These findings suggested that miRNAs played an important role in Cd tolerance in rice, and highlighted a novel molecular mechanism of heavy metal tolerance in plants.

Ding Y, Chen Z, Zhu C. (2011) Microarray-based analysis of cadmium-responsive microRNAs in rice (Oryza sativa). J Exp Bot [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

Microarray-based identification of tomato microRNAs and time course analysis of their response to Cucumber mosaic virus infection.

Abstract: A large number of plant microRNAs (miRNAs) are now documented in the miRBase, among which only 30 are for Solanum lycopersicum (tomato). Clearly, there is a far-reaching need to identify and profile the expression of miRNAs in this important crop under various physiological and pathological conditions. In this study, we used an in situ synthesized custom microarray of plant miRNAs to examine the expression and temporal presence of miRNAs in the leaves of tomato plants infected with Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). Following computational sequence homology search and hairpin structure prediction, we identified three novel tomato miRNA precursor genes. Our results also show that, in accordance with the phenotype of the developing leaves, the tomato miRNAs are differentially expressed at different stages of plant development and that CMV infection can induce or suppress the expression of miRNAs as well as up-regulate some star miRNAs (miRNA*s) which are normally present at much lower levels. The results indicate that developmental anomalies elicited by virus infection may be caused by more complex biological processes.

Lang QL, Zhou XC, Zhang XL, Drabek R, Zuo ZX, Ren YL, Li TB, Chen JS, Gao XL. (2011) Microarray-based identification of tomato microRNAs and time course analysis of their response to Cucumber mosaic virus infection. J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 12(2),116-25. [abstract]

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Houston (PRWEB) March 19, 2010 — LC Sciences today announced the launch of its new Seq-Array services designed to take full advantage of both the latest deep sequencing capabilities and the proven genomics tool – microarray. This combination of technologies advances microRNA research to the next level of depth and understanding that was not possible before with either of the technologies alone. LC Sciences has been a leading provider of microRNA discovery and profiling services since 2005.  (read more)


Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas used microarray analysis to compare miRNA expression patterns of primary rat cardiomyocytes with different levels of myocardin-related transcription factors (MRTFs). MRTFs associate with serum response factor (SRF) to drive the expression of actin and other cytoskeletal protein genes. miR-145 and miR-143 were among the most strongly upregulated miRNAs in response to MRTFs, as revealed by microarray and confirmed by real-time PCR. Further study revealed that (SRF) controls the expression of miR-143 and miR-145 in smooth muscle cells, and these miRNAs, in turn, feed back to control the expression and function of multiple components of the cytoskeleton and the SRF regulatory network. This study adds to a growing body of work demonstrating the roles of miRNAs in regulating changes in gene expression and cell functions in response to injury and stress and further underscores their potential as therapeutic targets.

Xin M, Small EM, Sutherland LB, Qi X, McAnally J, Plato CF, Richardson JA, Bassel-Duby R, Olson EN.  (2009) MicroRNAs miR-143 and miR-145 modulate cytoskeletal dynamics and responsiveness of smooth muscle cells to injury.  Genes Dev 23(18),2166-178. [abstract]


New Publications

by Chris on September 17, 2009

in Publications

Yale researchers put microRNA microarrays and QPCR to work to study microRNA involvement in obesity. Their results strongly suggest that miR-27 represents a new class of adipogenic inhibitors and may play a role in the pathological development of obesity. [abstract]