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Analysis of highly expressed miRNAs in the heart of Nile Tilapia using bioinformatics

Grant number: 14/08420-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2014
Effective date (End): July 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal Investigator:Danillo Pinhal
Grantee:Arthur Casulli de Oliveira
Supervisor abroad: Simon Moxon
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IBB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Genome Analysis Centre, England  
Associated to the scholarship:13/03644-6 - Analysis of miRNA transcriptome in the cardiac muscle of Nile Tilapia fish using RNA-seq and comparative genomics, BP.IC

Abstract

The heart has undergone several morphological changes leading to an increased functional complexity during vertebrate evolution. Currently, such differences in morphological complexity are recognized as being a result of distinct expression profiles of protein-coding and regulatory non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) genes. Among ncRNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been described as key micromanagers in several biological processes, including regulation of genes associated to heart development and maintenance. This abundant class of small RNAs acts by silencing target genes, thus ultimately inhibiting protein function. In this sense, the study of heart miRNAs in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), whose whole genome has been fully sequenced, can be useful for unveiling the genomic organization, the expression levels and the evolutiony dinamics of miRNAs in vertebrates, as well as allow the discovery of novel miRNAs with unknown functions. In our ongoing work (FAPESP - 13/03644-6) by using RNA-seq and bioinformatics we have found more than a hundred miRNAs expressed in the heart of Nile tilapia. We then identified a suit of ten highly expressed miRNAs, which suggest they play crucial roles in regulatory pathways of cardiac cells. In this project, to be developed at the TGAC Centre, UK, we propose to perform a deep analysis of these highly expressed miRNAs in order to identify their targets and determine target genes genomic organization and prospective regulatory networks by using robust and up-to-date bioinformatics tools and pipelines. Prospective outcomes will be useful as the start point for validating bona-fide miRNA-to-target interactions through functional reverse genetics experiments. (AU)

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