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Quantitative Analysis of miRNA Expression in Seven Human Foetal and Adult Organs

Public Library of Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028730
  • Research Article
  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Nucleic Acids
  • Rna
  • Biophysics
  • Computational Biology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics
  • Epigenetics
  • Rna Interference
  • Molecular Cell Biology
  • Physics


miRNAs have been found to repress gene expression at posttranscriptional level in cells. Studies have shown that expression of miRNAs is tissue-specific and developmental-stage-specific. The mechanism behind this could be explained by miRNA pathways. In this study, totally 54 miRNAs were analysed in 7 matched human foetal and adult organs (brain, colon, heart, kidney, liver, lung and spleen) using real-time PCR. Quantitative analysis showed that a big proportion of the 54 miRNAs have higher general expression in the organs of the foetal period than the adult period, with the exception of the heart. The miRNA gene promoter methylation level in the adult stages was higher than in the foetal stages. Moreover, there is a high general expression level of several miRNAs in both stages of brain, kidney, liver, lung and spleen, but not seen in colon and heart. Our results indicate that the miRNAs may play a bigger role in the foetal stage than the adult stage of brain, colon, kidney, liver, lung and spleen. The majority of the miRNAs analysed may play an important role in the growth and development of brain, kidney, liver, lung and spleen. However, a minority of the miRNAs may be functional in colon and heart.

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