Identification of the MicroRNA Repertoire in TLR-Ligand Challenged Bubaline PBMCs as a Model of Bacterial and Viral Infection

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Identification of the MicroRNA Repertoire in TLR-Ligand Challenged Bubaline PBMCs as a Model of Bacterial and Viral Infection

  • Chandra Mukhopadhyay
  • Jasdeep Singh
  • C. S. Mukhopadhyay
  • Simarjeet Kaur
  • Puneet Malhotra
  • R. S. Sethi
  • R. K. Choudhary
Published Article
Publication Date
June 2016
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156598


In the present study, we used high-throughput sequencing, miRNA-seq, to discover and explore the expression profiles of known and novel miRNAs in TLR ligand-stimulated vis-à-vis non-stimulated (i.e. Control) peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from blood of healthy Murrah buffaloes. Six small RNA (sRNA) libraries were multiplexed in Ion Torrent PI chip and sequenced on Ion Proton System. The reads obtained were aligned to the Bos taurus genome (UMD3.1 assembly), which is phylogenetically closest species to buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). A total of 160 bovine miRNAs were biocomputationally identified in buffalo PBMCs and 130 putatively novel miRNAs (not enlisted in the bovine mirBase) were identified. All of these 290 miRNAs identified across the six treatment and control samples represent the repertoire of novel miRNAs for the buffalo species. The expression profiles of these miRNAs across the samples have been represented by sample dendrogram and heatmap plots. The uniquely expressed miRNAs in each treatment and control groups were identified. A few miRNAs were expressed at very high levels while the majority of them were moderately expressed. The miRNAs bta-miR-103 and -191 were found to be highly abundant and expressed in all the samples. Other abundantly expressed miRNAs include bta-miR-19b, -29b, -15a, -19a, -30d, -30b-5p and members of let family (let 7a-5p, let 7g & let 7f) in LPS and CpG treated PBMCS and bta-miR-191, -103 & -19b in Poly I:C stimulated PBMCs. Only one novel miRNA (bta-miR-11039) out of 130 identified putatively novel miRNAs, was expressed in all the six samples and differentially expressed (>2- fold) miRNAs were identified. Six of the differentially expressed miRNAs across the groups (bta-miR-421, bta-let-7i, bta-miR-138, bta-miR-21-5p, bta-miR-222 and bta-miR-27b) were subsequently confirmed by TaqMan quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Furthermore, the target genes of differentially expressed miRNAs were enriched for the roles in innate immunity and TLR signaling pathways. This maiden study on profiling and cataloguing of bubaline miRNAs expressed in TLR-ligand stimulated PBMCs will provide an important reference point for future studies on regulatory roles of miRNAs in immune system of buffaloes.


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