Identification and characterization of immune-related microRNAs in blunt snout bream, Megalobrama amblycephala.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play vital roles in diverse biological processes, including in immune response. Blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala) is a prevalent and important commercial endemic freshwater fish species in China's intensive polyculture systems. To identify immune-related miRNAs of M. amblycephala, two small RNA (sRNA) libraries from immune tissues with or without lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation were constructed and sequenced using the high-throughput sequencing technology. Totally, 16,425,543 and 15,076,813 raw reads, corresponding to 14,156,755 and 13,445,869 clean reads, were obtained in the normal and infected libraries, respectively. A total of 324 miRNAs, including 218 known miRNAs and 106 putative novel miRNAs were identified by bioinformatic analysis. We analyzed differentially expressed miRNAs between two libraries using pairwise comparison. 113 (34.88%) miRNAs were found to be significantly differentially expressed between two libraries, with 63 (55.75%) exhibiting elevated expression in LPS stimulation sample. Thereinto, a number of known miRNAs were identified immune-related. Real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) were implemented for 12 miRNAs of two samples, and agreement was confirmed between the sequencing and RT-qPCR data. Target genes likely regulated by these differentially expressed miRNAs were predicted using computational prediction. The functional annotation of target genes by Gene Ontology enrichment (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analysis (KEGG) indicated that a majority of differential miRNAs might involved in immune response. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive study of miRNAs in response to LPS stimulation in M. amblycephala, even in fish. These results deepened our understanding of the role of miRNAs in the intricate host's immune system, and should be useful to develop new control strategies for host immune defense against various bacterial invasions in M. amblycephala.