Image_2_Comprehensive MicroRNA Expression Profile of the Mammary Gland in Lactating Dairy Cows With Extremely Different Milk Protein and Fat Percentag.TIF (266.05 kB)

Image_2_Comprehensive MicroRNA Expression Profile of the Mammary Gland in Lactating Dairy Cows With Extremely Different Milk Protein and Fat Percentages.TIF

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posted on 03.12.2020, 05:06 by Xiaogang Cui, Shengli Zhang, Qin Zhang, Xiangyu Guo, Changxin Wu, Mingze Yao, Dongxiao Sun

A total of 31 differentially expressed genes in the mammary glands were identified in our previous study using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq), for lactating cows with extremely high and low milk protein and fat percentages. To determine the regulation of milk composition traits, we herein investigated the expression profiles of microRNA (miRNA) using small RNA sequencing based on the same samples as in the previous RNA-Seq experiment. A total of 497 known miRNAs (miRBase, release 22.1) and 49 novel miRNAs among the reads were identified. Among these miRNAs, 71 were found differentially expressed between the high and low groups (p < 0.05, q < 0.05). Furthermore, 21 of the differentially expressed genes reported in our previous RNA-Seq study were predicted as target genes for some of the 71 miRNAs. Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analyses showed that these targets were enriched for functions such as metabolism of protein and fat, and development of mammary gland, which indicating the critical role of these miRNAs in regulating the formation of milk protein and fat. With dual luciferase report assay, we further validated the regulatory role of 7 differentially expressed miRNAs through interaction with the specific sequences in 3′UTR of the targets. In conclusion, the current study investigated the complexity of the mammary gland transcriptome in dairy cattle using small RNA-seq. Comprehensive analysis of differential miRNAs expression and the data from previous study RNA-seq provided the opportunity to identify the key candidate genes for milk composition traits.

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