Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.499, No.2, 321-327, 2018
Identification and analysis of microRNAs-mRNAs pairs associated with nutritional status in seasonal sheep
Given the important role of nutritional status for reproductive performance, we aimed to explore the potential microRNA (miRNA)-mRNA pairs and their regulatory roles associated with nutritional status in seasonal reproducing sheep. Individual ewes were treated with and without 03 kg/day concentrates, and the body condition score, estrus rate, and related miRNAs and target genes were compared. A total of 261 differentially expressed miRNAs were identified, including 148 hypothalamus-expressed miRNAs and 113 ovary-expressed miRNAs, and 349 target genes were predicted to be associated with nutritional status and seasonal reproduction in sheep. Ultimately, the miR-200b-GNAQ pair was screened and validated as differentially expressed, and a dual luciferase reporter assay showed that miR-200b could bind to the 3'-untranslated region of GNAQ to mediate the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis. Thus, miR-200b and its target gene GNAQ likely represent an important negative feedback loop, providing a link between nutritional status and seasonal reproduction in sheep toward enhancing reproductive performance and productivity. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Inc.