Computational identification of microRNAs in Anatid herpesvirus 1 genome
1 Institute of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Wenjiang, Chengdu city, Sichuan, 611130, People’s Republic of China
2 Avian Disease Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine of Sichuan Agricultural University, 46 Xinkang Road, Ya’an, Sichuan, 625014, People’s Republic of China
3 Key Laboratory of Animal Disease and Human Health of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Agricultural University, Wenjiang, Chengdu city, Sichuan, 611130, People’s Republic of China
Virology Journal 2012, 9:93 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-93Published: 14 May 2012
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of short (~22 nt) noncoding RNAs that specifically regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. miRNA precursors (pre-miRNAs), which are imperfect stem loop structures of ~70 nt, are processed into mature miRNAs by cellular RNases III. To date, thousands of miRNAs have been identified in different organisms. Several viruses have been reported to encode miRNAs.
Here, we extended the analysis of miRNA-encoding potential to the Anatid herpesvirus 1 (AHV-1). Using computational approaches, we found that AHV-1 putatively encodes 12 mature miRNAs. We then compared the 12 mature miRNAs candidates with the all known miRNAs of the herpesvirus family. Interestingly, the “seed sequences” (nt 2 to 8) of 2 miRNAs were predicted to have the high conservation in position and/or sequence with the 2 miRNAs of Marek’s disease virus type 1 (MDV-1). Additionally, we searched the targets from viral mRNAs.
Using computational approaches, we found that AHV-1 putatively encodes 12 mature miRNAs and 2 miRNAs have the high conservation with the 2 miRNAs of MDV-1. The result suggested that AHV-1 and MDV-1 should have closed evolutionary relation, which provides a valuable evidence of classification of AHV-1. Additionally, seven viral gene targets were found, which suggested that AHV-1 miRNAs could affect its own gene expression.