Large-scale discovery of previously undetected microRNAs specific to human liver


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are crucial regulators of gene expression in normal development and cellular homeostasis. While miRNA repositories contain thousands of unique sequences, they primarily contain molecules that are conserved across several tissues, largely excluding lineage and tissue-specific miRNAs. By analyzing small non-coding RNA sequencing data for abundance and secondary RNA structure, we discovered 103 miRNA candidates previously undescribed in liver tissue. While expression of some of these unannotated sequences is restricted to non-malignant tissue, downregulation of most of the sequences was detected in liver tumors, indicating their importance in the maintenance of liver homeostasis. Furthermore, target prediction revealed the involvement of the unannotated miRNA candidates in fatty-acid metabolism and tissue regeneration, which are key pathways in liver biology. Here, we provide a comprehensive analysis of the undiscovered liver miRNA transcriptome, providing new resources for a deeper exploration of organ-specific biology and disease.



Liver, Liver cancer, Non-coding RNA, Novel miRNA, Tissue specificity

Como citar

Human Genomics, v. 12, n. 1, 2018.