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Genes 2017, 8(8), 191; doi:10.3390/genes8080191

Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals Extensive Changes in LncRNAs during Skeletal Muscle Development in Hu Sheep

1
Jiangsu Engineering Technology Research Center of Mutton Sheep and Goat Industry, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
2
Jiangsu Livestock Embryo Engineering Laboratory, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 24 July 2017 / Published: 1 August 2017
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Abstract

As an important type of noncoding RNA molecules, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) act as versatile players in various biological processes. However, little is known about lncRNA regulators during sheep muscle growth. To explore functional lncRNAs during sheep muscle growth, we systematically investigated lncRNAs using strand-specific Ribo-Zero RNA sequencing at three key developmental stages in Hu sheep. A total of 6924 lncRNAs were obtained, and the differentially expressed lncRNAs and genes were screened from (control vs. experiment) fetus vs. lamb, lamb vs. adult, and fetus vs. adult comparisons, respectively. The quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis results correlated well with the sequencing data. Moreover, functional annotation analysis based on the Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) databases showed that the target genes of the differentially expressed lncRNAs were significantly enriched in organ morphogenesis, skeletal system development as well as response to stimulus and some other terms related to muscle. Furthermore, a co-expression network of the differentially expressed target genes and lncRNAs was constructed and well-known muscle growth regulators such as retrotransposon-like 1 and Junctophilin-2 were included. Finally, we investigated the expression profiles of seven lncRNAs and their target genes, and found that they played vital roles in muscle growth. This study extends the sheep muscle lncRNA database and provides novel candidate regulators for future genetic and molecular studies on sheep muscle growth, which is helpful for optimizing the production of mutton. View Full-Text
Keywords: lncRNA; muscle growth; RNA-Sequencing; sheep lncRNA; muscle growth; RNA-Sequencing; sheep
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Ren, C.; Deng, M.; Fan, Y.; Yang, H.; Zhang, G.; Feng, X.; Li, F.; Wang, D.; Wang, F.; Zhang, Y. Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals Extensive Changes in LncRNAs during Skeletal Muscle Development in Hu Sheep. Genes 2017, 8, 191.

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