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Viruses 2019, 11(2), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11020162

Integrated MicroRNA and mRNA Profiling in Zika Virus-Infected Neurons

1
Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
2
Department of Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 16 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances on Zika Virus Research)
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Abstract

Zika virus (ZIKV) infections have caused a wide spectrum of neurological diseases, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, myelitis, meningoencephalitis, and congenital microcephaly. No effective therapies currently exist for treating patients infected with ZIKV. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small RNAs involved in the regulation of a wide variety of cellular and physiological processes. In this study, we analyzed digital miRNA and mRNA profiles in ZIKV-infected primary mouse neurons using the nCounter technology. A total of 599 miRNAs and 770 mRNAs were examined. We demonstrate that ZIKV infection causes global downregulation of miRNAs with only few upregulated miRNAs. ZIKV-modulated miRNAs including miR-155, miR-203, miR-29a, and miR-124-3p are known to play critical role in flavivirus infection, anti-viral immunity and brain injury. ZIKV infection also results in downregulation of miRNA processing enzymes. In contrast, ZIKV infection induces dramatic upregulation of anti-viral, inflammatory and apoptotic genes. Furthermore, our data demonstrate an inverse correlation between ZIKV-modulated miRNAs and target host mRNAs induced by ZIKV. Biofunctional analysis revealed that ZIKV-modulated miRNAs and mRNAs regulate the pathways related to neurological development and neuroinflammatory responses. Functional studies targeting specific miRNA are warranted to develop therapeutics for the management of ZIKV neurological disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: Zika virus; flavivirus; microRNAs; neurons; neuroinflammation; anti-viral immunity Zika virus; flavivirus; microRNAs; neurons; neuroinflammation; anti-viral immunity
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Azouz, F.; Arora, K.; Krause, K.; Nerurkar, V.R.; Kumar, M. Integrated MicroRNA and mRNA Profiling in Zika Virus-Infected Neurons. Viruses 2019, 11, 162.

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