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Aberrant expression of liver microRNA in chickens infected with subgroup J avian leukosis virus

Li, Hongmei, Ji, Jun, Xie, Qingmei, Shang, Huiqin, Zhang, Huanmin, Xin, Xuegang, Chen, Feng, Sun, Baoli, Xue, Chunyi, Ma, Jingyun, Bi, Yingzuo
Virus Research 2012 v.169 pp. 268
Avian leukosis virus, carcinogenicity, chickens, epigenetics, gene expression, genes, liver, microRNA, microarray technology, neoplasms, poultry industry, receptors, United States
Subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) is an oncogenic retrovirus primarily causing myeloid leukosis (ML) in broilers. Although ALV is well under control in a few countries including the USA, poultry industry in many parts of the world continues suffering from serious economic loss due to sporadic or widespread ALV infection, especially ALV-J infection. ALV-J infection of chickens is reportedly mediated by a cellular receptor. So far, however, no genetic variant of the receptor gene that confers resistance to ALV-J has been identified. To advance our understanding on epigenetic factors that are involved in the event of ALV-J infection, we examined the expression of miRNAs in livers of 10-week-old chickens uninfected or infected with ALV-J by miRNA microarray analysis. Our data showed there were 12 miRNAs differentially expressed in liver between the uninfected and infected groups (P < 0.01). Of which, the expressions of seven miRNAs (gga-mir-221, gga-mir-222, gga-mir-1456, gga-mir-1704, gga-mir-1777, gga-mir-1790, and gga-mir-2127,) were upregulated by ALV-J infection and may be involved in oncogenicity. The other five miRNAs (gga-let-7b, gga-let-7i, gga-mir-125b, gga-mir-375, and gga-mir-458) were significantly downregulated. The downregulated miRNAs may play important roles in tumor suppression. This finding paves the way for further exploration of epigenetic influence on tumorigenicity upon ALV-J infection.