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Differentially expressed JAK-STAT signaling pathway genes and target microRNAs in the spleen of necrotic enteritis-afflicted chicken lines

Truong, Anh Duc, Rengaraj, Deivendran, Hong, Yeojin, Hoang, Cong Thanh, Hong, Yeong Ho, Lillehoj, Hyun S.
Research in veterinary science 2017 v.115 pp. 235-243
Clostridium perfringens, Eimeria maxima, apoptosis, bioinformatics, cell proliferation, chickens, disease resistance, gene expression regulation, genes, immune response, innate immunity, microRNA, mixed infection, necrotic enteritis, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis, signal transduction, spleen
The JAK signal transducer and STAT signaling pathway is an important regulator of cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, motility, apoptosis, immune response, and development. In this study, we used RNA-Sequencing, qRT-PCR, and bioinformatics tools to investigate the differential expression of JAK-STAT pathway genes, their interactions, and regulators in the spleen of two genetically disparate chicken lines (Marek's disease-resistant line 6.3 and MD-susceptible line 7.2) induced necrotic enteritis (NE) disease by co-infection with Eimeria maxima and Clostridium perfringens. Using RNA-Seq analysis, we identified a total of 116 JAK-STAT pathway genes that were differentially expressed in the spleen of these chickens. All of the identified genes were analyzed through clustering, mapping to the KEGG chicken JAK-STAT pathway, and the Pathway Studio program. Of the 116 JAK-STAT pathway genes, 20 were further verified by qRT-PCR. According to the RNA-Seq results, several key genes, including STAT1–6, JAK1–3, TYK2, AKT1, AKT3, SOCS1–5, PIAS1, PIAS2, PIAS4, SHP1, SHP2, and PIK3, showed marked differential expression in the two lines, relative to their respective controls. Moreover, the RNA-Seq results of many key genes were highly correlated with the qRT-PCR results. Finally, we predicted 63 mature miRNAs that variably target JAK-STAT pathway genes and are differentially expressed in the spleen of chickens of both lines. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to analyze most of the genes, interactions, and regulators of the JAK-STAT pathway in the innate immune response to NE disease in chickens.