Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, VOLUME 115 | MARCH 2020
Original Article

Computational prediction and characterization of miRNAs and their pathway genes in human schistosomiasis caused by Schistosoma haematobium [ACCEPTED ARTICLES / PRELIMINARY VERSION]

Thaís Cunha de Sousa Cardoso, Carlos Bruno de Araújo, Laysa Gomes Portilho, Luiz GuilhermeAlves Mendes1, Tamires Caixeta Alves1, Gustavo Caetano Silva1, Thales Henrique CherubinoRibeiro2, Peterson Elizandro Gandolfi1,3, Enyara Rezende Morais1,3, Laurence Rodrigues doAmaral1,3, Matheus de Souza Gomes1,3,+

1 Federal University of Uberlandia, Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Molecular Analysis (LBAM),Federal University of Uberlandia (UFU) Campus Patos de Minas, Patos de Minas, MG, Brazil.
2 Department of Biology, Section of Plant Physiology, Laboratory of Plant Molecular Physiology(LFMP), Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), Lavras, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
3 Multidisciplinary Network of Research, Science and Technology, Federal University of Uberlandia(UFU) Campus Patos de Minas, Patos de Minas, MG, Brazil.

DOI: 10.1590/0074-02760190378

BACKGROUND: Key genes control the infectivity of the Schistosoma haematobium causingschistosomiasis. A method for understanding the regulation of these genes might help in developingnew disease strategies to control schistosomiasis, such as the silencing mediated by microRNAs(miRNAs). The miRNAs have been studied in schistosome species and they play important roles inthe post-transcriptional regulation of genes, and in parasite-host interactions. However, genome-wideidentification and characterization of novel miRNAs and their pathway genes and their geneexpression have not been explored deeply in the genome and transcriptome of S. haematobium.

OBJECTIVES: Identify and characterize mature and precursor miRNAs and their pathway genes inthe S. haematobium genome.

METHODS: Computational prediction and characterization of miRNAs and genes involved inmiRNA pathway from S. haematobium genome on Shistodb. Conserved domain analysis wasperformed using PFAM and CDD databases. A robust algorithm was applied to identify maturemiRNAs and their precursors. The characterization of the precursor miRNAs was performed usingRNAfold, RNAalifold and Perl scripts.

FINDINGS: We identified and characterized 14 putative proteins involved in miRNA pathwayincluding ARGONAUTE and DICER in S. haematobium. Besides that, 149 mature miRNAs and 131precursor miRNAs were identified in the genome including novel miRNAs.

MAIN CONCLUSIONS: miRNA pathway occurs in the S. haematobium, including endogenous miRNAs and miRNA pathway components, suggesting a role of this type of non-coding RNAs ingene regulation in the parasite. The results found in this work will open up a new avenue for studyingmiRNAs in the S. haematobium biology in helping to understand the mechanism of gene silencing inthe human parasite Schistosome.

§ Both authors contributed equally to this work.
+ Corresponding-author:
Received 14 October 2019
Accepted 02 March 2020

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