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Computational prediction of microRNA targets of ion channels and aquaporins in Aedes aegypti

 AU-KBC Research Centre, Madras Institute of Technology, Anna University, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
Kavitha Sankaranarayanan,
AU-KBC Research Centre, MIT Campus of Anna University, Chrompet, Chennai–600044
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.308801

Background & objectives: Ion channels and water channel aquaporins are ubiquitous in most life forms and responsible for several physiological functions. Sanguivorous insects, like the mosquitoes also have ion channels which regulate many pivotal cellular processes. Alterations of ion channel/AQPs can have profound impact on mosquito physiology. The miRNAs, a newly discovered class of regulators in the gene network, can fine tune the expression of ion channel genes and this is of growing interest in research for the treatment of various channelopathies. In the present study, we tried to predict the miRNA targets of different types of ion channels and aquaporins of Aedes aegypti mosquito using in silico approaches. Methods: The list of Ae. aegypti ion channels and aquaporin genes and their sequences were retrieved from TransportDB and FlyBase databases. The miRNA sequences were retrieved from the miRBase. The miRNA targets of each channel gene were predicted using RNA22 v2 algorithm. Results: The miRNA targets of 198 ion channel genes (including potassium channels, sodium channels, calcium channels, chloride channels and several non-selective cation channels) and six aquaporin genes were predicted. Interpretation & conclusion: The results of the present study showed that each ion channel has many miRNA targets and a single miRNA can target multiple ion channel genes. Few miRNAs are specific for channel types, e.g. mir-31 targets most of the calcium ion channels; miR31 and mir-276-2 target multiple sodium channels. The present study can be considered as a leading step in the initiation of a miRNA database construction, exclusively for mosquito ion channels.

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