RNA. 2010 Apr 27. [Epub ahead of print]
Use of two novel approaches to discriminate between closely related host microRNAs that are manipulated by Toxoplasma gondii during infection
Zeiner GM, Boothroyd JC.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small, endogenously encoded regulatory RNAs that function to post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression in a wide variety of eukaryotes. Within organisms, some mature miRNAs, such as paralogous miRNAs, have nearly identical nucleotide sequences, which makes them virtually indistinguishable from one another by conventional hybridization-based approaches. Here we describe two inexpensive, sensitive methods for rapidly discriminating between paralogous miRNAs or other closely related miRNAs and for quantifying their abundance. The first approach is a sequential ribonuclease-protection and primer-extension assay; the second approach is a primer-extension assay that employs short oligonucleotide probes to exacerbate the instability of mismatched probe:miRNA hybrids. Both approaches are rapid and can be easily performed in their entirety using common laboratory equipment. As a proof of concept, we have used these methods to determine the exact identities of the human miR-17 family members that are increased by infection with the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. These methods can be used to rapidly and inexpensively discriminate between any closely related miRNAs in any organism.
PMID: 20423977 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]