Background: MiRNAs are essential regulators of skeletal muscle development and homeostasis. To date, the role and regulation of miRNAs in myogenesis have been mostly studied in tissue culture and during embryogenesis. However, little information relating to miRNA regulation during early post-natal skeletal muscle growth in mammals is available. Using a high-throughput miRNA qPCR-based array, followed by stringent statistical and bioinformatics analysis, we describe the expression pattern and putative role of 768 miRNAs in the quadriceps muscle of mice aged 2days, 2weeks, 4weeks and 12weeks. Results: Forty-six percent of all measured miRNAs were expressed in mouse quadriceps muscle during the first 12weeks of life. We report unprecedented changes in miRNA expression levels over time. The expression of a majority of miRNAs significantly decreased with post-natal muscle maturation in vivo. MiRNA clustering identified 2 subsets of miRNAs that are potentially involved in cell proliferation and differentiation, mainly via the regulation of non-muscle specific targets. Conclusion: Collective miRNA expression in mouse quadriceps muscle is subjected to substantial levels of regulation during the first 12weeks of age. This study identified a new suite of highly conserved miRNAs that are predicted to influence early muscle development. As such it provides novel knowledge pertaining to post-natal myogenesis and muscle regeneration in mammals.
Lamon, S., Zacharewicz, E., Butchart, L. C., Orellana, L., Mikovic, J., Grounds, M. D., & Russell, A. P. (2017). MicroRNA expression patterns in post-natal mouse skeletal muscle development. BMC Genomics, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-3399-2