Assessing the effect of the CLPG mutation on the microRNA catalog of skeletal muscle using high-throughput sequencing

Genome Res. 2010 Dec;20(12):1651-62. doi: 10.1101/gr.108787.110. Epub 2010 Oct 13.


The callipyge phenotype is a monogenic muscular hypertrophy that is only expressed in heterozygous sheep receiving the CLPG mutation from their sire. The wild-type phenotype of CLPG/CLPG animals is thought to result from translational inhibition of paternally expressed DLK1 transcripts by maternally expressed miRNAs. To identify the miRNA responsible for this trans effect, we used high-throughput sequencing to exhaustively catalog miRNAs expressed in skeletal muscle of sheep of the four CLPG genotypes. We have identified 747 miRNA species of which 110 map to the DLK1-GTL2 or callipyge domain. We demonstrate that the latter are imprinted and preferentially expressed from the maternal allele. We show that the CLPG mutation affects their level of expression in cis (∼3.2-fold increase) as well as in trans (∼1.8-fold increase). In CLPG/CLPG animals, miRNAs from the DLK1-GTL2 domain account for ∼20% of miRNAs in skeletal muscle. We show that the CLPG genotype affects the levels of A-to-I editing of at least five pri-miRNAs of the DLK1-GTL2 domain, but that levels of editing of mature miRNAs are always minor. We present suggestive evidence that the miRNAs from the domain target the ORF of DLK1, thereby causing the trans inhibition underlying polar overdominance. We highlight the limitations of high-throughput sequencing for digital gene expression profiling as a result of biased and inconsistent amplification of specific miRNAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Genotype
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscular Diseases / genetics
  • Muscular Diseases / veterinary*
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Phenotype*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases / genetics*
  • Silencer Elements, Transcriptional / genetics*


  • MicroRNAs

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF354168
  • GEO/GSE24146