Identification and characterization of lipid metabolism-related microRNAs in the liver of genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT, Oreochromis niloticus) by deep sequencing

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2017 Oct;69:227-235. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2017.08.023. Epub 2017 Aug 31.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play vital roles in modulating diverse metabolic processes in the liver, including lipid metabolism. Genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT, Oreochromis niloticus), an important aquaculture species in China, is susceptible to hepatic steatosis when reared in intensive culture systems. To investigate the miRNAs involved in GIFT lipid metabolism, two hepatic small RNA libraries from high-fat diet-fed and normal-fat diet-fed GIFT were constructed and sequenced using high-throughput sequencing technology. A total of 204 known and 56 novel miRNAs were identified by aligning the sequencing data with known Danio rerio miRNAs listed in miRBase 21.0. Six known miRNAs (miR-30a-5p, miR-34a, miR-145-5p, miR-29a, miR-205-5p, and miR-23a-3p) that were differentially expressed between the high-fat diet and normal-fat diet groups were validated by quantitative real-time PCR. Bioinformatics tools were used to predict the potential target genes of these differentially expressed miRNAs, and Gene Ontology enrichment analysis indicated that these miRNAs may play important roles in diet-induced hepatic steatosis in GIFT. Our results provide a foundation for further studies of the role of miRNAs in tilapia lipid homeostasis regulation, and may help to identify novel targets for therapeutic interventions to reduce the occurrence of fatty liver disease in farmed tilapia.

Keywords: GIFT; Hepatic steatosis; Lipid metabolism; MicroRNA.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • Cichlids / genetics*
  • Cichlids / immunology
  • Cichlids / metabolism
  • Computational Biology
  • Diet, High-Fat / veterinary
  • Gene Library
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / veterinary
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / immunology
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism


  • MicroRNAs