Int J Med Sci 2020; 17(12):1713-1722. doi:10.7150/ijms.46209 This issue

Research Paper

Small RNA Sequencing Reveals Transfer RNA-derived Small RNA Expression Profiles in Retinal Neovascularization

Yingqian Peng1,2, Jingling Zou1,2, Jiang-Hui Wang3,4, Huilan Zeng1,2, Wei Tan1,2, Shigeo Yoshida5, Liwei Zhang1,2, Yun Li1,2, Yedi Zhou1,2✉

1. Department of Ophthalmology, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China.
2. Hunan Clinical Research Center of Ophthalmic Disease, Changsha, Hunan 410011, China.
3. Centre for Eye Research Australia, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
4. Ophthalmology, Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne, East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
5. Department of Ophthalmology, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Fukuoka 830-0011, Japan.

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Peng Y, Zou J, Wang JH, Zeng H, Tan W, Yoshida S, Zhang L, Li Y, Zhou Y. Small RNA Sequencing Reveals Transfer RNA-derived Small RNA Expression Profiles in Retinal Neovascularization. Int J Med Sci 2020; 17(12):1713-1722. doi:10.7150/ijms.46209. Available from

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Retinal neovascularization (RNV) is characterized in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), diabetic retinopathy (DR), and retinal vein occlusion (RVO), which leads to severe vision loss and even blindness. To reveal the altered transfer RNA-derived small RNA (tsRNA)s in RNV, and to investigate the underlying mechanisms of the altered tsRNAs involved in RNV, we carried out a small RNA sequencing to profile tsRNA expressions in the retinas of mice with oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) and control mice. A total of 45 tsRNAs were significantly changed (fold change ≥ 1.5 and P < 0.05) in the retinas of OIR mice compared with controls. Validation by quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) in four selected tsRNAs was consistent with the results of small RNA sequencing. Bioinformatics analyses identified 153 altered target genes of the four validated tsRNAs. These altered target genes were largely enriched in developmental process, cell periphery and protein binding, as well as Th1 and Th2 cell differentiation pathway. Our study suggests tsRNAs play key roles in the pathogenesis of RNV, indicating their therapeutic potential to treat patients with RNV. Moreover, small RNA sequencing is a useful tool to identify changes in tsRNA expression, an important indicator of the progress of retinal diseases.

Keywords: transfer RNA-derived small RNA, small RNA sequencing, retinal neovascularization, oxygen-induced retinopathy