Ischemic Stroke Alters the Expression of the Transcribed Ultraconserved Regions of the Genome in Rat Brain
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Background and Purpose—Human and rodent genomes diverged ≈75 million years ago. However, 481 regions of their genomes (200–779 nucleotide each) remained absolutely conserved and form noncoding RNAs known as transcribed ultraconserved regions (T-UCRs). The functional significance of T-UCRs is not apparent, but their altered expression is associated with many diseases, and thus thought to be critical for life. We presently investigated the poststroke temporal changes in the expression of T-UCRs with potential functional significance.
Methods—Male, spontaneously hypertensive rats were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Expression profile of T-UCRs was determined at 3, 6, and 12 hours of reperfusion using microarrays and real-time polymerase chain reaction in the peri-infarct cortex. The putative functional significance of stroke-responsive T-UCRs was identified by bioinformatics.
Results—Ischemia altered expression of 69 T-UCRs at ≥1 time points of reperfusion compared with sham. Poststroke expression of the intragenic T-UCRs is independent of the expression of their parent gene mRNAs. Bioinformatics showed that the upstream/downstream and the parent genes of the T-UCRs modulate several biological and molecular functions, including metabolism, response to stimuli, cell communication, protein and nucleic acid binding.
Conclusions—This first report shows that ischemic stroke temporally alters the noncoding ultraconserved RNAs in spontaneously hypertensive rats, but their functional significance is yet to be evaluated.
- Received October 27, 2017.
- Revision received February 2, 2018.
- Accepted February 15, 2018.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.