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Title page for ETD etd-06282013-182125

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wei, Chunyao
Author's Email Address weiustc@gmail.com
URN etd-06282013-182125
Title Roles of miRNAs During Early Zebrafish Development
Degree PhD
Department Biological Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Charles K. Singleton Committee Chair
Antonis Rokas Committee Member
James G. Patton Committee Member
Lilianna Solnica-Krezel Committee Member
Wenbiao Chen Committee Member
  • zebrafish
  • miRNA
  • miR-153
  • miR-27
  • deep sequencing
  • piRNAs
  • motor neuron
  • synaptic activities
Date of Defense 2013-05-24
Availability unrestricted
microRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by specific binding to recognition elements in the 3’ untranslated regions (UTRs) of target mRNAs. In zebrafish embryonic development, miRNAs coordinately interact with many target transcripts to fin-tune overall gene expression. However, their expression profiles and critical functions during early zebrafish development remain to be elucidated. In order to understand miRNA expression and function, I first characterized the temporal expression of all miRNAs during very early zebrafish embryonic development using high-throughput sequencing and identified 8 novel miRNAs. I also identified an unexpected abundance of piRNAs during early developmental. To analyze specific targets and understand the rationale for miRNA regulation, I focused on mRNA targets for miR-153 and miR-27. I show that miR-153 regulates snap25 during synaptic transmission and motor neuron development. In addition, I also show that miR-27 targets ptk2.2 to regulate pharyngeal arch morphogenesis.
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