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Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been identified to play important roles in proliferation of various cell types. However, the potential role of lncRNAs in cardiac cell proliferation has not been evaluated.
Human lncRNA Microarrays were applied to define the gene expression signatures of the fetal (13 - 17 weeks of gestation, n = 4) and adult hearts (30 - 40 years old, n = 4). Immunofiuorescent staining was used to determine the extent of cardiomyocyte proliferation in fetal and adult hearts. Pathway enrichment analysis was performed to predict the function of the differentially expressed mRNAs. The differentially expressed mRNAs related to cell proliferation were selected to construct a lncRNA-mRNA co-expression network. Eight lncRNAs were confirmed by quantificational real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
Cardiomyocyte proliferation was significant in the fetal heart. 5,738 lncRNAs and 5,547 mRNAs were found to be differentially expressed (FC ≥ 2). Cell cycle pathway was the most enriched pathway involved in the down-regulated genes in the adult heart. LncRNA-mRNA co-expression network showed that eight lncRNAs (RP11-119F7.5, AX747860, HBBP1, LINC00304, TPTE2P6, AC034193.5, XLOC_006934 and AL833346) may play a central role in the regulation of cardiac cell proliferation. The eight lncRNAs were further confirmed in six fetal hearts and six adult hearts by qRT-PCR.
These data will provide a reference for future functional studies of lncRNAs in cardiac cell proliferation.