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On revealing the gene targets of Ebola virus microRNAs involved in the human skin microbiome.


Ebola virus, a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus, causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever and has a high mortality rate. Histopathological and immunopathological analyses of Ebola virus have revealed that histopathological changes in skin tissue are associated with various degrees of endothelial cell swelling and necrosis. The interactions of microbes within or on a host are a crucial for the skin immune shield. The discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) in Ebola virus implies that immune escape, endothelial cell rupture, and tissue dissolution during Ebola virus infection are a result of the effects of Ebola virus miRNAs. Keratinocytes obtained from normal skin can attach and spread through expression of the thrombospondin family of proteins, playing a role in initiation of cell-mediated immune responses in the skin. Several miRNAs have been shown to bind the 3' untranslated region of thrombospondin mRNA, thereby controlling its stability and translational activity. In this study, we discovered short RNA sequences that may act as miRNAs from Propionibacterium acnes using a practical workflow of bioinformatics methods. Subsequently, we deciphered the common target gene. These RNA sequences tended to bind to the same thrombospondin protein, THSD4, emphasizing the potential importance of the synergistic binding of miRNAs from Ebola virus, Propionibacterium acnes, and humans to the target. These results provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms of thrombospondin proteins and miRNAs in Ebola virus infection.


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    Department of Biomedical Electronics and Bioinformatics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


    Department of Systems Biology and Bioinformatics, National Central University, Jhongli, Taiwan.

    Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of California, San Diego, CA, United States of America.


    PeerJ 6: 2018 pg e4138

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article



    PubMed ID