Identification and characterization of a new long noncoding RNA iab-1 in the Hox cluster of silkworm, Bombyx mori identification of iab-1.J Cell Biochem. 2019 10; 120(10):17283-17292.JC
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) areinvolvedin a variety of biological processes. In silkworm, numerous lncRNAs have been predicted through deep transcriptome sequencing, but no functional role has been experimentally validated yet. Here, we characterized a new lncRNA iab-1 that was mainly encoded by the intergenic region between Bmabd-A and Bmabd-B in the Homeobox (Hox) cluster of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. More than seven alternative splicing isoforms of lncRNA iab-1 were cloned, which were subgrouped into types 1 and 2 based on the location of the 3'-ends. The iab-1 was expressed at a low level, but the expression of iab-1 peaked at several specific development stages, including 3 to 4 days during the embryonic stage, stages before fourth molting, and the sixth hour after the fourth molting, and early stages during metamorphosis. It was highly expressed in the nervus and epidermis, especially the epidermis of the posterior abdomen at the fourth instar premolting stage. The relationship between iab-1 and nearby Hox genes was analyzed at different developmental stages. Iab-1 expression was highly associated with Bmabd-A as well as Bmabd-B in the embryonic and larval stages, while this association was decreased at the metamorphic stage; iab-1 expression was highly associated with BmUbx only in the embryonic stage. Downregulation of iab-1 expression by small interfering RNA led to the death of most of the treated individuals at the larval stage, suggesting that iab-1 transcript expression might be involved in certain relevant physiological processes. The expression of Bmabd-A and Bmabd-B did not change in iab-1 downregulated individuals, indicating that the relevance between the two genes and iab-1 was not induced by iab-1 transcript. Collectively, the results showed that the newly identified iab-1 may be involved in some physiological processes, and the interaction between iab-1 and Hox genes was also preliminarily analyzed.