Book of Abstracts: Albany 2009
June 16-20 2009
© Adenine Press (2008)
Contribution of miRNA-mediated Gene Regulation to the Evolution of Animal Eye
The acquisition of elaborate system of gene regulation should have been required for evolution of complicated animal eye. Even though there might be many players involved in the evolution of gene regulation system in the eye, miRNA-mediated gene regulation could be the main player of the eye evolution. To verify this idea, we studied the evolution of miRNA target genes that were expressed in human eye and estimated their orthologs by comparative genome analyses. We found that the number of miRNA targets expressed in human eye was well conserved in vertebrates but not in invertebrates. In fact, some miRNA-mediated genes are commonly regulated by the same miRNA together with genes known to be required for the eye formation such as Pax6. It suggests that miRNA-mediated gene regulation may have contributed to evolutionary formation of vertebrate eye.