DOI

  • Martijn J C van Herwijnen
  • Tom A P Driedonks
  • Basten L Snoek
  • A M Theresa Kroon
  • Marije Kleinjan
  • Ruurd Jorritsma
  • Corné M J Pieterse
  • Esther N M Nolte-'t Hoen
  • Marca H M Wauben

Mammalian milk is not only a source of nutrition for the newborn, but also contains various components that regulate further development. For instance, milk is an abundant source of microRNAs (miRNAs), which are evolutionary conserved small non-coding RNAs that are involved in post-transcriptional regulation of target mRNA. MiRNAs present in milk can occur in extracellular vesicles (EVs), which are nanosized membrane vesicles released by many cell types as a means of intercellular communication. The membrane of EVs protects enclosed miRNAs from degradation and harbors molecules that allow specific targeting to recipient cells. Although several studies have investigated the miRNA content in milk EVs from individual species, little is known about the evolutionary conserved nature of EV-associated miRNAs among different species. In this study, we profiled the miRNA content of purified EVs from human and porcine milk. These data were compared to published studies on EVs from human, cow, porcine, and panda milk to assess the overlap in the top 20 most abundant miRNAs. Interestingly, several abundant miRNAs were shared between species (e.g., let-7 family members let-7a, let-7b, let-7f, and miR-148a). Moreover, these miRNAs have been implicated in immune-related functions and regulation of cell growth and signal transduction. The conservation of these miRNA among species, not only in their sequence homology, but also in their incorporation in milk EVs of several species, suggests that they are evolutionarily selected to regulate cell function in the newborn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81
JournalFrontiers in nutrition
Volume5
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

ID: 8932778