Arabidopsis thaliana microRNA162 level is posttranscriptionally regulated via splicing and polyadenylation site selection
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Arabidopsis microRNA162 (miRNA162) level regulation was studied under abiotic stresses, such as drought and salinity. The TaqMan® microRNA assay proved that A. thaliana miRNA162 level was elevated under these stresses, confirming its salt and drought responsiveness. The promoter region analyses of A. thaliana miRNA162a and b genes (MIR162a and MIR162b) identified numerous salinity and drought responsive elements. However, our results indicated that Arabidopsis MIR162a was presumably the main locus responsible for the mature ath-miRNA162 accumulation under the stresses tested, and the MIR162b was generally rather weakly expressed, both in control and under the stress conditions. The MIR162a structure was confirmed to be complex and the pri-miRNA162a hairpin structure was shown to span an alternative exon and an intron. The MIR162a transcription generated a few pri-miRNA162a splicing isoforms that could be functional and non-functional. Upon drought and salinity stresses, the regulation of the pri-miRNA162a alternative splicing pattern revealed an increase of a functional pri-miR162a isoform and a preferential distal polyA site selection under the stress conditions. Apart from the potential transcriptional regulation of the miRNA genes (MIRs) expression, the data obtained point to an essential role of posttranscriptional regulation of Arabidopsis microRNA162 level.
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