Abundant and Altered Expression of PIWI-Interacting RNAs during Cardiac Hypertrophy

K. Shanmugha Rajan, Ganesan Velmurugan, Pandi Gopal, Tharmarajan Ramprasath, D. D.Venkatesh Babu, S. Krithika, Y. Christy Jenifer, Allen Freddy, George William, Krishnan Kalpana, Subbiah Ramasamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background The discovery of PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) has fundamentally changed our understanding of post transcriptional regulation of transposons and other genes. Unlike miRNA and siRNA, the piRNAs are the most abundant but least studied RNA species in mammals. Although the expression of PIWI proteins and piRNAs has long been regarded as germline specific, increasing evidences suggest the expression of piRNAs in somatic cells. Methods In this study, the small RNA sequencing executed during induction of cardiac hypertrophy in both in vivo and in vitro conditions were annotated for the expression of piRNAs. The expression of piRNAs was validated by qPCR and RNA immunoprecipitation. In addition, the presence of piRNAs in circulation of myocardial infarction patients was studied by qPCR. Results We identified an abundant and altered expression of piRNAs during cardiac hypertrophy. The differentially expressed piRNAs was validated by qPCR and RNA immunoprecipitation. The significantly and differentially expressed piRNAs were predicted to target different retrotransposons and mRNAs in the rat genome. The detection of specific piRNA in serum of myocardial infarction patients suggests the potential of piRNA for diagnosis. Conclusion Overall this study is the first to provide a whole-genome analysis of the large repertoire of piRNAs in the cardiac system and this would pave a new path to understanding the molecular aetiology of piRNA and retrotransposons in the physiology and pathology of the cardiac system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1013-1020
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Lung and Circulation
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ)


  • Cardiac hypertrophy
  • Retrotransposons
  • Small RNA deep sequencing
  • Small non-coding RNA
  • piRNA


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