MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small regulatory RNAs that direct the posttranscriptional repression of cognate messenger RNAs. Despite increasing evidence for diverse roles of miRNAs in biological processes, little is known about miRNAs in pig. We describe the first experimental identification of porcine miRNAs by sequence analysis of a cDNA library of small RNAs from porcine fibroblast cells. We identified 25 distinct porcine miRNAs, of which 19 are previously unreported, and define 14 new miRNA families in pig. Most of the cloned miRNAs are expressed ubiquitously in all porcine tissues examined, whereas some miRNAs are expressed preferentially in specific tissues. Our results enrich the porcine miRNA database and provide useful information for investigating biological functions of miRNAs in pig.
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