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Transcriptomic and microRNAomic profiling reveals molecular mechanisms to cope with silver nanoparticle exposure in the ciliate Euplotes vannus

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Abstract

In spite of many reports on the toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs), the mechanisms underlying the toxicity are far from clear. The present study conducted transcriptome and microRNAome sequencing for Euplotes vannus to understand the molecular mechanisms by which this protist responds to and copes with AgNP exposure. By transcriptomic profiling, 1884 and 5834 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified after one hour and 12 hours of exposure to 15 mg L−1 AgNPs, respectively. The DEGs were significantly enriched in macropinocytosis and phagocytic vesicles, suggesting that endocytic pathways may mediate the uptake of AgNPs, while the differential expression of ABC transporters and copper-transporting ATPase implicates active efflux transport of Ag. Several DNA repair pathways were also significantly enriched with differentially expressed cell cycle control genes, implying that exposure to AgNPs might have caused DNA damage and G2/M cell cycle arrest. The damage might have resulted from increased ROS production, as evidenced by elevated expression of several antioxidant genes to combat oxidative stress. From microRNAomic profiling, a total of 16 differentially expressed microRNAs were identified under AgNP stress. Integrated analysis of the microRNA and mRNA expression profiles indicated that the differentially expressed microRNAs target a series of genes involved in many important biological processes, such as the cell cycle, TCA cycle and mismatch repair, suggesting that AgNP exposure elicited a broad post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism in E. vannus to cope with the toxicity.

Graphical abstract: Transcriptomic and microRNAomic profiling reveals molecular mechanisms to cope with silver nanoparticle exposure in the ciliate Euplotes vannus

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Aug 2018, accepted on 22 Oct 2018 and first published on 24 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00924D
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Advance Article
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    Transcriptomic and microRNAomic profiling reveals molecular mechanisms to cope with silver nanoparticle exposure in the ciliate Euplotes vannus

    Y. Pan, W. Zhang and S. Lin, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8EN00924D

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