Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran,Iran

2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Molecular Medical Genetics, Biotechnology Research Center, Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran


Bovine Leukemia Virus (BLV) is an oncogenic retrovirus of the genus Deltaretrovirus. The genome of BLV encodes a cluster of 10 mature microRNAs (miRNAs). Considering the importance of miRNAs in regulating gene expression, it seems that each of the miRNAs of BLV plays a vital role in the process of pathogenesis and tumorigenesis of the virus. First, sequences of each of the miRNAs of BLV were selected and downloaded from the miRBase database. The sequences were then investigated using TargetScan and miRWalk to identify target genes of each of the mature miRNAs of the virus. Second, the expression levels of the two miRNAs with the highest number of target genes in B lymphocytes and lymphoid tissues were evaluated using qPCR and were compared between cattle with different forms of BLV infection: PL form was compared to ‎aleukemic (AL) form (Group 1) and BLV+ with normal lymph nodes were compared to lymphosarcoma form (Group 2). We identified a total of 1595 target genes of the micro RNAs. The miRNAs with the highest target genes included miR-B4-3p with 760 and B2-5p with 102 target genes. In the second phase, miRNA expression in BLV-infected animals was investigated. The Fold Change (FC) values for miR-B4-3p and miR-B2-5p in group 1 were 22 and 67, respectively. In the second group, the FCs for miR-B4-3p and miR-B2-5p were 47 and 133, respectively. The expression was significantly higher in persistent lymphocytosis (PL) cattle in group one and lymphosarcoma cattle in group two.


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