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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

Menu Logo Principal AgroParisTech Université Paris-Saclay


GABI : Génétique Animale et Biologie IntégrativeUnité Mixte de Recherche INRA - AgroParisTech

Characterization and comparison ofmurine and bovine mammary miRNomes

© Inra
This study has allowed us to identify, characterize and compare all expressed microRNA (miRNome) in the mammary glands of mice and cows during lactation. The specificities of each of these species were identified along with the conserved microRNA, strongly preferentially expressed in the mammary gland during lactation.

Context and stakes

The mammary gland is a dynamic organ that goes through important physiological transformations during the reproduction cycles. Until now, studies on the functional characterization of microRNA in the mammary gland have been few and mainly associated with the deregulation of expression with mammary gland cancer. Our objective is to improve our understanding of how microRNA are involved in the regulating mechanisms of mammary gland functionning and in paticular during lactation.


We identified, characterized and compared the complete expressed microRNA (miRNomes) libraries in the mammary glands of mice and cattle during lactation. In addition, in order to understand how microRNA are loaded into the RISC complex (a complex where the microRNA and their targets are recognized), we compared the miRNome of murine mammary gland tissue with the miRNome corresponding to the microRNA present in the RISC complex.

The data obtained by high-throughput sequencing have allowed the identification of 164 and 167 microRNA in mice and cows, respectively. Amongst the 30 highest expressed in each species, 24 are shared by both species. The comparison of our results with published data have allowed us to identify amongst the 24 genes, the 6 microRNA that are the most strongly expressed during lactation and at other stages. In addition, 7 new putative microRNA were identified. The targets of two of them correspond to genes implicated in mammary gland morphogenesis.

Therefore, our study provides a full view of the expression profile of murine and bovine mammary gland microRNA. We compared for the first time, the microRNA of two species, identifying the miRNA specific to each species.

These studies are part of a partnership between the UMR GABI at Jouy-en-Josas and the UMR Herbivores, in Theix. The sequencings were financed by AIP BioRessources.


The miRNomes will serve as a reference in future studies (such as projects developed in partnership with C. Leroux and for the doctoral studies of L. Mobuchon, on the impact of feeding on microRNA expression in the bovine mammary gland).

The implication of new microRNA including their predicted targets are important to mammary gland biology. They will be studied through their deregulation in cell culture models or using transgenic mice.


  • Reference miRNomes for future studies on murine and bovine mammary glands.
  • The sequences will be made available through GEO.
  • Le Guillou S. (2013). From the miRNome to the role of miR-30b: Implication of microRNA in the mammary gland. PhD dissertation University Versailles-Saint Quentin.


Le Guillou S, Marthey S, Laloe¨ D, Laubier J, Mobuchon L, et al. (2014) Characterisation and Comparison of Lactating Mouse and Bovine Mammary Gland
miRNomes. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91938. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091938

Le Guillou S., Laubier J., Marthey S., Laloë D., Jaffrezic F., Domagalski J., Bernard L., Chilliard Y., Le Provost F., Leroux C. (2012). Atlas of microRNA in the bovine mammary gland generated by high throughput sequencing: highlighting effects of nutrition and cattle specificities. 9th  International Symposium Milk Genomics and Human Health, Wageningen. Poster.

Le Guillou S. (2013). Du miRNome au rôle de miR-30b : Implication des microARN dans la glande mammaire. Thèse Université Versailles-Saint Quentin.

Le Guillou S ., Marthey S., Laloë D ., Laubier J ., Domagalski J., Leroux C., Le Provost F. (2013). Species comparison of lactating mammary gland miRNomes: to the identification of conserved lactation related microRNA. 12th International Meeting 5 Cellular aspects of mRNA fate Paris. Poster.

Le Provost F. (2013). Deciphering the miRNAs involved in adult mammary gland development and function: the example of miR-30b. Symposium RNAs, Paris. Présentation orale.

Le Provost F. (2013). Impact of microRNA in mammary gland biology. Eadgene S and ATF Seminar “Healthy livestock and people”, MicroRNA workshop “MicroRNA technology, relevance and application”, Brussels. Présentation orale.

Le Provost F. (2013). MammoMirSeq : impact des microARN sur la lactation. AIP BioRessources, Paris. Présentation orale.