In Silico Identification and Functional Characterization of Conserved miRNAs in the Genome of Cryptosporidium parvum

Md Irtija Ahsan, Md Shahidur Rahman Chowdhury, Moumita Das, Sharmin Akter, Sawrab Roy, Binayok Sharma, Rubaiat Nazneen Akhand, Mahmudul Hasan, Md Bashir Uddin, Syed Sayeem Uddin Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cryptosporidium parvum, a predominant causal agent of a fatal zoonotic protozoan diarrhoeal disease called cryptosporidiosis, bears a worldwide public health concern for childhood mortality and poses a key threat to the dairy and water industries. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small but powerful posttranscriptional gene silencing RNA molecules, regulate a variety of molecular, biological, and cellular processes in animals and plants. As to the present date, there is a paucity of information regarding miRNAs of C. parvum; hence, this study was used to identify miRNAs in the organism using a comprehensible expressed sequence tag–based homology search approach consisting of a series of computational screening process from the identification of putative miRNA candidates to the functional annotation of the important gene targets in C. parvum. The results revealed a conserved miRNA that targeted 487 genes in the model organism (Drosophila melanogaster) and 85 genes in C. parvum, of which 11 genes had direct involvements in several crucial virulence factors such as environmental oocyst protection, excystation, locomotion, adhesion, invasion, stress protection, intracellular growth, and survival. Besides, 20 genes showed their association with various major pathways dedicated for the ribosomal biosynthesis, DNA repair, transportation, protein production, gene expression, cell cycle, cell proliferation, development, immune response, differentiation, and nutrient metabolism of the organism in the host. Thus, this study provides a strong evidence of great impact of identified miRNA on the biology, virulence, and pathogenesis of C. parvum. Furthermore, the study suggests that the detected miRNA could be a potential epigenomic tool for controlling the protozoon through silencing those virulent and pathway-related target genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBioinformatics and Biology Insights
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryptosporidium parvum
  • functions
  • microRNA
  • pathway analysis
  • targets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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