Comparison of miRNA Profiles of Cord Blood Stem Cells in
Identical and Fraternal Twins
The role of epigenetic in regulating of the gene expression profile the embryo has been documented. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are one of these epigenetic mechanisms. Twins are valuable models in determining the relative contributions of genetics and the environment. In this study, we compared differences in the expression levels of 44 miRNAs in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) of identical twins to that of fraternal twins as a controls.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, CD133+ HSCs were isolated from cord blood of identical and fraternal twins via magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS). Variation in of gene expression levels of 44 miRNAs were evaluated using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).
Significant differences in expression were observed in both fraternal and identical twins to varying degrees, but variations alteration in expression of the miRNAs were higher in fraternal twins.
Identical twins had a positive correlation in miRNA expression, while the correlation was not statistically significant in fraternal twins. Altogether, more differences in miRNA expression level in fraternal twins can be attributed to the both genetics and the intrauterine environment. The contribution of the intrauterine environment and genetics to miRNAs expression in HSCs was estimated 8 and 92%, respectively. By comparing of miRNA expression in identical and fraternal twins and identification of their target genes and biological pathways, it could be possible to estimate the effects of genetics and the environment on a number of biological pathways.