MICROBIAL PATHOGENESIS, vol.148, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small and non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression through post-transcriptional regulation. Although, the standard miRNA repository, MiRBase, lists more than 200 organisms having miRNA mediated regulation mechanism and thousands of miRNAs, there is not enough information about miRNAs of fungal species. Considering that there are various fungal pathogens causing disease phenotypes, it is important to search for miRNAs of those organisms. The leading cause of endemic mycosis in the USA is a fungal disease known as histoplasmosis, which is resulted by infection with a fungal intracellular parasite, Histoplasma capsulatum (H. capsulatum). In this work, genomes of H. capsulatum strains NAm1 and G217B were explored for potential miRNA like sequences and structures. Through a complex workflow involving miRNA detection and target prediction, several miRNA candidates of H. capsulatum and their possible targets in human were identified. The results presented here indicate that H. capsulatum might be one of the fungal pathogens having a miRNA based post-transcriptional gene regulation mechanism and it might have a miRNA mediated host - parasite interaction with human.