Leishmaniasis represents endemic infections that occur predominantly, in tropical and sub-tropical regions. The
current situation for the chemotherapy of leishmaniasis is more promising than it has been for several decades with both
new drugs and new formulations of old drugs either recently approved or in clinical trials. Investigations focused on
parasite biology and identification of novel drug targets have become of great importance. The identification and
characterization of microRNA (miRNAs) in the parasite and their possible biological action hopefully facilitate the
discovery of potential antiparasitic drug targets against leishmaniasis. microRNA and other small RNA transcripts are
derived from distinct loci in the genome and play critical roles in RNA–mediated gene silencing mechanisms in the
organisms. miRNAs regulate mRNA stability through perfect and imperfect match to the targets. The biological activities
of miRNAs have been related to many biological events, from resistant to microbe infections to cellular differentiation.
miRNA like-elements have been identified in Leishmania major. Identification of miRNA-like elements in L. major
provides a foundation for subsequent functional studies. Computational strategies provide an efficient manner to predict
miRNA genes and their targets. Twenty-five potential miRNA-like elements in different chromosomes (chr.) like chr. 7th,
8th, 17th, 18th, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 26th, 29th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th and 35th of L. major have been identified. It is known from this
study that the target genes of miRNA-like elements involve multidrug resistant protein such as ABC transporter,
ribosomal protein, RNA binding proteins, hydrolase and exonuclease.
ABC transporter, microRNA, L. major, miRNA-like elements, visceral leishmaniasis.
BioMedical Informatics Division, Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Agam kuan, Patna-800007, India.