Analysis of MicroRNA Expression in the Prepubertal Testis

Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 12/2010; 5(12):e15317. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015317
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Only thirteen microRNAs are conserved between D. melanogaster and the mouse; however, conditional loss of miRNA function through mutation of Dicer causes defects in proliferation of premeiotic germ cells in both species. This highlights the potentially important, but uncharacterized, role of miRNAs during early spermatogenesis. The goal of this study was to characterize on postnatal day 7, 10, and 14 the content and editing of murine testicular miRNAs, which predominantly arise from spermatogonia and spermatocytes, in contrast to prior descriptions of miRNAs in the adult mouse testis which largely reflects the content of spermatids. Previous studies have shown miRNAs to be abundant in the mouse testis by postnatal day 14; however, through Next Generation Sequencing of testes from a B6;129 background we found abundant earlier expression of miRNAs and describe shifts in the miRNA signature during this period. We detected robust expression of miRNAs encoded on the X chromosome in postnatal day 14 testes, consistent with prior studies showing their resistance to meiotic sex chromosome inactivation. Unexpectedly, we also found a similar positional enrichment for most miRNAs on chromosome 2 at postnatal day 14 and for those on chromosome 12 at postnatal day 7. We quantified in vivo developmental changes in three types of miRNA variation including 5' heterogeneity, editing, and 3' nucleotide addition. We identified eleven putative novel pubertal testis miRNAs whose developmental expression suggests a possible role in early male germ cell development. These studies provide a foundation for interpretation of miRNA changes associated with testicular pathology and identification of novel components of the miRNA editing machinery in the testis.

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Available from: Cristian Coarfa, Oct 05, 2015
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    • "In mammals, several studies have described the differential expression of miRNAs and the biogenetic pathway of genes in primordial germ cells and gonadal somatic cells [Hossain et al., 2009; Buchold et al., 2010]. Potential pathways or networks can be built based on the involvement of known genes in sex determination and differentiation [Lovell-Badge et al., 2002]. "
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small RNAs that can regulate target mRNAs by binding to their sequences in the 3' untranslated region. The expression of miRNAs and their biogenetic pathway are involved in sexual differentiation and in the regulation of the development of germ cells and gonadal somatic cells. The rice field eel (Monopterus albus) undergoes a natural sexual transformation from female to male via an intersex stage during its life cycle. To investigate the molecular mechanisms of this sexual transformation, miRNAs present in the different sexual stages of the rice field eel were identified by high-throughput sequencing technology. A significantly differential expression among the 3 genders (p < 0.001) was observed for 48 unique miRNAs and 3 miRNAs*. Only 9 unique miRNAs showed a more than 8-fold change in their expression among the 3 genders, including mal-miR-430a and mal-miR-430c which were higher in females than in males. However, mal-miR-430b was only detected in males. Several potential miRNA target genes (cyp19a, cyp19b, nr5a1b, foxl2 amh, and vasa) were also investigated. Real-time RT-PCR demonstrated highly specific expression patterns of these genes in the 3 genders of the rice field eel. Many of these genes are targets of mal-miR-430b according to the TargetScan and miRTarBase. These results suggest that the miR-430 family may be involved in the sexual transformation of the rice field eel. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.
    Sexual Development 11/2014; 8(6). DOI:10.1159/000369181 · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    • "These sncRNAs can be classified into different categories based on their biogenesis, mechanism of action and function. Male germ cells have been reported to express not only microRNAs (miRNAs) [4] but also endogenous small interfering RNAs (endo-siRNAs) [5] and piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) [6], [7], [8]. Hundreds of miRNAs are expressed in mammalian testes and male germ cells [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Small non-coding RNAs act as critical regulators of gene expression and are essential for male germ cell development and spermatogenesis. Previously, we showed that germ cell-specific inactivation of Dicer1, an endonuclease essential for the biogenesis of micro-RNAs (miRNAs) and endogenous small interfering RNAs (endo-siRNAs), led to complete male infertility due to alterations in meiotic progression, increased spermatocyte apoptosis and defects in the maturation of spermatozoa. To dissect the distinct physiological roles of miRNAs and endo-siRNAs in spermatogenesis, we compared the testicular phenotype of mice with Dicer1 or Dgcr8 depletion in male germ cells. Dgcr8 mutant mice, which have a defective miRNA pathway while retaining an intact endo-siRNA pathway, were also infertile and displayed similar defects, although less severe, to Dicer1 mutant mice. These included cumulative defects in meiotic and haploid phases of spermatogenesis, resulting in oligo-, terato-, and azoospermia. In addition, we found by RNA sequencing of purified spermatocytes that inactivation of Dicer1 and the resulting absence of miRNAs affected the fine tuning of protein-coding gene expression by increasing low level gene expression. Overall, these results emphasize the essential role of miRNAs in the progression of spermatogenesis, but also indicate a role for endo-siRNAs in this process.
    PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e107023. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0107023 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Varieties of miRNAs are differentially expressed in various tissues suggesting the role in their biological functions. Vertebrate testis displays distinct miRNA profiles [2], [3]. Conditional loss of miRNA function via mutation of Dicer enzyme in the mouse causes defects in proliferation of pre-meiotic germ cells [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Spermatogenesis is a multistep synchronized process. Diploid spermatogonia differentiate into haploid spermatozoa following mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis. Division and differentiation of male germ cells is achieved through the sequential expression of several genes. Numerous mRNAs in the differentiating germ cells undergo post-transcriptional and translational regulation. MiRNAs are powerful negative regulators of mRNA transcription, stability, and translation and recognize their mRNA targets through base-pairing. Retinoic acid (RA) signaling is essential for spermatogenesis and testicular function. Testicular RA level is critical for RA signal transduction. This study investigated the miRNAs modulation in an RA- induced testicular environment following the administration of all-trans RA (2 µM) and CYP26B1- inhibitor (1 µM) compared to control. Eighty four canine mature miRNAs were analyzed and their expression signatures were distinguished using real-time PCR based array technology. Of the miRNAs analyzed, miRNA families such as miR-200 (cfa-miR-200a, cfa-miR-200b and cfa-miR-200c), Mirlet-7 (cfa-let-7a, cfa-let-7b, cfa-let-7c, cfa-let-7g and cfa-let-7f), miR-125 (cfa-miR-125a and cfa-miR-125b), miR-146 (cfa-miR-146a and cfa-miR-146b), miR-34 (cfa-miR-34a, cfa-miR-34b and cfa-miR-34c), miR-23 (cfa-miR-23a and cfa-miR-23b), cfa-miR-184, cfa-miR-214 and cfa-miR-141 were significantly up-regulated with testicular RA intervention via administration of CYP26B1 inhibitor and all-trans-RA and species of miRNA such as cfa-miR-19a, cfa-miR-29b, cfa-miR-29c, cfa-miR-101 and cfa-miR-137 were significantly down-regulated. This study explored information regarding chromosome distribution, human orthologous sequences and the interaction of target genes of miRNA families significantly distinguished in this study using prediction algorithms. This study importantly identified dysregulated miRNA species resulting from RA-induced spermatogenesis. The present contribution serves as a useful resource for further elucidation of the regulatory role of individual miRNA in RA synchronized canine spermatogenesis.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e99433. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0099433 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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