Dynamics of microRNAs in bull spermatozoa

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Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology


Background: MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression and thus play important roles in mammalian development. However, the comprehensive lists of microRNAs, as well as, molecular mechanisms by which microRNAs regulate gene expression during gamete and embryo development are poorly defined. The objectives of this study were to determine microRNAs in bull sperm and predict their functions.Methods: To accomplish our objectives we isolated miRNAs from sperm of high and low fertility bulls, conducted microRNA microarray experiments and validated expression of a panel of microRNAs using real time RT-PCR. Bioinformatic approaches were carried out to identify regulated targets.Results: We demonstrated that an abundance of microRNAs were present in bovine spermatozoa, however, only seven were differentially expressed; hsa-aga-3155, -8197, -6727, -11796, -14189, -6125, -13659. The abundance of miRNAs in the spermatozoa and the differential expression in sperm from high vs. low fertility bulls suggests that the miRNAs possibly play important functions in the regulating mechanisms of bovine spermatozoa.Conclusion: Identification of specific microRNAs expressed in spermatozoa of bulls with different fertility phenotypes will help better understand mammalian gametogenesis and early development. © 2012 Govindaraju et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.



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