Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 366, Issue 1, pp 219–230 | Cite as

MicroRNA 17–92 cluster regulates proliferation and differentiation of bovine granulosa cells by targeting PTEN and BMPR2 genes

  • Eryk Andreas
  • Michael Hoelker
  • Christiane Neuhoff
  • Ernst Tholen
  • Karl Schellander
  • Dawit TesfayeEmail author
  • Dessie Salilew-Wondim
Regular Article


Granulosa cell proliferation and differentiation are key developmental steps involved in the formation of the dominant follicle eligible for ovulation. This process is, in turn, regulated by spatiotemporally emerging molecular events. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are one of the molecular signatures believed to regulate granulosa cell function by fine-tuning gene expression. Previously, we showed that the miR-17-92 cluster was differentially expressed in granulosa cells from subordinate and dominant follicles at day 19 of the estrous cycle. However, the role of this miRNA cluster in bovine follicular cell function is not known. Therefore, in the present study, we investigate the role of the miR-17-92 cluster in granulosa cell function by using an in vitro model. Target prediction and luciferase assay analysis revealed that the miR-17-92 cluster coordinately regulated the PTEN and BMPR2 genes. Overexpression of the miR-17-92 cluster by using a mimic promoted granulosa cell proliferation and reduced the proportion of differentiated cells. However, cluster inhibition resulted in decreased proliferation and increased differentiation in granulosa cells. This was further supported by expression analysis of marker genes of proliferation and differentiation. The role of the miR-17-92 cluster was cross-validated by selective knockdown of its target genes by the short interfering RNA technique. Suppression of the PTEN and BMPR2 genes revealed similar phenotypic and molecular alterations as observed when the granulosa cells were transfected with the miR-17-92 cluster mimic. Thus, the miR-17-92 cluster is involved in granulosa cell proliferation and differentiation by coordinately targeting the PTEN and BMPR2 genes.


microRNA 17–92 cluster Granulosa cells Proliferation and differentiation PTEN BMPR2 


Compliance with ethical standards


This research was financed by the German Research Foundation (DFG) with grant number TE-589/5-1.

Supplementary material

441_2016_2425_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 20 kb)
441_2016_2425_MOESM2_ESM.docx (21 kb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 20 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eryk Andreas
    • 1
  • Michael Hoelker
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Christiane Neuhoff
    • 1
  • Ernst Tholen
    • 1
  • Karl Schellander
    • 1
    • 2
  • Dawit Tesfaye
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Dessie Salilew-Wondim
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal Breeding and Husbandry, Institute of Animal ScienceUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Center of Integrated Dairy ResearchUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  3. 3.Teaching & Research Station Frankenforst, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of BonnKönigswinterGermany

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