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