MicroRNA and piRNA Profiles in Normal Human Testis Detected by Next Generation Sequencing

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Abstract

Background:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are the class of small endogenous RNAs that play an important regulatory role in cells by negatively affecting gene expression at transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. There have been extensive studies aiming to discover miRNAs and to analyze their functions in the cells from a variety of species. However, there are no published studies of miRNA profiles in human testis using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology.Results:We employed Solexa sequencing technology to profile miRNAs in normal human testis. Total 770 known and 5 novel human miRNAs, and 20121 piRNAs were detected, indicating that the human testis has a complex population of small RNAs. The expression of 15 known and 5 novel detected miRNAs was validated by qRT-PCR. We have also predicted the potential target genes of the abundant known and novel miRNAs, and subjected them to GO and pathway analysis, revealing the involvement of miRNAs in many important biological phenomenon including meiosis and p53-related pathways that are implicated in the regulation of spermatogenesis.Conclusions:This study reports the first genome-wide miRNA profiles in human testis using a NGS approach. The presence of large number of miRNAs and the nature of their target genes suggested that miRNAs play important roles in spermatogenesis. Here we provide a useful resource for further elucidation of the regulatory role of miRNAs and piRNAs in the spermatogenesis. It may also facilitate the development of prophylactic strategies for male infertility. © 2013 Yang et al.

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Yang, Q., Hua, J., Wang, L., Xu, B., Zhang, H., Ye, N., … Shi, Q. (2013). MicroRNA and piRNA Profiles in Normal Human Testis Detected by Next Generation Sequencing. PLoS ONE, 8(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0066809

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