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CFTR mutation compromises spermatogenesis by enhancing miR-15b maturation and suppressing its regulatory target CDC25A

Yan Chen, Xiaoliang Li, Huijuan Liao, Xiaotong Leung, Jiabei He, Xiang Wang, Fuping Li, Huanxun Yue, Wenming Xu
Biology of Reproduction 2019 April 15
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently been shown to be important for spermatogenesis; both DROSHA and Dicer1 KO mice exhibit infertility due to abnormal miRNA expression. However, the roles of individual miRNAs in spermatogenesis remain elusive. Here we demonstrated that miR-15b, a member of the miR-15/16 family, is primarily expressed in testis. A miR-15b transgenic mouse model was constructed to investigate the role of miR-15b in spermatogenesis. Impaired spermatogenesis was observed in miR-15b transgenic mice, suggesting that appropriate expression of miR-15b is vital for spermatogenesis. Furthermore, we demonstrated that over-expression of miR-15b reduced CDC25A gene post-transcriptional activity by targeting the 3'-UTR region of CDC25A, thus regulating spermatogenesis. In vitro results further demonstrated that a mutation in CFTR could affect the interaction between Ago2 with Dicer1 and that Dicer1 activity regulates miR-15b expression. We extended our study to azoospermia patients and found that infertile patients have a significantly higher level of miR-15b in semen and plasma samples. Taken together, we propose that CFTR regulation of miR-15b could be involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of CDC25A in mammalian testis and that miR-15b is important for spermatogenesis.


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