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    The epididymis is the site of post-testicular sperm maturation, which constitutes the acquisition of sperm motility and the ability to recognize and fertilize oocytes. The role of miRNA in male reproductive system, including the control of different steps leading to proper fertilization such as gametogenesis, sperm maturation and maintenance of male fertility where the deletion of Dicer in mouse germ cells led to infertility, has been demonstrated. The identification of miRNA expression in a region-specific manner will therefore provide valuable insight into the functional differences between the regions of the epididymis. In this study, we employed RNA-seq technology to explore the expression pattern of miRNAs and establish some miRNAs of significant interest with regard to epididymal sperm maturation in the CY epididymis. We identified a total of 431 DE known miRNAs; 119, 185 and 127 DE miRNAs were detected for caput versus corpus, corpus versus cauda and caput versus cauda region pairs, respectively. Our results demonstrate region-specific miRNA expression in the CY epididymis. The GO and KEGG enrichment for the predicted target genes indicated the functional values of miRNAs. Furthermore, we observed that the expression of miR-200a was downregulated in the caput, compared with cauda. Since the family of miR-200 has previously been suggested to contribute to the distinct physiological function of sperm maturation in epididymis of adult rat, we speculate that the downregulation of miR-200a in CY caput epididymis may play an important role of sperm maturation in the epididymis of CY. Therefore, our findings may not only increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulated by the miRNA functions in region-specific miRNA expression in the CY epididymis, it could provide a valuable information to understand the mechanism of male infertility of CY. © 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


    Wangsheng Zhao, Tajmal Hussain Solangi, Yitao Wu, Xiankang Yang, Chuanfei Xu, Hongmei Wang, Xuxin Zheng, Xin Cai, Jiangjiang Zhu. Comparative rna-seq analysis of region-specific miRNA expression in the epididymis of cattleyak. Reproduction in domestic animals = Zuchthygiene. 2021 Apr;56(4):555-576

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    PMID: 33438262

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