MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenously expressed, ∼19–23 nt non‐coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that regulate gene expression at the post‐transcriptional level, closely related to spermatogenesis and male infertility (Bouhallier et al., ; Comazzetto et al., ; Yuan et al., ). The miR‐379/miR‐544 locus is the largest known placental mammal‐specific miRNA cluster, whose 24 miRNA genes are expressed only from the maternal allele, and are located within the highly conserved imprinted Dlk1–Dio3 region (Figure a). A correct dosage of imprinted genes encoded at the mouse Dlk1–Dio3 genomic interval is essential for embryonic growth and postnatal survival, as well as for muscle growth, skeletal, and neuronal development (Seitz et al., ). A cluster of imprinted miRNAs encoded by imprinted Dlk1–Dio3 locus were reported to be high expressed in ES cells and 4n‐iPS cells and correlated with the pluripotency levels of mouse stem cells (Liu et al., ). The primary transcript of miR‐379/miR‐544 cluster was enriched in embryonic and perinatal skeletal muscle, and is associated with callipyge phenotype in young animals (Gao et al., ). However, whether the miR‐379/miR‐544 cluster at imprinted Dlk1–Dio3 region contributes to testicular development and spermatogenesis remains elusive. We examined expression levels of the miR‐379/miR‐544 precursor transcript containing all 24 miRNAs in
Molecular Reproduction & Development – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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