Targeted modification of the pig genome can be challenging. Recent applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 system hold promise for improving the efficacy of genome editing. When a designed CRISPR/Cas9 system targeting CD163 or CD1D was introduced into somatic cells, it was highly efficient in inducing mutations. When these mutated cells were used with somatic cell nuclear transfer, offspring with these modifications were created. When the CRISPR/Cas9 system was delivered into in vitro produced presumptive porcine zygotes, the system was effective in creating mutations in eGFP, CD163, and CD1D (100% targeting efficiency in blastocyst stage embryos); however, it also presented some embryo toxicity. We could also induce deletions in CD163 or CD1D by introducing two types of CRISPRs with Cas9. The system could also disrupt two genes, CD163 and eGFP, simultaneously when two CRISPRs targeting two genes with Cas9 were delivered into zygotes. Direct injection of CRISPR/Cas9 targeting CD163 or CD1D into zygotes resulted in piglets that have mutations on both alleles with only one CD1D pig having a mosaic genotype. We show here that the CRISPR/Cas9 system can be used by two methods. The system can be used to modify somatic cells followed by somatic cell nuclear transfer. System components can also be used in in vitro produced zygotes to generate pigs with specific genetic modifications.
The relationship between stallion fertility and oxidative stress remains poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to identify criteria for thoroughbred fertility assessment by performing a logistical regression analysis using "dismount" sperm parameters as predictors and weekly per-cycle conception rate as the dependent variable. Paradoxically, positive relationships between fertility and oxidative stress were revealed, such that samples that produced pregnancies exhibited higher rates of 8-hydroxy-2 '-deoxyguanosine release (1490.2% vs. 705.5 pg/ml/24 h) and lower vitality (60.5% vs. 69.6%) and acrosome integrity (40.2% vs. 50.1%) than those that did not. We hypothesized that the most fertile spermatozoa exhibited the highest levels of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), with oxidative stress simply being a by-product of intense mitochondrial activity. Accordingly, an experiment to investigate the relationship between oxidative stress and motility was conducted and revealed positive correlations between mitochondrial ROS and total motility (R-2 = 0.90), rapid motility (R-2 = 0.89), average path velocity (VAP; R-2 = 0.59), and curvilinear velocity (VCL; R-2 = 0.66). Similarly, lipid peroxidation was positively correlated with total motility (R-2 = 0.46), rapid motility (R-2 = 0.51), average path velocity (R-2 = 0.62), and VCL (R-2 = 0.56), supporting the aforementioned hypothesis. The relative importance of OXPHOS in supporting the motility of equine spermatozoa was contrasted with human spermatozoa, which primarily utilize glycolysis. In this study, mitochondrial inhibition significantly reduced the velocity (P < 0.01) and ATP (P < 0.05) content of equine, but not human, spermatozoa, emphasizing the former's relative dependence on OXPHOS. The equine is the first mammal in which such a positive relationship between oxidative stress and functionality has been observed, with implications for the management of stallion fertility in vitro and in vivo.
Even after several decades of quiescent storage in the ovary, the female germ cell is capable of reinitiating transcription to build the reserves that are essential to support early embryonic development. In the current model of mammalian oogenesis, there exists bilateral communication between the gamete and the surrounding cells that is limited to paracrine signaling and direct transfer of small molecules via gap junctions existing at the end of the somatic cells' projections that are in contact with the oolemma. The purpose of this work was to explore the role of cumulus cell projections as a means of conductance of large molecules, including RNA, to the mammalian oocyte. By studying nascent RNA with confocal and transmission electron microscopy in combination with transcript detection, we show that the somatic cells surrounding the fully grown bovine oocyte contribute to the maternal reserves by actively transferring large cargo, including mRNA and long noncoding RNA. This occurrence was further demonstrated by the reconstruction of cumulus-oocyte complexes with transfected cumulus cells transferring a synthetic transcript. We propose selective transfer of transcripts occurs, the delivery of which is supported by a remarkable synapselike vesicular trafficking connection between the cumulus cells and the gamete. This unexpected exogenous contribution to the maternal stores offers a new perspective on the determinants of female fertility.
Expression and function of the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) in females were long thought to be limited to the ovary. Here, however, we identify extragonadal FSHR in both the human female reproductive tract and the placenta, and test its physiological relevance in mice. We show that in nonpregnant women FSHR is present on: endothelial cells of blood vessels in the endometrium, myometrium, and cervix; endometrial glands of the proliferative and secretory endometrium; cervical glands and the cervical stroma; and (at low levels) stromal cells and muscle fibers of the myometrium. In pregnant women, placental FSHR was detected as early as 8-10 wk of gestation and continued through term. It was expressed on: endothelial cells in fetal portions of the placenta and the umbilical cord; epithelial cells of the amnion; decidualized cells surrounding the maternal arteries in the maternal decidua; and the stromal cells and muscle fibers of the myometrium, with particularly strong expression at term. These findings suggest that FSHR expression is upregulated during decidualization and upregulated in myometrium as a function of pregnancy. The presence of FSHR in the placental vasculature suggests a role in placental angiogenesis. Analysis of genetically modified mice in which Fshr is lacking in fetal portions of the placenta revealed adverse effects on fetoplacental development. Our data further demonstrate FSHB and CGA mRNAs in placenta and uterus, consistent with potential local sources of FSH. Collectively, our data suggest heretofore unappreciated roles of extragonadal FSHR in female reproductive physiology.
Oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) has become a valuable technological tool for animal breeding and cloning and the treatment of human infertility because it does not require the administration of exogenous gonadotropin to obtain fertilizable oocytes. However, embryo development after IVM is lower compared to in vivo maturation, most likely because oocytes collected for IVM are heterogeneous with respect to their developmental competencies. Attempts to improve IVM outcome have relied upon either prematuration culture (PMC) or two-step maturation strategies in the hope of normalizing variations in developmental competence. Such culture systems invoke the pharmacological arrest of meiosis, in theory providing oocytes sufficient time to complete the acquisition of developmental competence after cumulus-enclosed oocytes isolation from the follicle. The present study was designed to test the efficiency of natriuretic peptide precursor C (NPPC) as a nonpharmacologic meiosis-arresting agent during IVM in a monoovulatory species. NPPC has been shown to maintain meiotic arrest in vivo and in vitro in mice and pigs; however, the use of this molecule for PMC has yet to have been explored. Toward this end, meiotic cell cycle reentry, gap-junction functionality, and chromatin configuration changes were investigated in bovine cumulus-enclosed oocytes cultured in the presence of NPPC. Moreover, oocyte developmental competence was investigated after IVM, in vitro fertilization, and embryo culture and compared to standard IVM-in vitro fertilization protocol without PMC. Our results suggest that NPPC can be used to delay meiotic resumption and increase the developmental competence of bovine oocytes when used in PMC protocols.
We aimed to identify the functional characteristics of the corpus luteum (CL) by color Doppler ultrasonography and changes in interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) during early pregnancy in beef cows. We then aimed to use these features to establish earlier pregnancy diagnosis methods. In experiment 1, the CL size and blood flow were accessed by Doppler ultrasonography, and the PBMCs were isolated on Days 8, 12, 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 30, 45, and 60 post-timed artificial insemination (TAI) from pregnant (n = 10) and nonpregnant cows (n = 12). The abundance of ISG (OAS1, MX1, MX2, and ISG15) transcripts was measured by quantitative PCR. Analyses of OAS1 and MX2 expression in isolated PBMCs (ISG-PBMC method) and Doppler imaging of CL (Doppler-US method) were performed to test the accuracy of these methods for the diagnosis of pregnancy on Day 20 post-TAI (n = 110; experiment 2). In experiment 1, the luteal volume and blood flow were reduced in nonpregnant cows during the first weeks post-TAI, but an evaluation of CL vascularization and size was efficient in identifying nonpregnant cows on Day 20 post-TAI. The expression of ISGs in PBMCs can be stimulated by the presence of a viable conceptus between Days 15 and 22 post-TAI, and the expression of these genes reaches a peak on Day 20. In experiment 2, the Doppler-US and ISG-PBMC methods resulted in similar specificity (85.5 and 87.7%, respectively). However, only the Doppler-US method resulted in 100% sensitivity. In conclusion, the greatest abundance of ISGs in PBMCs and a high detection of luteolysis by Doppler imaging on Day 20 post-TAI can be feasibly used for the earlier detection of nonpregnant cows in reproductive programs. The level of accuracy for our described pregnancy methods is high on Day 20 (80%-91%), but only the Doppler imaging method results in an absence of false-negative diagnoses.
Insufficient placental growth is a major factor contributing to intrauterine growth retardation in mammals. There is growing evidence that putrescine produced from arginine (Arg) and proline via ornithine decarboxylase is a key regulator of angiogenesis, embryogenesis, as well as placental and fetal growth. However, the underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. The present study tested the hypothesis that putrescine stimulates protein synthesis by activating the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway in porcine trophectoderm cell line 2 cells. The cells were cultured for 2 to 4 days in customized Arg-free Dulbecco modified Eagle Ham medium containing 0, 10, 25, or 50 mu M putrescine or 100 mu M Arg. Cell proliferation, protein synthesis, and degradation, as well as the abundance of total and phosphorylated mTOR, ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1, and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E-binding protein-1 (4EBP1), were determined. Our results indicate that putrescine promotes cell proliferation and protein synthesis in a dose-and time-dependent manner, which was inhibited by difluoro-methylornithine (an inhibitor of ornithine decarboxylase). Moreover, supplementation of culture medium with putrescine increased the abundance of phosphorylated mTOR and its downstream targets, 4EBP1 and p70 S6K1 proteins. Collectively, these findings reveal a novel and important role for putrescine in regulating the mTOR signaling pathway in porcine placental cells. We suggest that dietary supplementation with or intravenous administration of putrescine may provide a new and effective strategy to improve survival and growth of embryos/fetuses in mammals.
Sma- and Mad-related protein 4 (SMAD4) is the central mediator of the transforming growth factor beta signaling pathway and is closely related to mammalian reproductive ability and the development of ovarian follicles. However, little is currently known about the role of SMAD4 in mammalian follicular granulosa cell (GC) apoptosis or its regulation by miRNAs. Here, we found that the porcine SMAD4 protein was expressed at high levels in GCs and oocytes from primary, preantral, and antral follicles, and only slightly expressed in theca cells; its expression level was down-regulated in apoptotic ovarian GCs, suggesting that SMAD4 may be involved in ovary development and selection. Overexpression and knockdown of SMAD4 increased the proliferation and apoptosis of cultured porcine GCs, respectively. In addition, the use of miRNA mimics and luciferase reporter assays revealed that miRNA-26b (miR-26b) functions as a proapoptotic factor in porcine follicular GCs by targeting the 3'-untranslated region of the SMAD4 gene. Overexpression of miR-26b in follicular GCs suppressed SMAD4 mRNA and protein levels, resulting in down-regulation of the antiapoptotic BCL-2 gene and the promotion of GC apoptosis. Furthermore, transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta1) down-regulates miR-26b expression in porcine GCs. Taken together, these data suggest that SMAD4 plays a critical role in porcine follicular GC apoptosis and follicular atresia and that miR-26b may have a proapoptotic role in GCs by regulating the expression of SMAD4 in the transforming growth factor beta signaling pathway.
Oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) is an important assisted reproductive technology and research tool. The adoption of IVM into routine clinical practice has been hindered by its significantly lower success rates compared to conventional in vitro fertilization. Cyclic AMP (cAMP) modulation and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), independently, have long been known to improve IVM oocyte developmental competence. This study comprehensively examined the effects of FSH and cAMP/cGMP modulation, alone and in combination, on IVM oocyte metabolism and developmental outcomes. Mouse cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were subjected to a 1 h prematuration phase +/- the cAMP modulator forskolin and cAMP/cGMP modulator 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine followed by IVM +/- FSH. Prematuration with these cyclic nucleotide modulators or IVM with FSH significantly improved oocyte developmental competence and reduced spindle abnormalities compared to spontaneous IVM (no treatment); however, these two treatments in combination endowed even greater developmental competence (improved subsequent blastocyst rates and quality; P < 0.05), albeit blastocyst yield and quality remained significantly lower than that of oocytes matured in vivo. A significant additive effect of combined IVM treatments was evident as increased COC lactate production and oxygen consumption and enhanced oocyte oxidative metabolism, ATP production, ATP:ADP ratio, and glutathione levels (P < 0.05). Nevertheless, IVM increased reactive oxygen species production, particularly as a consequence of FSH addition, relative to in vivo matured oocytes. In conclusion, improvements in the embryo yield following IVM is associated with increased COC oxygen consumption and oocyte oxidative metabolism, but these remain metabolically and developmentally less competent relative to in vivo derived oocytes.
Pregnancy hides an immunological riddle combining two antagonistic characteristics of immunology: the existence of a tolerance that allows the gestation of a semiallogeneic fetus and proper protection against pathogens threatening the health of the immunocompromised mother. Despite the fundamental role that B cells play in orchestrating an immune response, their behavior in the context of pregnancy has been barely investigated. Here we demonstrate that numbers of pre/pro and immature B cells were progressively diminished in the bone marrow (BM) of pregnant mice, leading to a reduced influx of B cells in blood and spleen. Correspondingly, lower levels of B cell-activating factor of the TNF family were observed in serum of pregnant mice. In contrast to immature B cells, mature B cells were accumulated in the BM during pregnancy. Accordingly, higher numbers of mature B cells were observed in the lymph nodes draining the uterus as well as in the peritoneal cavity of pregnant mice, both tissues in close contact with the fetuses. Despite an increase in spleen size, pregnant mice showed lower numbers of splenic B cells, which was mirrored by lower numbers of immature and FO B cells. However, marginal zone B cells in the spleen increased during pregnancy. Additionally, serum IgM, IgA, and IgG3 titers were elevated in pregnant mice. Collectively, our data show how the B cell compartment adapts to the presence of the semiallogeneic fetus during gravidity.
Avian gametes present specific features related to their internal long-term mode of fertilization. Among other central actors of energetic metabolism control, it has been suspected that 5'-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) influences sperm functions and thus plays a key role in fertilization success. In the present work, we studied AMPK localization and function in chicken sperm incubated in vitro. Effects of the pharmacological AMPK activators (AICAR, metformin) and the AMPK inhibitor compound C were assessed by evaluating AMPKalpha (Thr(172)) phosphorylation (by Western blotting), semen quality (by viability, motility, and ability to perform acrosome reaction), and energetic metabolism indicators (lactate, ATP). Localization of AMPK in subcellular sperm compartments was evaluated by immunocytochemistry. Total AMPK was found in all compartments except for the nucleus, but the phosphorylated form phospho-Thr(172) -AMPK was essentially localized in the flagellum and acrosome. AMPK activators significantly improved AMPK phosphorylation, sperm motility (increased by 40% motile, 90% progressive, and 60% rapid sperm), acrosome reaction and lactate production (increased by 40%) and viability. The AMPK inhibitor significantly reduced AMPK phosphorylation and percentages of motility (decrease by 25%), progressive energy (decrease by 35%), and rapid sperm (decreased by 30%), acrosome reaction, lactate production, and ATP release. The two activators differed in their effect on ATP concentration: AICAR stimulated ATP formation, whereas metformin did not. Our results indicate that AMPK plays a key role in the regulation of chicken sperm functions and metabolism. This action differs from that suggested in mammals, mainly by its crucial involvement in the acrosome reaction process.
Spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) undergo self-renewal division, which can be recapitulated in vitro. Attempts to establish serum-free culture conditions for SSCs have met with limited success. Although we previously reported that SSCs can be cultured without serum on laminin-coated plates, the growth rate and SSC concentration were relatively low, which made it inefficient for culturing large numbers of SSCs. In this study, we report on a novel culture medium that showed improved SSC maintenance. We used Iscove modified Dulbecco medium, supplemented with lipid mixture, fetuin, and knockout serum replacement. In the presence of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), SSCs cultured on laminin-coated plates could proliferate for more than 5 mo and maintained normal karyotype and androgenetic DNA methylation patterns in imprinted genes. Germ cell transplantation showed that SSCs in the serum-free medium proliferated more actively than those in the serum-supplemented medium and that the frequency of SSCs was comparable between the two culture media. Cultured cells underwent germline transmission. Development of a new serum- and feeder-free culture method for SSCs will facilitate studies into the effects of microenvironments on self-renewal and will stimulate further improvements to derive SSC cultures from different animal species.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female endocrinopathy associated with both reproductive and metabolic disorders. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is currently used to induce a PCOS mouse model. High-fat diet (HFD) has been shown to cause obesity and infertility in female mice. The possible effect of an HFD on the phenotype of DHEA-induced PCOS mice is unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate both reproductive and metabolic features of DHEA-induced PCOS mice fed a normal chow or a 60% HFD. Prepubertal C57BL/6 mice (age 25 days) on the normal chow or an HFD were injected (s.c.) daily with the vehicle sesame oil or DHEA for 20 consecutive days. At the end of the experiment, both reproductive and metabolic characteristics were assessed. Our data show that an HFD did not affect the reproductive phenotype of DHEA-treated mice. The treatment of HFD, however, caused significant metabolic alterations in DHEA-treated mice, including obesity, glucose intolerance, dyslipide-mia, and pronounced liver steatosis. These findings suggest that HFD induces distinct metabolic features in DHEA-induced PCOS mice. The combined DHEA and HFD treatment may thus serve as a means of studying the mechanisms involved in metabolic derangements of this syndrome, particularly in the high prevalence of hepatic steatosis in women with PCOS.
Luteinizing hormone (LH) regulation of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) network is critical for oocyte maturation and the ovulatory process. Recent studies have indicated that C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) and its receptor natriuretic peptide receptor B (NPR2) play an important role in the control of meiotic arrest. Here, we investigated the involvement of the EGF network in the LH-dependent regulation of the CNP/NPR2 axis and cGMP accumulation. LH/hCG treatment causes a major decrease in both cGMP and the CNP precursor (natriuretic peptide precursor C [Nppc]) mRNA accumulation in vivo and in vitro. However, the cGMP downregulation precedes the decrease in Nppc mRNA by more than 1 h. Amphiregulin, an EGF-like factor, suppresses Nppc mRNA levels in cultured follicles to the same extent as LH, and this effect is completely prevented by the EGF receptor (EGFR) kinase inhibitor AG1478. However, the LH-dependent suppression of Nppc is insensitive to AG1478. Similarly, Nppc suppression by LH occurs in follicles from EGFR null mice. These findings document that EGFR signaling is sufficient to downregulate CNP, but is not necessary for LH action. When cGMP concentration in the follicle is measured, the short-term, but not long-term, LH effects on cGMP are prevented by AG1478, suggesting that ligand availability may be responsible for the late response. Human CG decreases the CNP-dependent cGMP synthesis in wild-type and EGFR knockdown cumulus-oocyte complexes. These findings demonstrate that redundant pathways are involved in the regulation of cGMP. EGFR-dependent events are involved in the short-term regulation of cGMP, whereas the long-term effects may involve regulation of the CNP.
Chromosome aneuploidies commonly arise in embryos produced by assisted reproductive technologies and represent a major cause of implantation failure and miscarriage. Currently, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is performed by array-based methods to identify euploid embryos for transfer to the patient. We speculated that a combination of next-generation sequencing technologies and sophisticated bioinformatics would deliver a more comprehensive and accurate methodology to improve the overall efficacy of embryo testing. To meet this challenge, we developed a high-resolution copy number variation (CNV) sequencing pipeline suitable for single-cell analysis. In validation studies, we showed that CNV-Seq was highly sensitive and specific for detection of euploidy, aneuploidy, and segmental imbalances in 24 whole genome amplification samples from PGD embryos that were originally diagnosed by gold standard array comparative genomic hybridization. In addition, CNV-Seq was capable of detecting, mapping, and accurately quantifying terminal chromosome imbalances down to 1 Mb in size originating from abnormal segregation of translocation chromosomes. These validation studies indicate that CNV-Seq displays the hallmarks of an accurate and reliable embryo test with the potential to further improve the overall efficacy of PGD.
Aberrant sperm phenotypes coincide with the expression of unique sperm surface determinants that can be probed by objective, biomarker-based semen analysis and targeted as ligands for semen purification. This study evaluated a nanoparticle-based magnetic purification method that removes defective spermatozoa (∼30% of sample) from bull semen and improves sperm sample viability and fertilizing ability in vitro and in vivo. Two types of nanoparticles were developed: a particle coated with antibody against ubiquitin, which is present on the surface of defective spermatozoa, and a particle coated with the lectin peanut agglutinin, which binds to glycans exposed by acrosomal damage. In a 2 yr artificial insemination field trial with 798 cows, a conception rate of 64.5% ± 3.7% was achieved with a 10 × 10(6) sperm dose of peanut agglutinin-nanopurified spermatozoa, comparable to a control nonpurified full dose of 20 × 10(6) spermatozoa per dose (63.3% ± 3.2%) and significantly higher than a 10 × 10(6) sperm dose of nonpurified control semen (53.7% ± 3.2%; P < 0.05). A total of 466 healthy calves were delivered, and no negative side effects were observed in the inseminated animals or offspring. Because the method is inexpensive and can be fully integrated in current protocols for semen cryopreservation, it is feasible for use in the artificial insemination industry to improve fertility with reduced sperm dosage inseminations. Spermatology will benefit from nanopurification methodology by gaining new tools for the identification of candidate biomarkers of sperm quality such as binder of sperm protein 5 (BSP5), described in the present study.
During pregnancy, human placenta-associated microRNAs (miRNAs) derived from the miRNA cluster in human chromosome 19 are expressed in villous trophoblasts and secreted into maternal circulation via exosomes; however, little is known about whether circulating placenta-associated miRNAs are transferred into maternal immune cells via exosomes, and modulate expression of target genes in the recipient cells. We employed an in vitro model of trophoblast-immune cell communication using BeWo cells (a human trophoblast cell line) and Jurkat cells (a human leukemic T-cell line) and investigated whether BeWo exosomal placenta-associated miRNAs can suppress expression of target genes in the recipient Jurkat cells. Using this system, we identified PRKG1 as a target gene of placenta-associated miRNA miR-517a-3p. Moreover, we demonstrated that BeWo exosomal miR-517a-3p was internalized into Jurkat cells and subsequently suppressed the expression of PRKG1 in recipient Jurkat cells. Furthermore, using peripheral blood natural killer (NK) cells in vivo, we confirmed that circulating miR-517a-3p was delivered into maternal NK cells as it was into Jurkat cells in vitro. Placenta-associated miR-517a-3p was incorporated into maternal NK cells in the third trimester, and it was rapidly cleared after delivery. Expression levels of miR-517a-3p and its target mRNA PRKG1 were inversely correlated in NK cells before and after delivery. These in vitro and in vivo results suggest that exosome-mediated transfer of placenta-associated miRNAs and subsequent modulation of their target genes occur in maternal NK cells. The present study provides novel insight into our understanding of placentamaternal communication.
Progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) and PGRMC2 are expressed in rat granulosa cells and spontaneously immortalized granulosa cells (SIGCs) but their biological roles are not well defined. The present studies demonstrate that depleting either Pgrmc1 or Pgrmc2 in SIGCs increases entry into the cell cycle but does not increase cell proliferation. Rather, PGRMC1 and/or PGRMC2-deplete cells accumulate in metaphase and undergo apoptosis. Because both PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 localize to the mitotic spindle, their absence likely accounts for cells arresting in metaphase. Moreover, pull-down assays, colocalization studies and in situ proximity ligation assays (PLA) indicate that PGRMC1 binds PGRMC2. Disrupting the PGRMC1: PGRMC2 complex through the use of siRNA or the cytoplasmic delivery of a PGRMC2 antibody increases entry into the cell cycle. Conversely, overexpressing either PGRMC1-GFP or GFP-PGRMC2 fusion protein inhibits entry into the cell cycle. Subsequent studies reveal that depleting PGRMC1 and/or PGRMC2 reduces the percentage of cells in G(0) and increases the percentage of cells in G(1). These observations indicate that in addition to their role at metaphase, PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 are involved in regulating entry into the G(1) stage of the cell cycle. Interestingly, both PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 bind GTPase-activating protein-binding protein 2 (G3BP2) as demonstrated by pull-down assays, colocalization assays, and PLAs. G3bp2 siRNA treatment also promotes entry into the G(1) stage. This implies that dynamic changes in the interaction among PGRMC1, PGRMC2, and G3BP2 play an important protein regulating the rate at which SIGCs enter into the cell cycle.
Preimplantation factor (PIF) is a peptide secreted by viable mammalian embryos. Moreover, it can be detected in the circulation of pregnant women. Recently, it was shown that PIF promotes invasion in trophoblast cell lines in vitro. Successful human embryo implantation depends on a deep and highly controlled invasion of extravillous trophoblast (EVT) in the maternal endometrium. Trophoblast invasion is regulated in part by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity and integrin expression. The present study demonstrates the presence of PIF in early pregnancy and characterizes its effects on primary human trophoblast invasion. At the fetomaternal interface, intense PIF labeling by immunohistochemistry was present during early gestation in villous trophoblasts and EVTs. A decrease of labeling was observed at term. Furthermore, PIF significantly promoted invasion of human EVT isolated from first-trimester placenta. The proinvasive regulatory effect of PIF in EVT was associated with 1) increased MMP9 activity and 2) reduced tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP1) mRNA expression. PIF also regulated alpha v and alpha 1 integrin mRNA expressions. Last, the proinvasive effect of PIF appeared to be mediated by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), and Janus-kinase signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) signaling pathways. In summary, this work describes the direct, positive effect of PIF on the control of human trophoblastic cell invasion by modulation of MMP/TIMP balance and integrin expression. Moreover, these results suggest that PIF is involved in pathological pregnancies characterized by insufficient or excessive trophoblast invasion.
Mammalian spermatogenesis is a complex and highly orchestrated combination of processes in which male germline proliferation and differentiation result in the production of mature spermatozoa. If recent genome-wide studies have contributed to the in-depth analysis of the male germline protein-encoding transcriptome, little effort has yet been devoted to the systematic identification of novel unannotated transcribed regions expressed during mammalian spermatogenesis. We report high-resolution expression profiling of male germ cells in rat, using next-generation sequencing technology and highly enriched testicular cell populations. Among 20 424 high-confidence transcripts reconstructed, we defined a stringent set of 1419 long multi-exonic unannotated transcripts expressed in the testis (testis-expressed unannotated transcripts [TUTs]). TUTs were divided into 7 groups with different expression patterns. Most TUTs share many of the characteristics of vertebrate long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). We also markedly reinforced the finding that TUTs and known lncRNAs accumulate during the meiotic and postmeiotic stages of spermatogenesis in mammals and that X-linked meiotic TUTs do not escape the silencing effects of meiotic sex chromosome inactivation. Importantly, we discovered that TUTs and known lncRNAs with a peak expression during meiosis define a distinct class of noncoding transcripts that exhibit exons twice as long as those of other transcripts. Our study provides new insights in transcriptional profiling of the male germline and represents a highquality resource for novel loci expressed during spermatogenesis that significantly contributes to rat genome annotation.