Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

MicroRNA expression in bovine preimplantation embryos

Debra K. Berg A C and Peter L. Pfeffer A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A AgResearch Ltd, Ruakura Agricultural Centre, 10 Bisley Road, Hamilton 3214, New Zealand.

B School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University, Wellington 6149, New Zealand.

C Corresponding author. Email: debbie.berg@agresearch.co.nz

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD17101
Submitted: 17 March 2017  Accepted: 2 August 2017   Published online: 29 August 2017

Abstract

We profiled 98 mature microRNAs (miRNAs) using a stem-loop reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay array based on human miRNAs. We demonstrated that one, but not two, base-pair changes in the miRNA recognition sequence at the 3′ end only marginally affected copy number estimates. Absolute levels of miRNAs were measured in matured cattle oocytes, eight-cell embryos and normal and parthenogenetic blastocysts and Day-14 trophoblast. Most miRNA concentrations were below the expected functional threshold required for effective repression of moderately to highly abundant target RNA. In oocytes and peri-embryonic genome activation embryos, miRNA 320, a member of the Dgcr8/Drosha-independent class of miRNAs, was expressed at greater than 1000 copies per embryo. miRNAs were more abundant at the eight-cell than the oocyte stage. miRNA concentrations per cell increased from the eight-cell to the blastocyst stage. Both the number of miRNA species and their expression levels were reduced in trophoblast tissue at Day 14. The parthenogenetic samples were more related in their miRNA expression profiles to each other than to their wild-type (in vitro-produced cultured) counterparts. miRNAs 299 and 323, which have been shown to be maternally expressed in other species, were also more than 4-fold overexpressed in the cattle parthenogenetic samples.

Additional keywords: blastocyst, imprinting, oocyte, parthenote, trophoblast.


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