BACKGROUND: mural granulosa cells (MGCs) and cumulus cells (CCs) are two specialized cell types that differentiate from a common progenitor during folliculogenesis. Although these two cell types have specialized functions and gene expression profiles, little is known about their microRNA (miRNA) expression patterns.
OBJECTIVE: to describe the miRNA profile of mural and cumulus granulosa cells from human pre-ovulatory follicles Methods: using small RNA sequencing, we definedinvestigated the miRNA expression profiles of human primary MGCs and CCs, isolated from healthy women undergoing ovum pick-up for in vitro fertilization (IVF).
RESULTS: small RNA sequencing revealed expression of several hundreds of miRNAs in MGCsMGC and CCsCC with 53 miRNAs being significantly differentially expressed between MGCs and CCs. We validated differential expression for miR-146a-5p, miR-149-5p, miR-509-3p and miR-182-5p by RT-qPCR. Analysis of proven targets revealed 37 targets for miR-146a-5p, 43 for miR-182-5p, 2 for miR-509-3p and 9 for miR-149-5p. Gene ontology (GO) analysis for these 4 target gene sets revealed enrichment of 12 GO terms for miR-146a-5p and 10 for miR-182-5p. The GO term ubiquitin-like protein conjugation was enriched within both miRNA target gene sets.
CONCLUSION: we generated miRNA expression profiles for MGCs and CCs and identified several differentially expressed miRNAs.