Molecules and cells

PGC-Enriched miRNAs Control Germ Cell Development.

PMID 26442865


Non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate the translation of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) involved in the growth and development of a variety of cells, including primordial germ cells (PGCs) which play an essential role in germ cell development. However, the target mRNAs and the regulatory networks influenced by miRNAs in PGCs remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate a novel miRNAs control PGC development through targeting mRNAs involved in various cellular pathways. We reveal the PGC-enriched expression patterns of nine miRNAs, including miR-10b, -18a, -93, -106b, -126-3p, -127, -181a, -181b, and -301, using miRNA expression analysis along with mRNA microarray analysis in PGCs, embryonic gonads, and postnatal testes. These miRNAs are highly expressed in PGCs, as demonstrated by Northern blotting, miRNA in situ hybridization assay, and miRNA qPCR analysis. This integrative study utilizing mRNA microarray analysis and miRNA target prediction demonstrates the regulatory networks through which these miRNAs regulate their potential target genes during PGC development. The elucidated networks of miRNAs disclose a coordinated molecular mechanism by which these miRNAs regulate distinct cellular pathways in PGCs that determine germ cell development.