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J Biol Chem. 2008 Aug 22;283(34):23473-84. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M800406200. Epub 2008 Jun 13.

MicroRNA expression and regulation in mouse uterus during embryo implantation.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Cell Biology and Tumor Cell Engineering, College of Life Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 21-24-nucleotide non-coding RNAs found in diverse organisms. Although hundreds of miRNAs have been cloned or predicted, only very few miRNAs have been functionally characterized. Embryo implantation is a crucial step in mammalian reproduction. Many genes have been shown to be significantly changed in mouse uterus during embryo implantation. However, miRNA expression profiles in the mouse uterus between implantation sites and inter-implantation sites are still unknown. In this study, miRNA microarray was used to examine differential expression of miRNAs in the mouse uterus between implantation sites and inter-implantation sites. Compared with inter-implantation sites, there were 8 up-regulated miR-NAs at implantation sites, which were confirmed by both Northern blot and in situ hybridization. miR-21 was highly expressed in the subluminal stromal cells at implantation sites on day 5 of pregnancy. Because miR-21 was not detected in mouse uterus during pseudopregnancy and under delayed implantation, miR-21 expression at implantation sites was regulated by active blastocysts. Furthermore, we showed that Reck was the target gene of miR-21. Our data suggest that miR-21 may play a key role during embryo implantation.

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