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Gene. 2012 Apr 15;497(2):330-5. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2012.01.038. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

Deep sequencing analysis of small non-coding RNAs reveals the diversity of microRNAs and piRNAs in the human epididymis.

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Yuhuangding Hospital, Yantai, Shandong Province, China.


The epididymis plays a crucial role in regulating the development of sperm motility and fertilizing capacity. Small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs), especially microRNAs (miRNAs), can participate in the regulation of various physiological pathways. However, their abundance and whether they are involved in the regulation of gene expression in the human epididymis are unknown. By adopting the Solexa deep sequencing approach, we systematically investigated the sncRNAs in the adult human epididymis. A total of 4903 unique sequences representing 527 known miRNA were discovered. Eighteen novel miRNA genes encoding 23 mature miRNAs were also identified and the expression of some of them was confirmed by qRT-PCR. The presence of Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) in the library also adds to the diversity of the sncRNA population in the human epididymis. This research will contribute to a preliminary database for their functional study in male reproductive system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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