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Physiol Genomics. 2014 Oct 1;46(19):735-45. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00036.2014. Epub 2014 Aug 5.

Expression of microRNAs and their target genes and pathways associated with ovarian follicle development in cattle.

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Institute of Animal Breeding, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław, Poland;
School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland;
Department of Physiological Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw, Poland; and.
Department of Reproduction and Clinic of Farm Animals, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław, Poland.
Institute of Animal Breeding, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wrocław, Poland;


Development of ovarian follicles is controlled at the molecular level by several gene products whose precise expression leads to regression or ovulation of follicles. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression through sequence-specific base pairing with target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) causing translation repression or mRNA degradation. The aim of this study was to identify miRNAs expressed in theca and/or granulosa layers and their putative target genes/pathways that are involved in bovine ovarian follicle development. By using miRCURY microarray (Exiqon) we identified 14 and 49 differentially expressed miRNAs (P < 0.01) between dominant and subordinate follicles in theca and granulosa cells, respectively. The expression levels of four selected miRNAs were confirmed by qRT-PCR. To identify target prediction and pathways of differentially expressed miRNAs we used Union of Genes option in DIANA miRPath v.2.0 software. The predicted targets for these miRNAs were enriched for pathways involving oocyte meiosis, Wnt, TGF-beta, ErbB, insulin, P13K-Akt, and MAPK signaling pathways. This study identified differentially expressed miRNAs in the theca and granulosa cells of dominant and subordinate follicles and implicates them in having important roles in regulating known molecular pathways that determine the fate of ovarian follicle development.


microRNA; ovarian follicles; signaling; targets

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