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Cell Death Differ. 2017 Dec;24(12):2161-2172. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2017.136. Epub 2017 Sep 15.

MicroRNA-200c impairs uterine receptivity formation by targeting FUT4 and α1,3-fucosylation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalian Medical University, Liaoning Provincial Core Lab of Glycobiology and Glycoengineering, Dalian 116044, China.
Department of Pathology, the Secondary Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116000, People's Republic of China.


Successful embryo implantation requires the establishment of a receptive endometrium. Poor endometrial receptivity has generally been considered as a major cause of infertility. Protein glycosylation is associated with many physiological and pathological processes. The fucosylation is catalyzed by the specific fucosyltransferases. Fucosyltransferase IV (FUT4) is the key enzyme for the biosynthesis of α1,3-fucosylated glycans carried by glycoproteins, and the previous studies showed FUT4 expression changed dynamically during perimplantation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are known to regulate specific gene expression. However, the relationship between specific miRNA and FUT4, as well as the role of miRNA/FUT4 in the establishment of uterine receptivity remains elusive. In the current study, we reported that the levels of miR-200 family members were significantly increased in serum from infertility and abortion patients relative to healthy non-pregnancy and early-pregnancy women. Among these, miR-200c was the most sensitive diagnostic criterion for infertility by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. FUT4 was lower in the serum from infertility and abortion patients compared with the healthy non-pregnancy and early-pregnancy women. Using endometrial cell lines and a mouse model, we demonstrated that miR-200c targeted and inhibited FUT4 expression, leading to the dysfunction of uterine receptivity. Our results also revealed that miR-200c decreased α1.3-fucosylation on glycoprotein CD44, which further inactivated Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Taken together, miR-200c hampers uterine receptivity formation by targeting FUT4 and α1.3-fucosylation on CD44. miR-200c and FUT4 may be applied together as the potential markers for endometrial receptivity, and useful diagnostic and therapeutic targets for infertility.

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