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Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 29;10(1):3389. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11312-8.

Single-cell CAS-seq reveals a class of short PIWI-interacting RNAs in human oocytes.

Yang Q1,2, Li R1,2, Lyu Q3, Hou L1,2, Liu Z4, Sun Q4, Liu M5,6, Shi H5,6, Xu B1,2, Yin M3, Yan Z3, Huang Y1, Liu M1,2, Li Y7, Wu L8,9.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, China.
2
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Andrology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, China.
3
Department of Assisted Reproduction, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200011, China.
4
Institute of Neuroscience, CAS Key Laboratory of Primate Neurobiology, State Key Laboratory of Neuroscience, CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, China.
5
China National Population and Family Planning Key Laboratory of Contraceptive Drugs and Devices, Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research (SIPPR), Shanghai, 200032, China.
6
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, 200025, China.
7
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Andrology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, China. yipingli@sibcb.ac.cn.
8
State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, China. lgwu@sibcb.ac.cn.
9
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Andrology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031, China. lgwu@sibcb.ac.cn.

Abstract

Small RNAs have important functions. However, small RNAs in primate oocytes remain unexplored. Herein, we develop CAS-seq, a single-cell small RNA sequencing method, and profile the small RNAs in human oocytes and embryos. We discover a class of ~20-nt small RNAs that are predominantly expressed in human and monkey oocytes, but not in mouse oocytes. They are specifically associated with HIWI3 (PIWIL3), whereas significantly shorter than the commonly known PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs), designated as oocyte short piRNAs (os-piRNAs). Notably, the os-piRNAs in human oocytes lack 2'-O-methylation at the 3' end, a hallmark of the classic piRNAs. In addition, the os-piRNAs have a strong 1U/10 A bias and are enriched on the antisense strands of recently evolved transposable elements (TEs), indicating the potential function of silencing TEs by cleavage. Therefore, our study has identified an oocyte-specific piRNA family with distinct features and provides valuable resources for studying small RNAs in primate oocytes.

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