Microcystin (MC)-LR is a cyclic heptapeptide that acts as a potent reproductive system toxin, especially by decreasing sperm quality through affecting spermatogonia. However, the molecular mechanisms of MC-induced spermatogonial cytotoxicity still remain unclear. The present study was designed to investigate changes in microRNA (miRNA) profiles and their potential functions in spermatogonia (GC-1 cell line) following treatment with MC-LR. With microarray analysis, 101 miRNAs were identified to be significantly altered in GC-1 cells treated with MC-LR. Among the 25 miRNAs associated with spermatogenesis, miR-96 was down-regulated most dramatically and thus selected for further functional analysis. Deleted-in azoospermia-associated protein 2 (DAZAP2) was predicted to have a binding sequence for miR-96 within its 3′-untranslated region. Fluorescent reporter assay confirmed that DAZAP2 was the target gene of miR-96. The expression of DAZAP2 decreased significantly when miR-96 was up-regulated. Consistently, down-regulation of miR-96 significantly increased the level of DAZAP2. Up-regulation of miR-96 promoted cell viability in GC-1 cells as a result of exposure to MC-LR. Our study suggested a crucial role for miR-96 in the regulation of cytotoxic effects of MC-LR in spermatogonia, which provides new perspectives in the diagnosis and treatment strategies for MC-induced male infertility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry