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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2676;

miR-34a Regulates Sperm Motility in Zebrafish

College of Fisheries, Key Laboratory of Freshwater Animal Breeding, Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan 430072, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 7 December 2017 / Published: 10 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Biochemistry)
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Increasing attention has been focused on the role of microRNAs in post-transcription regulation during spermatogenesis. Recently, the miR-34 family has been shown to be involved in the spermatogenesis, but the clear function of the miR-34 family in spermatogenesis is still obscure. Here we analyzed the function of miR-34a, a member of the miR-34 family, during spermatogenesis using miR-34a knockout zebrafish generated by the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system. miR-34a knockout zebrafish showed no obvious defects on testis morphology and sperm quantity. However, we found a significant increase in progressive sperm motility that is one of the pivotal factors influencing in vitro fertilization rates, in the knockout zebrafish. Moreover, breeding experiments showed that, when miR-34a-knockout male zebrafish mated with the wide-type females, they had a higher fertilization rate than did the wide-type males. Glycogen synthase kinase-3a (gsk3a), a potential sperm motility regulatory gene was predicted to be targeted by miR-34a, which was further supported by luciferase reporter assays, since a significant decrease of luciferase activity was detected upon ectopic overexpression of miR-34a. Our findings suggest that miR-34a downregulates gsk3a by targeting its 3′ untranslated region, and miR-34a/gsk3a interaction modulates sperm motility in zebrafish. This study will help in understanding in the role of the miR-34 family during spermatogenesis and will set paths for further studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: miR-34a; knockout; sperm motility; gsk3a miR-34a; knockout; sperm motility; gsk3a

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Guo, W.; Xie, B.; Xiong, S.; Liang, X.; Gui, J.-F.; Mei, J. miR-34a Regulates Sperm Motility in Zebrafish. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2676.

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