MicroRNAs play key roles during ovary development, with emerging evidence suggesting that miR-202-5p is specifically expressed in female animal gonads. Granulosa cells (GCs) are somatic cells that are closely related to the development of female gametes in mammalian ovaries. However, the biological roles of miR-202-5p in GCs remain unknown. Here, we show that miR-202-5p is specifically expressed in GCs and accumulates in extracellular vesicles (EVs) from large growth follicles in goat ovaries. In vitro assays showed that miR-202-5p induced apoptosis and suppressed the proliferation of goat GCs. We further revealed that miR-202-5p is a functional miRNA that targets the transforming growth factor-beta type II receptor (TGFβR2). MiR-202-5p attenuated TGF-β/SMAD signaling through the degradation of TGFβR2 at both the mRNA and protein level, decreasing p-SMAD3 levels in GCs. Moreover, we verified that steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1) is a transcriptional factor that binds to the promoters of miR-202 and cytochrome P450 family 19 subfamily A member 1 (CYP19A1) through luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. That contributed to positive correlation between miR-202-5p and CYP19A1 expression and estradiol (E2) release. Furthermore, SF1 repressed TGFβR2 and p-SMAD3 levels in GCs through the transactivation of miR-202-5p. Taken together, these results suggest a mechanism by which miR-202-5p regulates canonical TGF-β/SMAD signaling through targeting TGFβR2 in GCs. This provides insight into the transcriptional regulation of miR-202 and CYP19A1 during goat ovarian follicular development.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited