Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design
Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences
Factor in the germline alpha (FIGLA) is an oocyte-specific basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor essential for primordial follicle formation and expression of many genes required for folliculogenesis, fertilization and early embryonic survival. Here we report the characterization of bovine FIGLA gene and its regulation during early embryogenesis. Bovine FIGLA mRNA expression is restricted to gonads and is detected in fetal ovaries harvested as early as 90 days of gestation. FIGLA mRNA and protein are abundant in germinal vesicle and metaphase II stage oocytes, as well as in embryos from pronuclear to eight-cell stage but barely detectable at morula and blastocyst stages, suggesting that FIGLA might be a maternal effect gene. Recent studies in zebrafish and mice have highlighted the importance of non-coding small RNAs (microRNAs) as key regulatory molecules targeting maternal mRNAs for degradation during embryonic development. We hypothesized that FIGLA, as a maternal transcript, is regulated by microRNAs during early embryogenesis. Computational predictions identified a potential microRNA recognition element (MRE) for miR-212 in the 3’ UTR of the bovine FIGLA mRNA. Bovine miR-212 is expressed in oocytes and tends to increase in four-cell and eight-cell stage embryos followed by a decline at morula and blastocyst stages. Transient transfection and reporter assays revealed that miR-212 represses the expression of FIGLA in a MRE dependent manner. In addition, ectopic expression of miR-212 mimic in bovine early embryos dramatically reduced the expression of FIGLA protein. Collectively, our results demonstrate that FIGLA is temporally regulated during bovine early embryogenesis and miR-212 is an important negative regulator of FIGLA during the maternal to zygotic transition in bovine embryos.
Digital Commons Citation
Tripurani, Swamy K.; Wee, Gabbine; Lee, Kyung-Bon; Smith, George W.; Wang, Lei; and Yao, Jianbo, "MicroRNA-212 Post-Transcriptionally Regulates Oocyte-Specific Basic-Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor, Factor in the Germline Alpha (FIGLA), during Bovine Early Embryogenesis" (2013). Faculty & Staff Scholarship. 2559.
Tripurani SK, Wee G, Lee K-B, Smith GW, Wang L, JianboYao (2013) MicroRNA-212 Post-Transcriptionally Regulates Oocyte-Specific Basic-Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factor, Factor in the Germline Alpha (FIGLA), during Bovine Early Embryogenesis. PLoS ONE 8(9): e76114. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0076114