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Lihua Yao, Mingyang Li, Jingwen Hu, Wangsheng Wang, and Minzhi Gao

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a major cause of infertility in women of reproductive age. However, its exact etiology remains unknown. In this study, we sequenced miRNAs in human follicular fluid and identified 16 downregulated and 3 upregulated miRNAs in PCOS group compared with non-PCOS group. Among the differential expressed miRNAs, miR-335-5p was verified lower abundance in PCOS than non-PCOS group using quantitative real-time PCR. Besides, miR-335-5p negatively correlated with antral follicle count, anti-Müllerian hormone and total testosterone. Bioinformatics analysis identified serum/glucocorticoid-regulated kinase family member 3 (SGK3) as a potential target gene of miR-335-5p. SGK3 is involved in protein kinase B-mammalian target of rapamycin kinase (AKT-mTOR) signaling pathway and cell proliferation. Western blotting and cell counting kit-8 assays demonstrated that miR-335-5p mimic reduced, while miR-335-5p inhibitor increased, SGK3 abundance, AKT-mTOR pathway and cell proliferation in human granulosa-like tumor KGN cells. Dual-luciferase reporter assays showed that miR-335-5p binds to the 3′ untranslated region of SGK3 mRNA. Furthermore, miR-335-5p was decreased and SGK3 was elevated in human granulosa cells obtained from PCOS patients as compared with non-PCOS controls. These findings suggested that miR-335-5p is involved in granulosa cells proliferation by reducing SGK3 expression, which might provide a molecular target to improve dysfunctional granulosa cells in patients with PCOS.