Underexpression of hsa-miR-449 family and their promoter hypermethylation in infertile men: A case-control study


Background: Post-transcriptional microRNAs (miRNAs) have an important pattern in the spermatogenesis process.

Objective: Study of the expression and methylation of hsa-miR-449 family in sperm samples of infertile men.

Materials and Methods: In this case-control study, we recruited 74 infertile men (with asthenozoospermia, teratozoospermia, asthenoteratozoospermia, and oligoasthenoteratozoospermia) and 30 control samples. Methylation-specific PCR (MSP) method was used for methylation evaluation of hsa-miR-449 a, b, c promoter. By Real time PCR (qRT-PCR) method,we showed downregulation of hsa-miR-449 a, b, c in the sperm samples of infertile men and compared it to their fertile counterparts.

Results: There was significant underexperssion, in hsa-miR-449-b in oligoasthenoteratospermic samples (p = 0.0001, F = 2.9). About the methylation pattern, infertile men showed high frequency of methylation in the promoter of hsa-miR-449 a, b, c in comparison to controls (60.8% vs 23.3%), the highest amount of methylation was observed in oligoasthenoteratospermia samples (81.2%).

Conclusion: In this study, low expression and high methylation of hsa-miR-449-b were observed in infertile men in compared to control samples, which can be one of the causes of defective spermatogenesis.

Key words: Spermatogenesis, miR-449, Expression, Epigenetic.

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