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RNA-Seq identifies key reproductive gene expression alterations in response to cadmium exposure.


ABSTRACT: Cadmium is a common toxicant that is detrimental to many tissues. Although a number of transcriptional signatures have been revealed in different tissues after cadmium treatment, the genes involved in the cadmium caused male reproductive toxicity, and the underlying molecular mechanism remains unclear. Here we observed that the mice treated with different amount of cadmium in their rodent chow for six months exhibited reduced serum testosterone. We then performed RNA-seq to comprehensively investigate the mice testicular transcriptome to further elucidate the mechanism. Our results showed that hundreds of genes expression altered significantly in response to cadmium treatment. In particular, we found several transcriptional signatures closely related to the biological processes of regulation of hormone, gamete generation, and sexual reproduction, respectively. The expression of several testosterone synthetic key enzyme genes, such as Star, Cyp11a1, and Cyp17a1, were inhibited by the cadmium exposure. For better understanding of the cadmium-mediated transcriptional regulatory mechanism of the genes, we computationally analyzed the transcription factors binding sites and the mircoRNAs targets of the differentially expressed genes. Our findings suggest that the reproductive toxicity by cadmium exposure is implicated in multiple layers of deregulation of several biological processes and transcriptional regulation in mice.

SUBMITTER: Hu H 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4058285 | BioStudies | 2014-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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