Testicular piRNA profile comparison between successful and unsuccessful micro-TESE retrieval in NOA patients.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE:PIWI-interacting RNA (piRNA) is a sub-group of small RNAs about 30 nucleotides length which specifically expressed in mammalian germ cells. Although piRNAs play pivotal roles in spermatogenesis regulation, little is known in the testicular tissues of infertile men. To explore whether piRNA profile could serve as a biomarker for male infertility diagnosis in a clinic, in this study, we systematically investigated the expression profile of piRNAs in testicular tissues from the patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) between successful and unsuccessful sperm retrieval before micro-dissection testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE). METHODS:The differential expression levels of piRNAs were evaluated using small RNA-Seq method. Ontologic analyses were performed to determine the presence of enriched biological processes. RESULTS:A total of 18,324 Homo sapiens piRNAs were identified by small RNA-Seq from NOA patient testicular tissues; among them, 959 piRNAs were significantly altered between successful and unsuccessful sperm retrieval groups, of which 951 testicular piRNAs were significantly downregulated and 8 piRNAs were upregulated in NOA patients with unsuccessful sperm retrieval (USR) groups compared to those with successful sperm retrieval (SSR) groups, respectively. Unexpectedly, 553 testicular piRNAs were found completely absent in USR but showing abundant in SSR, which suggests that those piRNAs might serve as a biomarker for micro-TESE application. A total of 20 significantly differential piRNAs (hsa-piR-20830, hsa-piR-4731, hsa-piR-6254, hsa-piR-419, hsa-piR-7152, hsa-piR-7548, hsa-piR-14195, hsa-piR-5026, hsa-piR-11482, hsa-piR-17765, hsa-piR-17102, hsa-piR-4484, hsa-piR-17260, hsa-piR-17098, hsa-piR-20511, hsa-piR-5802, hsa-piR-19121, hsa-piR-2510, hsa-piR-4745, hsa-piR-11873) were selected to further validate the RNA-Seq data by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. In addition, bioinformatic analyses revealed that those altered piRNAs were involved in many important biological pathways, including apoptosis, cell proliferation, and differentiation. CONCLUSIONS:Our results demonstrate that testicular tissues from NOA patients with successful and unsuccessful spermatozoa retrieval exhibit differential piRNA profiles. This study provides a useful resource to further elucidate the regulatory role of piRNAs in spermatogenesis and provides a profound clue to identify useful biomarkers for predicting residual spermatogenic loci in NOA patients during assisted reproductive treatment.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is the main subtype of primary lung cancer and is a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are a type of small non-coding RNAs that may play crucial roles in cancer progression and serve as biomarkers for tumor detection. This study aimed to explore the expression profiles and diagnostic values of piRNAs in LUAD.<h4>Methods</h4>Small RNA sequencing was performed to investigate tissue piRNA profiles of LUAD. The expression of selected upregulated piRNAs were detected in tissues and serum exosome samples by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Serum exosomes were identified by transmission electron microscope, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and western blot analysis. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was adopted to quantify the diagnostic potentials of piRNAs in LUAD. Finally, a piRNA panel was developed by multivariate logistic regression model.<h4>Results</h4>We identified that 76 piRNAs were overexpressed and 9 piRNAs were underexpressed in LUAD tissues compared with adjacent non-tumor tissues. Among the top 10 overexpressed piRNAs, 4 piRNAs (piR-hsa-26925, piR-hsa-5444, piR-hsa-30636, and piR-hsa-8757) were verified by qRT-PCR to be significantly upregulated in LUAD tissues. Moreover, piR-hsa-26925 and piR-hsa-5444 had a significantly higher level in serum exosome samples of LUAD patients than those of healthy controls. We finally established a 2-piRNA panel composed of piR-hsa-26925 and piR-hsa-5444, which showed higher diagnostic performance for LUAD with an AUC of 0.833.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our finding revealed the abnormally expressed piRNAs in LUAD, and serum exosomal piR-hsa-26925 and piR-hsa-5444 could serve as potential biomarkers for LUAD diagnosis.
Project description:The use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has been a major breakthrough in the treatment of male infertility. Even patients with non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) may benefit from the ICSI technique to father a child as long as spermatogenesis is present. There are several techniques to recover testicular sperm in patients with NOA. However, retrieval of spermatozoa is unfortunately still only successful in a subset of patients with NOA, and the most superior sperm retrieval method is still under debate. A more recent technique, microdissection testicular sperm extraction (MD-TESE) with an operative microscope collecting larger and more opaque seminiferous tubules, is a non-blind sperm retrieval technique with theoretical benefits. The MD-TESE procedure seems to be feasible, effective, and safe in NOA patients but also more technically demanding and time-consuming compared with conventional blind techniques. In the present report, we describe our clinical experience and results from our first 159 MD-TESE procedures. The probability to retrieve sperm with the MD-TESE technique is high in NOA cases where earlier sperm retrieval with blind methods such as needle aspiration, percutaneous needle biopsy, or conventional TESE has failed.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Congenital malformations are common birth defects with high neonatal morbidity and mortality. It is essential to find simpler and more efficient biomarkers for early prenatal diagnosis. Therefore, we investigated PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) as potential prenatal biomarkers in plasma-derived exosomes from pregnant women carrying foetuses with congenital malformations.<h4>Methods</h4>Small RNA sequencing was used to screen piRNA biomarkers in plasma-derived exosomes of five pregnant women carrying foetuses with nonsyndromic cleft lip and palate (nsCLP) and five women carrying normal foetuses. Differentially expressed piRNAs were verified in 270 pregnant women, including 111 paired women carrying foetuses with congenital malformations and normal foetuses (at 24 gestational weeks), 10 paired women carrying foetuses with nsCLP and normal foetuses (at 15-19 gestational weeks), and 28 women at different stages of normal pregnancy. piRNA biomarkers were also verified in placentas, umbilical cords, fetal medial calf muscles, and lip tissues of nsCLP and normal foetuses.<h4>Findings</h4>We identified a biomarker panel of three pregnancy-associated exosomal piRNAs (hsa-piR-009228, hsa-piR-016659, and hsa-piR-020496) could distinguish nsCLP foetuses from normal foetuses. These three piRNAs had better diagnostic accuracy for nsCLP at the early gestational stage, at which time typical malformations were not detected upon prenatal ultrasound screening, and had diagnostic value for neural tube defects (NTDs) and congenital heart defects (CHDs).<h4>Interpretation</h4>Our work revealed the potential clinical applications of piRNAs for predicting nsCLP, NTDs, and CHDs.<h4>Funding</h4>National Key Research and Development Program, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and LiaoNing Revitalization Talents Program .
Project description:The objective of this systemic review was to evaluate the benefit of repairing clinical varicocele in infertile men with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA). The surgically obtained sperm retrieval rate (SRR) and pregnancy rates following assisted reproductive technology (ART) with the use of retrieved testicular sperm were the primary outcomes. The secondary outcomes included the presence of viable sperm in postoperative ejaculate to avoid the testicular sperm retrieval and pregnancy rates (both assisted and unassisted) using postoperative ejaculated sperm. An electronic search to collect the data was performed using the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases until April 2015. Eighteen studies were included in this systematic review and accounted for 468 patients who were diagnosed with NOA and varicocele. These patients were subjected to either surgical varicocele repair or percutaneous embolization. Three controlled studies evaluating sperm retrieval outcomes indicated that in patients who underwent varicocelectomy, SRR increased compared to those without varicocele repair (OR: 2.65; 95% CI: 1.69-4.14; P< 0.001). Although pregnancy rates with the use of testicular sperm favored the varicocelectomy group, results were not statistically significant (clinical pregnancy rate OR: 2.07; 95% CI: 0.92-4.65; P= 0.08; live birth rate OR: 2.19; 95% CI: 0.99-4.83; P= 0.05). The remaining fifteen studies reported postoperative semen analysis results. In 43.9% of the patients (range: 20.8%-55.0%), sperm were found in postoperative ejaculates. Pregnancy rates for unassisted and assisted (after IVF/ICSI) were 13.6% and 18.9% in the group of men with sperm in postoperative ejaculates, respectively. Our findings indicate that varicocelectomy in patients with NOA and clinical varicocele is associated with improved SRR. In addition, approximately 44% of the treated men will have enough sperm in the ejaculate to avoid sperm retrieval. Limited data on pregnancy outcomes with both postoperative ejaculated sperm and harvested testicular sperm preclude any firm conclusion with regard to the possible increased fertility potential in treated individuals. In conclusion, the results of our study indicate that infertile men with NOA and clinical varicocele benefit from varicocelectomy. ?Given the low/moderate quality of evidence available, it is advisable that doctors discuss with their patients with NOA the risks and benefits of varicocele repair.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Most of data available in the literature reported the sperm retrieval rate and limited intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) results of microdissection testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE) in non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) patients with different etiologies. Unfortunately, there is currently a lack of comprehensive data to guide clinicians in conducting comprehensive consultations with NOA patients.<h4>Objectives</h4>To obtain more comprehensive evidence-based data and clinical outcomes for better consultation of NOA patients who opted to undergo micro-TESE combined with ICSI-IVF.<h4>Methods</h4>It was a retrospective study involved 968 NOA patients underwent micro-TESE during January 2015 to December 2019. Embryological, clinical, and live birth outcomes were demonstrated comprehensively and three kinds of stratification analyses were performed based on ICSI-IVF cycles using frozen and fresh sperm, different etiologies of NOA and various amounts of sperm retrieved.<h4>Results</h4>The sperm retrieval rate was 44.6%, and ICSI was performed in 299 couples leading to 150 clinical pregnancies and 140 live-birth deliveries. The clinical pregnancy rate (CPR) was 50.17%, and the cumulative live birth rate (LBR) was 46.82%, and the low birth defects rate was 1.43%. No significant difference was observed about cumulative LBR in frozen sperm group and fresh sperm group (47.5% vs 42.9%, <i>P></i>0.05). NOA patients with AZFc microdeletions had the lowest rate of a high-score embryo on day 3 (4.4%, <i>P</i><0.05) and the lowest cumulative LBR (19.4%, <i>P</i><0.05). NOA patients with lower sperm count (having fewer than 20 sperms retrieved) had significantly lower cumulative LBR than those with higher sperm count (having more than 20 sperms retrieved) (28.1% vs 51.9%, <i>P</i><0.05).<h4>Conclusions</h4>For those NOA patients who stepped in ICSI-IVF cycles, the cumulative LBR was 46.82%. No significant difference was indicated in the LBR between ICSI-IVF cycles using frozen or fresh testicular sperm. Compared to other etiologies, NOA caused by AZFc microdeletions have the poorest embryological and clinical outcomes. Patients with less testicular sperm retrieved have poorer embryological and clinical outcomes.
Project description:The clinical management of men with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA) seeking fertility has been a challenge for andrologists, urologists, and reproductive medicine specialists alike. This review presents a personal perspective on the clinical management of NOA, including the lessons learned over 15 years dealing with this male infertility condition. A five-consecutive-step algorithm is proposed to manage such patients. First, a differential diagnosis of azoospermia is made to confirm/establish that NOA is due to spermatogenic failure. Second, genetic testing is carried out not only to detect the males in whom NOA is caused by microdeletions of the long arm of the Y chromosome, but also to counsel the affected patients about their chances of having success in sperm retrieval. Third, it is determined whether any intervention prior to a surgical retrieval attempt may be used to increase sperm production. Fourth, the most effective and efficient retrieval method is selected to search for testicular sperm. Lastly, state-of-art laboratory techniques are applied in the handling of retrieved gametes and cultivating the embryos resulting from sperm injections. A coordinated multidisciplinary effort is key to offer the best possible chance of achieving a biological offspring to males with NOA.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>There is a lack of biomarkers for distinguishing non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) patients with successful sperm retrieval (Sp+) from those with failed sperm retrieval (Sp-). This study aimed to determine the potential of extracellular vesicles tRNA-derived small RNA (tsRNA) as a novel non-invasive biomarker for successful sperm retrieval by microdissection testicular sperm extraction (mTESE).<h4>Methods</h4>The study included 18 patients with NOA with successful sperm retrieval (Sp+) and 23 patients with NOA with failed sperm retrieval (Sp-), 15 obstructive azoospermia (OA) patients, 5 idiopathic oligospermia (IO) patients, and 12 healthy people. Seminal plasma extracellular vesicles tsRNA levels were used in a two-stage case-control study (screened by tsRNA sequencing on Illumina NextSeq instrument and validated by qRT-PCR). The bioinformatic analysis was performed to determine the role of tsRNA in the pathogenesis of non-obstructive azoospermia.<h4>Results</h4>Two tsRNAs (tRF-Val-AAC-010: AUC = 0.96, specificity = 80%, sensitivity = 95%; tRF-Pro-AGG-003: AUC = 0.96, specificity = 87%, sensitivity = 95%) were found to have high predictive accuracy for distinguishing the origin of azoospermia. In addition, the extracellular vesicles tRF-Val-AAC-010 resulted in high predictive ability (AUC = 0.89, sensitivity = 72%, specificity = 91%, P < 0.0001) in predicting the presence of sperm in non-obstructive azoospermia undergoing mTESE. Finally, bioinformatic analysis revealed that tRF-Val-AAC-010 were involved in spermatogenesis.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study identified that the extracellular vesicles tRF-Val-AAC-010 and tRF-Pro-AGG-003 are biomarkers for the diagnosis of non-obstructive azoospermia, and that tRF-Val-AAC-010 as a potential non-invasive biomarker for predicting the presence of sperm in non-obstructive azoospermia testicular tissue.
Project description:PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are thought to silence transposon and gene expression during development. However, the roles of piRNAs in somatic tissues are largely unknown. Here we report the identification of 555 piRNAs in human lung bronchial epithelial (HBE) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines, including 295 that do not exist in databases termed as piRNA-like sncRNAs or piRNA-Ls. Distinctive piRNA/piRNA-L expression patterns are observed between HBE and NSCLC cells. piRNA-like-163 (piR-L-163), the top downregulated piRNA-L in NSCLC cells, binds directly to phosphorylated ERM proteins (p-ERM), which is dependent on the central part of UUNNUUUNNUU motif in piR-L-163 and the RRRKPDT element in ERM. The piR-L-163/p-ERM interaction is critical for p-ERM's binding capability to filamentous actin (F-actin) and ERM-binding phosphoprotein 50 (EBP50). Thus, piRNA/piRNA-L may play a regulatory role through direct interaction with proteins in physiological and pathophysiological conditions.
Project description:RASSF1C up-regulates important genes involved in lung cancer cell growth, including a stem cell self-renewal gene, piwil1. In this article, we report the identification of small noncoding PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) in lung cancer cells over-expressing RASSF1C. A piRNA microarray screen was performed using RNA isolated from the lung cancer cell line H1299 stably over-expressing RASSF1C and corresponding control. The piRNA microarray screen identified several piRNAs that are regulated by RASSF1C and we have validated the expression of two up-regulated piRNAs (piR-34871 and piR-52200) and two down-regulated piRNAs (piR-35127 and piR-46545) in lung cancer cells with silenced and over-expressed RASSF1C using RT-PCR. We also assessed the expression of these four piRNAs in lung tumor and matched normal tissues (n = 12). We found that piR-34871 and piR-52200 were up-regulated in 58% and 50%, respectively; while piR-35127 and piR-46545 were down-regulated in 50% in lung tumor tissues tested. The expression of piR-35127 was inversely correlated with RASSF1C expression in 10/12 tumor tissues. Over-expression of piR-35127 and piR-46545 and knock-down of piR-34871 and piR-52200 significantly reduced normal lung and breast epithelial cell proliferation and cell colony formation as well as proliferation of lung cancer cell lines (A549 and H1299) and breast cancer cell lines (Hs578T and MDA-MB-231). This suggests that these novel piRNAs may potentially be involved in regulating lung cell transformation and tumorigenesis. RASSF1C may potentially modulate the expression of its piRNA target genes through attenuation of the AMPK pathway, as over-expression of RASSF1C resulted in reduction of p-AMPK, p21, and p27 protein levels.
Project description:Although the importance of PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) in cancer has recently been recognized, studies on the role and functional mechanism of piRNAs in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) development and progression are limited. In this study, we identified 10 differently expressed piRNAs in LUAD tissues compared to normal tissues, among which, piR-hsa-211106 expression levels were downregulated in LUAD tissues and cell lines. Furthermore, the effects of piR-hsa-211106 on the malignant phenotypes and chemosensitivity of LUAD cells were detected by gain- and loss-of-function analyses <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>, which showed that piR-hsa-211106 inhibited LUAD cell proliferation, tumor growth, and migration, but promoted apoptosis. Moreover, our finding indicated that piR-hsa-211106 is a potential therapeutic target that synergistically imparts anticancer effects with a chemotherapeutic agent for LUAD-cisplatin. Further mechanistic investigation indicated that piR-hsa-211106 could bind to pyruvate carboxylase (PC) by RNA pull down and RNA immunoprecipitation assays and inhibited <i>PC</i> mRNA and protein expression. Our study demonstrates that piR-hsa-211106 inhibits LUAD progression by hindering the expression and function of PC and enhances chemotherapy sensitivity, suggesting that piR-hsa-211106 is a novel diagnostic and therapeutic target for LUAD.