Analysis of long non-coding RNAs in epididymis of cattleyak associated with male infertility.

Cattleyak (CY), is a cross breed between cattle and yak (YK), which display equal adaptability to the harsh environment as YK and much higher performances than YK. However, the CY is female fertile and male sterile. Previous studies were conducted on testes tissues to investigate the mechanism of male infertility in CY. There is no systematic research on genes, especially lncRNAs between CY and YK epididymis. In this study, Illumina Hiseq was performed to profile the epididymis transcriptome (lncRNA and mRNA) of CY and YK. In total 18859 lncRNAs were identified, from which lincRNAs 12458, antisense lncRNAs 2345, intronic lncRNAs 3101, and sense lncRNAs 955 respectively. We have identified 345 DE lncRNAs and 3008 DE mRNAs between YK and CY epididymis. Thirteen DEGs were validated by quantitative real-time PCR. Combing with DEG, 14 couples of lncRNAs and their target genes were both DE, and 6 of them including CCDC39, KCNJ16, NECTIN2, MRPL20, PSMC4, and DEFB112 show their potential infertility-related terms such as cellular motility, sperm maturation, sperm storage, cellular junction, folate metabolism, and capacitation. On the other hand, several down-regulated genes such as DEFB124, DEFB126, DEFB125, DEFB127, DEFB129, CES5A, TKDP1, CST3, RNASE9 and CD52 in CY compared to YK were involved in the immune response and sperm maturation. Therefore, comprehensive analysis for lncRNAs and their target genes may enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the process of sperm maturation in CY and may provide important resources for further research.

Theriogenology. 2020 Nov 03 [Epub ahead of print]

Wangsheng Zhao, Saeed Ahmed, Siraj Ahmed, Yueling Yangliu, Hongmei Wang, Xin Cai

School of Life Science and Engineering, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang, 621010, Sichuan, China., Key Laboratory of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Animal Genetic Resource Reservation and Utilization (Southwest Minzu University), Ministry of Education, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610041, China; Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Animal Genetic Resource Reservation and Utilization Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu, Sichuan, 610041, China. Electronic address: .