AB035. The expression of cysteine-rich secretory protein 2 (CRISP2) and its specific regulator mir-27b in the spermatozoa of patients with asthenozoospermia
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AB035. The expression of cysteine-rich secretory protein 2 (CRISP2) and its specific regulator mir-27b in the spermatozoa of patients with asthenozoospermia

Jun-Hao Zhou, Qi-Zhao Zhou, Xiao-Ming Lyu, Ting Zhu, Zi-Jian Chen, Ming-Kun Chen, Hui Xia, Chun-Yan Wang, Tao Qi, Xin Li, Cun-Dong Liu

Department of Urology, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510000, China


Background: Cysteine-rich secretory protein 2 (CRISP2) is an important sperm protein and plays roles in spermatogenesis, modulation of flagellar motility, acrosome reaction, and gamete fusion. Clinical evidence shows a reduced CRISP2 expression in spermatozoa from asthenozoospermic patients, but the molecular mechanism underlying its reduction remains unknown. Herein, we carried out a study focusing on the CRISP2 reduction and its roles in asthenozoospermia

Methods: Spermatozoa were isolated from 90 study subjects’ ejaculated semen samples. DNA methylation was evaluated using bisulfite-sequencing PCR and methylation-specific PCR. The CRISP2 mRNA and protein expression levels were examined in the ejaculated spermatozoa by qRT-PCR and Western blot respectively. miRNA expression was detected by qRT-PCR. The direct regulatory effect of miR-27b on CRISP2 was predicted computationally and validated via luciferase reporter assay and in vitro experiments in which miR-27b mimic or inhibitor was transfected into 293T cells. Respective correlations of miR-27b and CRISP2 protein expression with clinical features were analyzed using Spearman’s correlation coefficient.

Results: Initially, low expression of CRISP2 protein rather than its mRNA was observed in the ejaculated spermatozoa from asthenozoospermic patients relative to normozoospermic males. Meanwhile, methylation was not found in CRISP2 promoter. These data suggest a possible post-transcriptional regulation of CRISP2 in asthenozoospermia. Subsequently, bioinformatics prediction, luciferase reporter assay and miR-27b transfection experiments revealed that miR-27b could specifically target CRISP2 by binding its 3’-UTR, suppressing CRISP2 expression post-transcriptionally. Further evidence was provided by the clinical observation of a high miR-27b expression in the ejaculated spermatozoa from asthenozoospermic patients and a negative correlation between miR-27b and CRISP2 protein expression. Finally, a retrospective follow-up study supported that both high miR-27b expression and low CRISP2 protein expression were associated with low sperm progressive motility, abnormal morphology and infertility.

Conclusions: This study provides the first preliminary insight into the mechanism leading to the reduced CRISP2 expression in asthenozoospermia, offering a potential therapeutic target for treating male infertility or for male contraception.

Keywords: Asthenozoospermia; cysteine-rich secretory protein 2 (CRISP2); male infertility; miR-27b


doi: 10.21037/tau.2016.s035


Cite this abstract as: Zhou JH, Zhou QZ, Lyu XM, Zhu T, Chen ZJ, Chen MK, Xia H, Wang CY, Qi T, Li X, Liu CD. The expression of cysteine-rich secretory protein 2 (CRISP2) and its specific regulator mir-27b in the spermatozoa of patients with asthenozoospermia. Transl Androl Urol 2016;5(Suppl 1):AB035. doi: 10.21037/tau.2016.s035

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