AB087. The expression of cysteine-rich secretory protein 2 (CRISP2) and its specific regulator miR-27b in the spermatozoa of patients with asthenozoospermia
Poster Presentation

AB087. The expression of cysteine-rich secretory protein 2 (CRISP2) and its specific regulator miR-27b in the spermatozoa of patients with asthenozoospermia

Junhao Zhou1, Qizhao Zhou2, Xiaoming Lyu3, Ting Zhu1, Zijian Chen1, Mingkun Chen1, Hui Xia1, Chunyan Wang1, Tao Qi1, Xin Li1, Cundong Liu1

1Hospital of Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China; 2Cancer Research Institute, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China; 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Nanfang Hospital, Guangzhou, China;


Objective: 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.s087


Cite this abstract as: Zhou J, Zhou Q, Lyu X, Zhu T, Chen Z, Chen M, Xia H, Wang C, Qi T, Li X, Liu C. 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):AB087. doi: 10.21037/tau.2016.s087

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