Background: Mural Granulosa Cells (MGCs) and Cumulus Cells (CCs) are two specialized
cell types that differentiate from a common progenitor during folliculogenesis. Although these two
cell types have specialized functions and gene expression profiles, little is known about their microRNA
(miRNA) expression patterns.
Objective: To describe the miRNA profile of mural and cumulus granulosa cells from human preovulatory
Methods: Using small RNA sequencing, we defined the miRNA expression profiles of human primary
MGCs and CCs, isolated from healthy women undergoing ovum pick-up for in vitro Fertilization
Results: Small RNA sequencing revealed the expression of several hundreds of miRNAs in MGCs
and CCs with 53 miRNAs being significantly differentially expressed between MGCs and CCs. We
validated the differential expression of miR-146a-5p, miR-149-5p, miR-509-3p and miR-182-5p by
RT-qPCR. Analysis of proven targets revealed 37 targets for miR-146a-5p, 43 for miR-182-5p, 2 for
miR-509-3p and 9 for miR-149-5p. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis for these 4 target gene sets revealed
enrichment of 12 GO terms for miR-146a-5p and 10 for miR-182-5p. The GO term ubiquitin-like protein
conjugation was enriched within both miRNA target gene sets.
Conclusion: We generated miRNA expression profiles for MGCs and CCs and identified several differentially