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Yuxun Zhou, Li Tong, Maochun Wang, Xueying Chang, Sijia Wang, Kai Li and Junhua Xiao

Puberty onset is a complex trait regulated by multiple genetic and environmental factors. In this study, we narrowed a puberty-related QTL region down to a 1.7 Mb region on chromosome X in female mice and inferred miR-505-3p as the functional gene. We conducted ectopic expression of miR-505-3p in the hypothalamus of prepubertal female mice through lentivirus-mediated orthotopic injection. The impact of miR-505-3p on female puberty was evaluated by the measurement of pubertal/reproduction events and histological analysis. The results showed that female mice with overexpression of miR-505-3p in the hypothalamus manifested later puberty onset timing both in vaginal opening and ovary maturation, followed by weaker fertility lying in the longer interval time between mating and delivery, higher abortion rate and smaller litter size. We also constructed miR-505-3p-knockout mice by CRISPR/Cas9 technology. miR-505-3p-knockout female mice showed earlier vaginal opening timing, higher serum gonadotrophin and higher expression of puberty-related gene in the hypothalamus than their WT littermates. Srsf1 proved to be the target gene of miR-505-3p that played the major role in this process. The results of RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing showed that SRSF1 (or SF2), the protein product of Srsf1 gene, mainly bound to ribosome protein (RP) mRNAs in GT1-7 cells. The collective evidence implied that miR-505-3p/SRSF1/RP could play a role in the sexual maturation regulation of mammals.

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Kai-Chun Cheng, Ying-Xiao Li, Akihiro Asakawa, Miharu Ushikai, Ikuo Kato, Yuki Sato, Juei-Tang Cheng and Akio Inui

We aimed to characterize the effects of preptin on insulin secretion at the single-cell level, as well as the mechanisms underlying these changes, with respect to regulation by intracellular Ca2+ [Ca2+]i mobilization. This study assessed the effect of preptin on insulin secretion and investigated the link between preptin and the phospholipase C (PLC)/protein kinase C (PKC) pathway at the cellular level using fura-2 pentakis(acetoxymethyl) ester-loaded insulin-producing cells (Min 6 cells). Our results demonstrate that preptin promotes insulin secretion in a concentration-dependent manner. Using a PLC inhibitor (chelerythrine) or a PKC inhibitor (U73122) resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease in insulin secretion. Also, preptin mixed with IGF2 receptor (IGF2R) antibodies suppressed insulin secretion in a dose-dependent manner, which indicates that activation of IGF2R is mediated probably because preptin is a type of proIGF2. In addition, preptin stimulated insulin secretion to a similar level as did glibenclamide. The activation of PKC/PLC by preptin stimulation is highly relevant to the potential mechanisms for increase in insulin secretion. Our results provide new insight into the insulin secretion of preptin, a secreted proIGF2-derived peptide that can induce greater efficacy of signal transduction resulting from PLC and PKC activation through the IGF2R.

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Jun-Ping Wen, Chune Liu, Wen-Kai Bi, Ya-Ting Hu, Qingshi Chen, Huibing Huang, Ji-Xing Liang, Lian-Tao Li, Li-Xiang Lin and Gang Chen

Adiponectin secreted from adipose tissues plays a role in the regulation of energy homeostasis, food intake, and reproduction in the hypothalamus. We have previously demonstrated that adiponectin significantly inhibited GNRH secretion from GT1-7 hypothalamic GNRH neuron cells. In this study, we further investigated the effect of adiponectin on hypothalamic KISS1 gene transcription, which is the upstream signal of GNRH. We found that globular adiponectin (gAd) or AICAR, an artificial AMPK activator, decreased KISS1 mRNA transcription and promoter activity. Conversely, inhibition of AMPK by Compound C or AMPKα1-SiRNA augmented KISS1 mRNA transcription and promoter activity. Additionally, gAd and AICAR decreased the translocation of specificity protein-1 (SP1) from cytoplasm to nucleus; however, Compound C and AMPKα1-siRNA played an inverse role. Our experiments in vivo demonstrated that the expression of Kiss1 mRNA was stimulated twofold in the Compound C-treated rats and decreased about 60–70% in gAd- or AICAR-treated rats compared with control group. The numbers of kisspeptin immunopositive neurons in the arcuate nucleus region of Sprague Dawley rats mimicked the same trend seen in Ki ss 1 mRNA levels in animal groups with different treatments. In conclusion, our results provide the first evidence that adiponectin reduces Kiss1 gene transcription in GT1-7 cells through activation of AMPK and subsequently decreased translocation of SP1.