Bull fertility is pivotal to the prosperity of the cattle industry worldwide. miR-202 has been shown to be gonad specific and to have key roles in gonad function in different species. To further understand the involvement of miR-202 in bull reproduction, this study aimed to establish its localisation in bovine testicular tissue and to identify putative biological functions using bioinformatics approaches. We assessed the miR-202 expression in paraffin embedded tissue samples collected form an abattoir using in situ hybridisation. miR-202 was present in Sertoli cells and in germ cells at different stages of development. Using available databases, a total of 466 predicted gene targets of miR-202 were identified. Functional annotation revealed that miR-202 target genes were mainly associated with protein modification and phosphorylation processes as well as longevity regulating pathway. Moreover, genes in the longevity regulating pathway mapped to PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway which is involved in promoting proliferation of testicular cells and spermatogenesis. These findings suggest that miR-202 plays important roles in regulating proliferation and viability of testicular cells including somatic and germ cells.
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