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Alterations of RNA Modification in Mouse Germ Cell-2 Spermatids Under Hypoxic Stress

  • He, Tong1, 2
  • Guo, Huanping2
  • Xia, Lin2
  • Shen, Xipeng1, 2
  • Huang, Yun1
  • Wu, Xiao2
  • Jiang, Xuelin2
  • Xu, Yinying2
  • Tan, Yi1
  • Zhang, Yunfang2, 3
  • Tan, Dongmei1
  • 1 Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing , (China)
  • 2 Army Medical University, Chongqing , (China)
  • 3 Tongji University, Shanghai , (China)
Published Article
Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Jun 14, 2022
DOI: 10.3389/fmolb.2022.871737
  • Molecular Biosciences
  • Original Research


Hypoxia is a known stress factor in mammals and has been shown to potentially impair male fertility, which manifests as spermatogenic dysfunction and decreased semen quality. Studies have shown that RNA modifications, the novel post-transcriptional regulators, are involved in spermatogenesis, and hypoxia-induced alterations in RNA modification in testes and sperm cells may be associated with impaired spermatogenesis in mice. However, the molecular mechanisms via which RNA modifications influence spermatogenesis under hypoxic stress conditions are unclear. In this study, we generated a mouse Germ Cell-2 spermatid (GC-2spd) hypoxia model by culturing cells in a 1% O2 incubator for 48 h or treating them with CoCl2 for 24 h. The hypoxia treatment significantly inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in GC-2spd cells. The RNA modification signatures of total RNAs (2 types) and differentially sized RNA fragments (7 types of approximately 80 nt-sized tRNAs; 9 types of 17–50 nt-sized sncRNAs) were altered, and tRNA stability was partially affected. Moreover, the expression profiles of sncRNAs, such as microRNAs, tsRNAs, rsRNAs, and ysRNAs, were significantly regulated, and this might be related to the alterations in RNA modification and subsequent transcriptomic changes. We comprehensively analyzed alterations in RNA modification signatures in total RNAs, tRNAs (approximately 80 nt), and small RNAs (17–50 nt) as well as the expression profiles of sncRNAs and transcriptomes in hypoxia-treated GC-2spd cells; our data suggested that RNA modifications may be involved in cellular responses under hypoxic stress conditions and could provide a basis for a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying male infertility.

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