Renee Hilker's MSc Defence

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MicroRNAs interfere with translation of mRNAs through complementary binding at the 3’ untranslat-ed region (UTR). MicroRNA-29b-3p (miR-29b) is localized to the nucleus in porcine granulosa cells, but its function is unknown. We hypothesized miR-29b binds to nuclear DNA to regulate transcrip-tion. We analyzed genes regulated by miR-29b for potential binding sites in their promoter regions. MiR-29b may bind to the promoter regions of GLUL, CDKN2B, and NR2F2, but does not regulate NR2F2 transcription. We instead identified genes miR-29b may regulate via 3’ UTR repression. Through transcriptomic analysis, we found miR-29b reduces the expression of pro-proliferative genes. MiR-29b also enhances pro-autophagic gene expression while inhibiting granulosa cell apoptosis. Thus, miR-29b may regulate granulosa cell proliferation and apoptosis through the regu-lation of novel 3’ UTR interactions identified in this study. However, its specific nuclear function still requires further investigation.

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