miR-126a-3p has been found to be specifically up-regulated in the process of murine embryo implantation. This study aimed to further clarify the role of miR-126a-3p in embryo implantation. The expression of miR-126a-3p in implantation sites was significantly higher than that in interimplantation sites (P = 0.009). Its expression dynamics in a series of models, including pseudopregnancy, delayed implantation and artificial decidualization, suggested that the induction of miR-126a-3p is dependent on hormonal signalling and decidualization of the endometrium. Bioinformatic analysis predicted and luciferase activity assay confirmed that Itga11, a member of the integrin family, was a target gene of miR-126a-3p. miR-126a-3p bound to the 3' untranslated region of Itga11 and regulated Itga11 by inhibiting mRNA translation and affecting mRNA stability. Transwell assay showed that miR-126a-3p promoted cell migratory and invasive capacity in vitro. Loss of function of miR-126a-3p significantly reduced the number of implantation sites in vivo (P = 0.013). Collectively, miR-126a-3p may play a major role in embryo implantation by regulating Itga11, possibly through impairing cell migratory and invasive capacity. These findings should contribute to a better understanding of the miRNA-based mechanism of embryo implantation.
Keywords: Itga11; embryo implantation; integrin; miR-126a-3p; microRNA.
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