Specific PIWI-Interacting RNAs and Related Small Noncoding RNAs are Associated with Ovarian Aging in Ames Dwarf (df/df) Mice

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Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences






Oxford University Press

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The Ames dwarf (df/df) mouse is a well-established model for delayed aging. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), the most studied small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs), may regulate ovarian aging to maintain a younger ovarian phenotype in df/df mice. In this study, we profile other types of ovarian sncRNAs, PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) and piRNA-like RNAs (piLRNAs), in young and aged df/df and normal mice. Half of the piRNAs derive from transfer RNA fragments (tRF-piRNAs). Aging and dwarfism alter the ovarian expression of these novel sncRNAs. Specific tRF-piRNAs that increased with age might target and decrease the expression of the breast cancer antiestrogen resistance protein 3 (BCAR3) gene in the ovaries of old df/df mice. A set of piLRNAs that decreased with age and map to D10Wsu102e mRNA may have trans-regulatory functions. Other piLRNAs that decreased with age potentially target and may de-repress transposable elements, leading to a beneficial impact on ovarian aging in df/df mice. These results identify unique responses in ovarian tissues with regard to aging and dwarfism. Overall, our findings highlight the complexity of the aging effects on gene expression and suggest that, in addition to miRNAs, piRNAs, piLRNAs, tRF-piRNAs, and their potential targets can be central players in the maintenance of a younger ovarian phenotype in df/df mice.