Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded nucleic acids consisting of approximately 16-22 nucleotides located ubiquitously within the genome. Their main function is to regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by binding to specific sequences in the 3'UTR regions of the mRNA and promoting its degradation or seizing it in specific subcellular compartments.
The MIRFOL project investigated and quantified the miRNAs present in the total follicular fluid on a selected sample of 40 women treated with purified or recombinant FSH. The present study allowed to identify a set of miRNAs, both already known and never identified, that were statistically significant in the analysis in contrast between two groups of individuals treated with different FSH, purified ("P" group) and recombinant (group "R").
The samples were collected and transported to the headquarters of the Padano di Lodi Technological Park (Alimenta incubator) of NEXT Genomics and sequenced through deep sequencing analysis at the GenHome platform.
The analyzes performed on total follicular fluid allowed to discover a new group of miRNAs, never identified in previous works, which were statistically different in their differential expression among the analyzed groups. Moreover, 5 known miRNAs were identified in the contrast analysis and to which a specific gene target was associated. Concerning the known miRNAs, a bioinformatic evaluation of target genes was performed with miRDB, one of the most used resources at international level for the publication of scientific works. The data obtained were then crossed with the outcomes related to the treatments and it was thus possible to highlight some new further projects that could add value to the study carried out.
One of the most valuable results obtained in this work is the database of miRNA sequences that refer to the sample from which the follicular fluid was extracted, and which constitutes a resource not yet evaluated in depth. The quality of the sequences allows today to analyze again the raw data in order to look for what had not been minimally considered during the design phase: the association of miRNAs with the group of positive pregnancies that led to the birth of children.