Zearalenone exposure elevated the expression of tumorigenesis genes in mouse ovarian granulosa cells

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Zearalenone (ZEA) is one of mycotoxins which are from corn, sorghum and wheat. As an estrogenic compound, ZEA mainly affects animal growth and reproduction with causing abnormal reproduction capability. Previous studies have shown that ZEA poses adverse effects on follicular development, but the mechanism of genetic toxicity of ZEA is not understood. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of ZEA exposure on granulosa cells which play vital roles during follicular development. Mouse granulosa cells were exposed to 10 μM or 30 μM ZEA for 72 h in vitro, and the differences in gene expression patterns between control and ZEA exposures were analyzed by RNA-seq. The data demonstrated that 30 μM ZEA had a significant effect on the gene expression, especially ZEA exposure increased the expression of many genes related to different kinds of cancers and cancer related pathways like Hippo signaling pathway and the related genes, such as Ccnd1, Smad3, Tead3, Yap1 and Wwtr1. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry confirmed the increase in the protein levels of YAP1, WWTR1 and CCND1 in 30 μM ZEA exposure group. Collectively, this investigation indicated that ZEA exposure promoted the expression of tumorigenesis genes in mouse granulosa cells to.HighlightsZEA exposure resulted in cell abnormal morphology.ZEA exposure increased the expression of tumorigenesis genes.ZEA exposure affected the Hippo signaling pathway.

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