Colin Conine, Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
The Perelman School of Medicine
Department of Pediatrics
Lab: BRB II/III 1333
Office: BRB II/III 1309
421 Curie Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
While studying sperm small RNA in mice, I discovered that RNAs are shipped from the epididymis to maturing sperm via extracellular vesicles, establishing a novel soma-to-germline transfer of RNA in mammals. This transfer of RNAs from epididymis to sperm is important for embryonic development as embryos fertilized by early epididymal sperm exhibit altered embryonic gene expression and fail to develop to term. Remarkably, both the molecular gene expression and embryonic viability phenotypes are rescued when early epididymal sperm embryos are injected with miRNAs acquired as sperm transit the epididymis.
Conine CC, Sun F, Song L, Rivera-Pérez JA, Rando OJ. MicroRNAs Absent in Caput Sperm Are Required for Normal Embryonic Development. Dev Cell. 2019 Jul 1;50(1):7-8. PubMed PMID: 31265813.
Conine CC, Sun F, Song L, Rivera-Pérez JA, Rando OJ. Small RNAs Gained during Epididymal Transit of Sperm Are Essential for Embryonic Development in Mice. Dev Cell. 2018 Aug 20;46(4):470-480.e3. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6103825.
Lee G, Conine CC. The Transmission of Intergenerational Epigenetic Information by Sperm microRNAs. Epigenomes. 2022 April 07; 6(2):12-20. PubMed PMID: 35466187.
The functions of noncoding RNAs in fertility, epigenetic inheritance, and development
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