Li Y, Zhang J, Liu YD, Zhou XY, Chen X, Zhe J, Zhang QY, Zhang XF, Chen YX, Wang Z, Chen SL.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) causes anovulatory infertility in women of reproductive age, but etiopathogenesis of PCOS remains undetermined. Taurine up-regulated 1 (TUG1), an evolutionarily conserved long non-coding RNA, performs various biological functions; however, the role of TUG1 in PCOS remains unclear. Herein, TUG1 expression was assayed in granulosa cells (GCs) of 100 patients with PCOS and 100 control participants. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was conducted to determine the diagnostic value of TUG1 in PCOS. TUG1 expression was also silenced in KGN cells to explore the role of TUG1 in cellular proliferation, apoptosis, cell-cycle progression, autophagy, and steroidogenesis. We found that TUG1 levels were dramatically increased in the PCOS group compared with those of the control group; this increased expression was related to a rising antral follicle count (R = 0.209, P < 0.001 versus control). The ROC curve indicated a significant separation between PCOS group and the control group (AUC: 0.702; 95% CI: 0.630-0.773; P < 0.001). TUG1 showed a predominantly nuclear localization in human GCs. TUG1 knockdown reduced cellular proliferation, and promoted MAPKs pathway-dependent apoptosis and P21-dependent autophagy, but may not affect cell-cycle progression. TUG1 knockdown increased aromatase expression and oestradiol biosynthesis. Our results indicate that increased TUG1 expression in PCOS GCs may contribute to excessive follicular activation and growth, and may disrupt the selection of dominant follicle. Our study shows that TUG1 can be used as a diagnostic biomarker for PCOS.