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FancJ (Brip1) loss-of-function allele results in spermatogonial cell depletion during embryogenesis and altered processing of crossover sites during meiotic prophase I in mice.


ABSTRACT: Fancj, the gene associated with Fanconi anemia (FA) Complementation Group J, encodes a DNA helicase involved in homologous recombination repair and the cellular response to replication stress. FANCJ functions in part through its interaction with key DNA repair proteins, including MutL homolog-1 (MLH1), Breast Cancer Associated gene-1 (BRCA1), and Bloom syndrome helicase (BLM). All three of these proteins are involved in a variety of events that ensure genome stability, including the events of DNA double strand break (DSB) repair during prophase I of meiosis. Meiotic DSBs are repaired through homologous recombination resulting in non-crossovers (NCO) or crossovers (CO). The frequency and placement of COs are stringently regulated to ensure that each chromosome receives at least one CO event, and that longer chromosomes receive at least one additional CO, thus facilitating the accurate segregation of homologous chromosomes at the first meiotic division. In the present study, we investigated the role of Fancj during prophase I using a gene trap mutant allele. Fancj (GT/GT) mutants are fertile, but their testes are very much smaller than wild-type littermates, predominantly as a result of impeded spermatogonial proliferation and mildly increased apoptosis during testis development in the fetus. This defect in spermatogonial proliferation is consistent with mutations in other FA genes. During prophase I, early events of synapsis and DSB induction/repair appear mostly normal in Fancj (GT/GT) males, and the FANCJ-interacting protein BRCA1 assembles normally on meiotic chromosome cores. However, MLH1 focus frequency is increased in Fancj (GT/GT) males, indicative of increased DSB repair via CO, and is concomitant with increased chiasmata at diakinesis. This increase in COs in the absence of FANCJ is associated with increased localization of BLM helicase protein, indicating that BLM may facilitate the increased rate of crossing over in Fancj (GT/GT) males. Taken together, these results demonstrate a critical role for FANCJ in spermatogenesis at two stages: firstly in the proliferative activity that gives rise to the full complement of testicular spermatogonia and secondly in the establishment of appropriate CO numbers during prophase I.

SUBMITTER: Sun X 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5415080 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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