Meiosis I progression in spermatogenesis requires a type of testis-specific 20S core proteasome.
ABSTRACT: Spermatogenesis is tightly regulated by ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation, especially during spermiogenesis, in which histones are replaced by protamine. However, the functions of proteasomal activity in meiosis I and II remain elusive. Here, we show that PSMA8-associated proteasomes are essential for the degradation of meiotic proteins and the progression of meiosis I during spermatogenesis. PSMA8 is expressed in spermatocytes from the pachytene stage, and assembles a type of testis-specific core proteasome. Deletion of PSMA8 decreases the abundance of proteasome in testes. Meiotic proteins that are normally degraded at late prophase I, such as RAD51 and RPA1, remain stable in PSMA8-deleted spermatocytes. Moreover, PSMA8-null spermatocytes exhibit delayed M-phase entry and are finally arrested at this stage, resulting in male infertility. However, PSMA8 is neither expressed nor required for female meiotic progression. Thus, meiosis I progression in spermatogenesis, particularly entry into and exit from M-phase, requires the proteasomal activity of PSMA8-associated proteasomes.
Project description:Spermatogenesis uses mitotic and meiotic cell cycles coordinated with growth and differentiation programs to generate functional sperm. Our analysis of a Drosophila mutant has revealed that asunder (asun), which encodes a conserved protein, is an essential regulator of spermatogenesis. asun spermatocytes arrest during prophase of meiosis I. Strikingly, arrested spermatocytes contain free centrosomes that fail to stably associate with the nucleus. Spermatocytes that overcome arrest exhibit severe defects in meiotic spindle assembly, chromosome segregation, and cytokinesis. Furthermore, the centriole-derived basal body is detached from the nucleus in asun postmeiotic spermatids, resulting in abnormalities later in spermatogenesis. We find that asun spermatocytes and spermatids exhibit drastic reduction of perinuclear dynein-dynactin, a microtubule motor complex. We propose a model in which asun coordinates spermatogenesis by promoting dynein-dynactin recruitment to the nuclear surface, a poorly understood process required for nucleus-centrosome coupling at M phase entry and fidelity of meiotic divisions.
Project description:The transition from spermatogonia to spermatocytes and the initiation of meiosis are key steps in spermatogenesis and are precisely regulated by a plethora of proteins. However, the underlying molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, we report that Src homology domain tyrosine phosphatase 2 (Shp2; encoded by the protein tyrosine phosphatase, nonreceptor type 11 [Ptpn11] gene) is abundant in spermatogonia but markedly decreases in meiotic spermatocytes. Conditional knockout of Shp2 in spermatogonia in mice using stimulated by retinoic acid gene 8 (Stra8)-cre enhanced spermatogonial differentiation and disturbed the meiotic process. Depletion of Shp2 in spermatogonia caused many meiotic spermatocytes to die; moreover, the surviving spermatocytes reached the leptotene stage early at postnatal day 9 (PN9) and the pachytene stage at PN11-13. In preleptotene spermatocytes, Shp2 deletion disrupted the expression of meiotic genes, such as disrupted meiotic cDNA 1 (Dmc1), DNA repair recombinase rad51 (Rad51), and structural maintenance of chromosome 3 (Smc3), and these deficiencies interrupted spermatocyte meiosis. In GC-1 cells cultured in vitro, Shp2 knockdown suppressed the retinoic acid (RA)-induced phosphorylation of extracellular-regulated protein kinase (Erk) and protein kinase B (Akt/PKB) and the expression of target genes such as synaptonemal complex protein 3 (Sycp3) and Dmc1. Together, these data suggest that Shp2 plays a crucial role in spermatogenesis by governing the transition from spermatogonia to spermatocytes and by mediating meiotic progression through regulating gene transcription, thus providing a potential treatment target for male infertility.
Project description:The structural maintenance of chromosomes complex SMC5/6 is thought to be essential for DNA repair and chromosome segregation during mitosis and meiosis. To determine the requirements of the SMC5/6 complex during mouse spermatogenesis we combined a conditional knockout allele for <i>Smc5</i>, with four germ cell-specific Cre-recombinase transgenes, <i>Ddx4-Cre</i>, <i>Stra8-Cre</i>, <i>Spo11-Cre</i>, and <i>Hspa2-Cre</i>, to mutate <i>Smc5</i> in spermatogonia, in spermatocytes before meiotic entry, during early meiotic stages, and during midmeiotic stages, respectively. Conditional mutation of <i>Smc5</i> resulted in destabilization of the SMC5/6 complex. Despite this, we observed only mild defects in spermatogenesis. Mutation of <i>Smc5</i> mediated by <i>Ddx4-Cre</i> and <i>Stra8-Cre</i> resulted in partial loss of preleptotene spermatocytes; however, spermatogenesis progresses and mice are fertile. Mutation of <i>Smc5</i> via <i>Spo11-Cre</i> or <i>Hspa2-Cre</i> did not result in detectable defects of spermatogenesis. Upon exposure to gamma irradiation or etoposide treatment, each conditional <i>Smc5</i> mutant demonstrated an increase in the number of enlarged round spermatids with multiple acrosomes and supernumerary chromosome content. We propose that the SMC5/6 complex is not acutely required for premeiotic DNA replication and meiotic progression during mouse spermatogenesis; however, when germ cells are challenged by exogenous DNA damage, the SMC5/6 complex ensures genome integrity, and thus, fertility.
Project description:Spermatogenesis is a complex process that generates haploid germ cells or spores and implements meiosis, a succession of two special cell divisions that are required for homologous chromosome segregation. During prophase to the first meiotic division, homologous recombination (HR) repairs Spo11-dependent DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) in the presence of telomere movements to allow for chromosome pairing and segregation at the meiosis I division. In contrast to HR, non-homologous end joining (NHEJ), the major DSB repair mechanism during the G1 cell cycle phase, is downregulated during early meiotic prophase. At somatic mammalian telomeres, the NHEJ factor Ku70/80 inhibits HR, as does the Rap1 component of the shelterin complex. Here, we investigated the role of Ku70 and Rap1 in meiotic telomere redistribution and genome protection in spermatogenesis by studying single and double knockout mice. Ku70(-/-) mice display reduced testis size and compromised spermatogenesis, whereas meiotic telomere dynamics and chromosomal bouquet formation occurred normally in Ku70(-/-) and Ku70(-/-)Rap1(?/?) knockout spermatocytes. Elevated mid-preleptotene frequencies were associated with significantly increased DNA damage in Ku-deficient B spermatogonia, and in differentiated Sertoli cells. Significantly elevated levels of ?H2AX foci in Ku70(-/-) diplotene spermatocytes suggest compromised progression of DNA repair at a subset of DSBs. This might explain the elevated meiotic metaphase apoptosis that is present in Ku70-deficient stage XII testis tubules, indicating spindle assembly checkpoint activation. In summary, our data indicate that Ku70 is important for repairing DSBs in somatic cells and in late spermatocytes of the testis, thereby assuring the fidelity of spermatogenesis.
Project description:Successful meiotic progression of germ cells is crucial for gametogenesis. Defects in this process affect proper genetic transmission and sometimes lead to tumor formation in the germline. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the RNA-binding protein GLD-1 is essential for the meiotic development of oocytes. However, its role during spermatogenesis has not been understood. Here, we show that GLD-1 functions redundantly with the PUF family protein PUF-8 to ensure proper meiotic development of spermatocytes. When grown at 20°-the standard laboratory temperature for C. elegans growth-primary spermatocytes in both gld-1 and puf-8 single-mutant males and hermaphrodites complete the meiotic divisions normally. By contrast, some of the gld-1; puf-8 double-mutant spermatocytes exit meiosis and form germ cell tumors in both sexes. During larval development, gld-1; puf-8 double-mutant germ cells begin to express the meiotic marker HIM-3, lose P granules, and form the sperm-specific membranous organelle, which are characteristics of developing spermatocytes. However, some of these cells quickly lose HIM-3 and form germ cell tumors that lack membranous organelle but contain P granules. Mutations that block meiotic progression at late pachytene or diakinetic stage fail to arrest the tumorigenesis, suggesting that the gld-1; puf-8 double-mutant spermatocytes exit meiosis prior to the completion of pachytene. Together, results presented here uncover a novel function for gld-1 in the meiotic development of spermatocytes in both hermaphrodites and males.
Project description:The double bromodomain and extra-terminal domain (BET) proteins are critical epigenetic readers that bind to acetylated histones in chromatin and regulate transcriptional activity and modulate changes in chromatin structure and organization. The testis-specific BET member, BRDT, is essential for the normal progression of spermatogenesis as mutations in the Brdt gene result in complete male sterility. Although BRDT is expressed in both spermatocytes and spermatids, loss of the first bromodomain of BRDT leads to severe defects in spermiogenesis without overtly compromising meiosis. In contrast, complete loss of BRDT blocks the progression of spermatocytes into the first meiotic division, resulting in a complete absence of post-meiotic cells. Although BRDT has been implicated in chromatin remodeling and mRNA processing during spermiogenesis, little is known about its role in meiotic processes. Here we report that BRDT is an essential regulator of chromatin organization and reprograming during prophase I of meiosis. Loss of BRDT function disrupts the epigenetic state of the meiotic sex chromosome inactivation in spermatocytes, affecting the synapsis and silencing of the X and Y chromosomes. We also found that BRDT controls the global chromatin organization and histone modifications of the chromatin attached to the synaptonemal complex. Furthermore, the homeostasis of crossover formation and localization during pachynema was altered, underlining a possible epigenetic mechanism by which crossovers are regulated and differentially established in mammalian male genomes. Our observations reveal novel findings about the function of BRDT in meiosis and provide insight into how epigenetic regulators modulate the progression of male mammalian meiosis and the formation of haploid gametes.
Project description:Failure of homologous synapsis during meiotic prophase triggers transcriptional repression. Asynapsis of the X and Y chromosomes and their consequent silencing is essential for spermatogenesis. However, asynapsis of portions of autosomes in heterozygous translocation carriers may be detrimental for meiotic progression. In fact, a wide range of phenotypic outcomes from meiotic arrest to normal spermatogenesis have been described and the causes of such a variation remain elusive. To better understand the consequences of asynapsis in male carriers of Robertsonian translocations, we focused on the dynamics of recruitment of markers of asynapsis and meiotic silencing at unsynapsed autosomal trivalents in the spermatocytes of Robertsonian translocation carrier mice. Here we report that the enrichment of breast cancer 1 (BRCA1) and histone ?H2AX at unsynapsed trivalents declines during the pachytene stage of meiosis and differs from that observed in the sex body. Furthermore, histone variant H3.3S31, which associates with the sex chromosomes in metaphase I/anaphase I spermatocytes, localizes to autosomes in 12% and 31% of nuclei from carriers of one and three translocations, respectively. These data suggest that the proportion of spermatocytes with markers of meiotic silencing of unsynapsed chromatin (MSUC) at trivalents depends on both, the stage of meiosis and the number of translocations. This may explain some of the variability in phenotypic outcomes associated with Robertsonian translocations. In addition our data suggest that the dynamics of response to asynapsis in Robertsonian translocations differs from the response to sex chromosomal asynapsis in the male germ line.
Project description:The exact role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) during spermatogenesis has not been clarified. We used purified germ cell fractions representative of all phases of spermatogenesis and primary cultures of spermatogonia. This approach allowed the precise quantification of the cannabinoid receptor ligands, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, and of the expression at transcriptional and transductional levels of their metabolic enzymes and receptors. Our data indicate that male mouse germ cells possess an active and complete ECS, which is modulated during meiosis, and suggest the presence of an autocrine endocannabinoid signal during spermatogenesis. Mitotic cells possess higher levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which decrease in spermatocytes and spermatids. Accordingly, spermatogonia express higher and lower levels of 2-arachidonoylglycerol biosynthetic and degrading enzymes, respectively, as compared to meiotic and postmeiotic cells. This endocannabinoid likely plays a pivotal role in promoting the meiotic progression of germ cells by activating CB(2) receptors. In fact, we found that the selective CB(2) receptor agonist, JWH133, induced the Erk 1/2 MAPK phosphorylation cascade in spermatogonia and their progression toward meiosis, because it increased the number of cells positive for SCP3, a marker of meiotic prophase, and the expression of early meiotic prophase genes.
Project description:Spermatogenesis is a complex cellular-differentiation process that relies on the precise regulation of gene expression in spermatogonia, meiotic, and postmeiotic germ cells. The Ring 1 and YY1 binding protein (Rybp) is a member of the mammalian polycomb-group (PcG) protein family that plays multifunctional roles in development. Previous findings indicate that Rybp may function as an important regulator of meiosis. However, its expression in the testes and function in spermatogenesis have not been examined. In this study, we investigated Rybp expression in postnatal mouse testes using qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. We also examined the function of Rybp in spermatogenesis by using a conditional-knockout approach. Results showed that the relative expression of Rybp mRNA was significantly upregulated in the testes of postnatal day (PD) 6 mice. Immunofluorescent staining revealed that Rybp was enriched in the spermatocytes. Surprisingly, a conditional deletion of Rybp in fetal germ cells did not affect the fertility or normal development of spermatogenic cells. Further analysis revealed that Rybp deletion resulted in a decreased expression of meiosis-related genes, but that meiosis progression was normal. Together, these findings suggest that Rybp expression was enriched in spermatocytes, but that it was not required for spermatogenesis.
Project description:In spite of evolutionary conservation of meiosis, many of the genes that control mammalian meiosis are still unknown. We report here that the ENU-induced <i>repro4</i> mutation, identified in a screen to uncover genes that control mouse meiosis, causes failure of spermatocytes to exit meiotic prophase I via the G2/MI transition. Major events of meiotic prophase I occurred normally in affected spermatocytes and known regulators of the meiotic G2/MI transition were present and functional. Deep sequencing of mutant DNA revealed a mutation located in an intron of <i>Mtap2</i> gene, encoding microtubule-associated protein 2, and levels of <i>Mtap2</i> transcript were reduced in mutant testes. This evidence implicates MTAP2 as required directly or indirectly for completion of meiosis and normal spermatogenesis in mammals.