Project description:To identifiy stage-dependent genes in Sertoli cells, we performed expression microarray analysis of the adult whole testes, cultured primary Sertoli cells, Sertoli cells directly isolated from wild-type and Nanos3 (germ-less) testes,seminiferous tubules at stages I-III, IV-VI, VII-VIII and IX-XII. Next to examine the relationship between stage-dependent gene expression change and retinoic acid signaling, we performed expression microarray analysis of the cultured primary Sertoli cells treated with retinoic acid and stage-specific seminiferous tubules injected with lentivirus containing Venus or dominat negative form of RARa, a dominant receptor for retinoic acid in Sertoli cells. Biological duplicates were examined at each sample
Project description:Coordination of stem cell fate is regulated by extrinsic niche signals and stem cell intrinsic factors. In mammalian testes, spermatogonial stem cells maintain constant production of abundant spermatozoa by alternating between self-renewal and differentiation at regular intervals according to a periodical program known as the seminiferous epithelial cycle. Although retinoic acid (RA) signaling has been suggested to direct the cyclical differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells, it remains largely unclear how their cycle-dependent self-renewal/proliferation is regulated. Here, we show that MEK/ERK signaling contributes to the cyclical activity of spermatogonial stem cells. We found that ERK1/2 is periodically activated in Sertoli cells during the stem cell self-renewal/proliferation phase, and that MEK/ERK signaling is required for the stage-related expression of the critical niche factor GDNF. In addition, ERK1/2 is activated in GFR?1-positive spermatogonial stem cells under the control of GDNF and prevent them from being differentiated. These results suggest that MEK/ERK signaling directly and indirectly maintains spermatogonial stem cells by mediating a signal that promotes their periodical self-renewal/proliferation. Conversely, RA signaling directly and indirectly induces differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells. We propose that temporally regulated activations of RA signaling and a signal regulating MEK/ERK antagonistically coordinates the cycle-related activity of spermatogonial stem cells.
Project description:Retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARalpha)-deficient mice are sterile, with abnormalities in the progression of spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis. In this study, we investigated whether defective retinoid signaling involved at least in part, disrupted cell-cell interactions. Hypertonic fixation approaches revealed defects in the integrity of the Sertoli-cell barrier in the tubules of RARalpha-deficient testes. Dye transfer experiments further revealed that coupling between cells from the basal to adluminal compartments was aberrant. There were also differences in the expression of several known retinoic acid (RA)-responsive genes encoding structural components of tight junctions and gap junctions. Immunostaining demonstrated a delay in the incorporation of zonula occludens (ZO-1), a peripheral component protein of tight junctions, into the Sertoli cell tight junctions. Markedly reduced expression of connexin-40 in mutant pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids was found by in situ hybridization. An ectopic distribution of vimentin and disrupted cyclic expression of vimentin, which is usually tightly regulated during spermiogenesis, was found in RARalpha-deficient testes at all ages examined. Thus, the specific defects in spermiogenesis in RARalpha-deficient testes may correlate with a disrupted cyclic expression of RA-responsive structural components, including vimentin, a downregulation of connexin-40 in spermatogenic cells, and delayed assembly of ZO-1 into Sertoli cell tight junctions. Interestingly, bioinformatic analysis revealed that many genes that are components of tight junctions and gap junctions contained potential retinoic acid response element binding sites.
Project description:Cytochrome P450 family 26 subfamily B member 1 (CYP26B1) regulates the concentration of all-trans retinoic acid (RA) and plays a key role in germ cell differentiation by controlling local distribution of RA. The mechanisms regulating Cyp26b1 expression in postnatal Sertoli cells, the main components of the stem cell niche, are so far unknown. During gonad development, expression of Cyp26b1 is maintained by Steroidogenic Factor 1 (SF-1) and Sex-Determining Region Y Box-9 (SOX9), which ensure that RA is degraded and germ cell differentiation is blocked. Here, we show that the NOTCH target Hairy/Enhancer-of-Split Related with YRPW Motif 1 (HEY1), a transcriptional repressor, regulates germ cell differentiation via direct binding to the Cyp26b1 promoter and thus inhibits its expression in Sertoli cells. Further, using in vivo germ cell ablation, we demonstrate that undifferentiated type A spermatogonia are the cells that activate NOTCH signaling in Sertoli cells through their expression of the NOTCH ligand JAGGED-1 (JAG1) at stage VIII of the seminiferous epithelium cycle, therefore mediating germ cell differentiation by a ligand concentration-dependent process. These data therefore provide more insights into the mechanisms of germ cell differentiation after birth and potentially explain the spatiotemporal RA pulses driving the transition between undifferentiated to differentiating spermatogonia.-Parekh, P. A., Garcia, T. X., Waheeb, R., Jain, V., Gandhi, P., Meistrich, M. L., Shetty, G., Hofmann, M.-C. Undifferentiated spermatogonia regulate Cyp26b1 expression through NOTCH signaling and drive germ cell differentiation.
Project description:At least in mammals, retinoic acid is a pivotal factor in maintaining the functionality of the testis, in particular, for the progression of germ cells from mitosis to meiosis. Removal of dietary vitamin A or a targeted deletion of retinoic acid receptor alpha gene (Rara), the receptor for retinoic acid, in mice, led to testicular degeneration by a dramatic loss of germ cells and a loss of control of the spermatogenic cycle. The germ cells that remained in the vitamin A deficient (VAD) rat testis were spermatogonia and a few preleptotene spermatocytes. Spermatogenesis can be reinitiated by injection of VAD rats with retinol, the metabolic precursor of retinoic acid, but to date, the functions of retinoic acid in the testis remain elusive. We have applied DNA microarray technology to investigate the time-dependent transcriptome changes that occur 4 to 24 h after retinol replenishment in the VAD rat testis. The retinol-regulated gene expression occurred both in germ cells and Sertoli cells. Bioinformatic analyses revealed time-dependent clusters of genes and canonical pathways that may have critical functions for proper progression through spermatogenesis. In particular, gene clusters that emerged dealt with: (1) cholesterol and oxysterol homeostasis, * (2) the regulation of steroidogenesis, (3) glycerophospholipid metabolism, (4) the regulation of acute inflammation, (5) the regulation of the cell cycle including ubiquitin-mediated degradation of cell cycle proteins and control of centrosome and genome integrity, and (6) the control of membrane scaffolding proteins that can integrate multiple small GTPase signals within a cell. These results provide insights into the potential role of retinoic acid in the testis.
Project description:In vertebrates, one of the first recognizable sex differences in embryos is the onset of meiosis, known to be regulated by retinoic acid (RA) in mammals. We investigated in medaka a possible meiotic function of RA during the embryonic sex determination (SD) period and in mature gonads. We found RA mediated transcriptional activation in germ cells of both sexes much earlier than the SD stage, however, no such activity during the critical stages of SD. In adults, expression of the RA metabolizing enzymes indicates sexually dimorphic RA levels. In testis, RA acts directly in Sertoli, Leydig and pre-meiotic germ cells. In ovaries, RA transcriptional activity is highest in meiotic oocytes. Our results show that RA plays an important role in meiosis induction and gametogenesis in adult medaka but contrary to common expectations, not for initiating the first meiosis in female germ cells at the SD stage.
Project description:The transcription factor MAFB is an important regulator of the development and differentiation of various organs and tissues. Previous studies have shown that MAFB is expressed in embryonic and adult mouse testes and is expected to act as the downstream target of retinoic acid (RA) to initiate spermatogenesis. However, its exact localization and function remain unclear. Here, we localized MAFB expression in embryonic and adult testes and analyzed its gene function using Mafb-deficient mice. We found that MAFB and c-MAF are the only large MAF transcription factors expressed in testes, while MAFA and NRL are not. MAFB was localized in Leydig and Sertoli cells at embryonic day (E) 18.5 but in Leydig cells, Sertoli cells, and pachytene spermatocytes in adults. Mafb-deficient testes at E18.5 showed fully formed seminiferous tubules with no abnormal structure or differences in testicular somatic cell numbers compared with those of control wild-type mice. Additionally, the expression levels of genes related to development and function of testicular cells were unchanged between genotypes. In adults, the expression of MAFB in Sertoli cells was shown to be stage specific and induced by RA. By generating Mafbfl/fl CAG-CreER™ (Mafb-cKO) mice, in which Cre recombinase was activated upon tamoxifen treatment, we found that the neonatal cKO mice died shortly upon Mafb deletion, but adult cKO mice were alive upon deletion. Adult cKO mice were fertile, and spermatogenesis maintenance was normal, as indicated by histological analysis, hormone levels, and germ cell stage-specific markers. Moreover, there were no differences in the proportion of seminiferous stages between cKO mice and controls. However, RNA-Seq analysis of cKO Sertoli cells revealed that the down-regulated genes were related to immune function and phagocytosis activity but not spermatogenesis. In conclusion, we found that MAFB is dispensable for fetal testis morphogenesis and spermatogenesis maintenance in adult mice, despite the significant gene expression in different cell types, but MAFB might be critical for phagocytosis activity of Sertoli cells.
Project description:Recently, High Mobility Group Box1 (HMGB1) protein has been reported as an inflammatory cytokine present in all nucleated cells with crucial role in the genesis and promotion of cancer. No HMGB1 protein mice model and its active site details are available to validate mice in vivo experiments. Here, for the first time we have reported in silico mice HMGB1 model using human HMGB1 template. Prepared HMGB1 secondary structure showed 6-? helices, 5-? turns, 2-? turns with 67% ?-helices, 32% coil and 9% turn without ?-sheet, and classified as ?-class protein. Ramachandran plot analysis showed 98.2% and 92.3% residues lies in favoured region, verified by RAMPAGE and PDBsum server respectively. Cancer atlas of HMGB1 protein showed up-regulated expression of HMGB1 gene in different cancer, proved by CAB (CAB005873) and HPA-antibody (HPA003506) in silico. HMGB1 protein showed interaction with different biologically important inflammatory protein as depicted in STRING result.Prominent active site has residues Tyr78Ile79Pro80-81Lys82Gly83vGlu84Thr85Lys86-88Phe89Lys90Asp91Pro92Asn93Tyr162Lys165 with 310 Å3 site volume.Interacting residues of CGA-HMGB1 docked complex were ILE79PRO80-81LYS82GLY83GLU84LYS86-88PHE89Arg163Ala164LYS165Gly166 with docking score 3872 and surface area 412.6. CGA-conformer C3950 showed best docking than CGA and conformer-ZINC03947476, iso-chlorogenic acid and cischlorogenic acid. HMGB1 mice model could be a good therapeutic target for anti-cancerous drugs.