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    Insights into epigenetic patterns in mammalian early embryos. Xu Ruimin,Li Chong,Liu Xiaoyu,Gao Shaorong Protein & cell Mammalian fertilization begins with the fusion of two specialized gametes, followed by major epigenetic remodeling leading to the formation of a totipotent embryo. During the development of the pre-implantation embryo, precise reprogramming progress is a prerequisite for avoiding developmental defects or embryonic lethality, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. For the past few years, unprecedented breakthroughs have been made in mapping the regulatory network of dynamic epigenomes during mammalian early embryo development, taking advantage of multiple advances and innovations in low-input genome-wide chromatin analysis technologies. The aim of this review is to highlight the most recent progress in understanding the mechanisms of epigenetic remodeling during early embryogenesis in mammals, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin accessibility and 3D chromatin organization. 10.1007/s13238-020-00757-z
    Genetically encoded protein sulfation in mammalian cells. Italia James S,Peeler Jennifer C,Hillenbrand Christen M,Latour Christopher,Weerapana Eranthie,Chatterjee Abhishek Nature chemical biology Tyrosine sulfation is an important post-translational modification found in higher eukaryotes. Here we report an engineered tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNA pair that co-translationally incorporates O-sulfotyrosine in response to UAG codons in Escherichia coli and mammalian cells. This platform enables recombinant expression of eukaryotic proteins homogeneously sulfated at chosen sites, which was demonstrated by expressing human heparin cofactor II in mammalian cells in different states of sulfation. 10.1038/s41589-020-0493-1
    The functions of CAP superfamily proteins in mammalian fertility and disease. Gaikwad Avinash S,Hu Jinghua,Chapple David G,O'Bryan Moira K Human reproduction update BACKGROUND:Members of the cysteine-rich secretory proteins (CRISPS), antigen 5 (Ag5) and pathogenesis-related 1 (Pr-1) (CAP) superfamily of proteins are found across the bacterial, fungal, plant and animal kingdoms. Although many CAP superfamily proteins remain poorly characterized, over the past decade evidence has accumulated, which provides insights into the functional roles of these proteins in various processes, including fertilization, immune defence and subversion, pathogen virulence, venom toxicology and cancer biology. OBJECTIVE AND RATIONALE:The aim of this article is to summarize the current state of knowledge on CAP superfamily proteins in mammalian fertility, organismal homeostasis and disease pathogenesis. SEARCH METHODS:The scientific literature search was undertaken via PubMed database on all articles published prior to November 2019. Search terms were based on following keywords: 'CAP superfamily', 'CRISP', 'Cysteine-rich secretory proteins', 'Antigen 5', 'Pathogenesis-related 1', 'male fertility', 'CAP and CTL domain containing', 'CRISPLD1', 'CRISPLD2', 'bacterial SCP', 'ion channel regulator', 'CatSper', 'PI15', 'PI16', 'CLEC', 'PRY proteins', 'ASP proteins', 'spermatogenesis', 'epididymal maturation', 'capacitation' and 'snake CRISP'. In addition to that, reference lists of primary and review article were reviewed for additional relevant publications. OUTCOMES:In this review, we discuss the breadth of knowledge on CAP superfamily proteins with regards to their protein structure, biological functions and emerging significance in reproduction, health and disease. We discuss the evolution of CAP superfamily proteins from their otherwise unembellished prokaryotic predecessors into the multi-domain and neofunctionalized members found in eukaryotic organisms today. At least in part because of the rapid evolution of these proteins, many inconsistencies in nomenclature exist within the literature. As such, and in part through the use of a maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis of the vertebrate CRISP subfamily, we have attempted to clarify this confusion, thus allowing for a comparison of orthologous protein function between species. This framework also allows the prediction of functional relevance between species based on sequence and structural conservation. WIDER IMPLICATIONS:This review generates a picture of critical roles for CAP proteins in ion channel regulation, sterol and lipid binding and protease inhibition, and as ligands involved in the induction of multiple cellular processes. 10.1093/humupd/dmaa016
    N-Deoxyadenosine Methylation in Mammalian Mitochondrial DNA. Hao Ziyang,Wu Tong,Cui Xiaolong,Zhu Pingping,Tan Caiping,Dou Xiaoyang,Hsu Kai-Wen,Lin Yueh-Te,Peng Pei-Hua,Zhang Li-Sheng,Gao Yawei,Hu Lulu,Sun Hui-Lung,Zhu Allen,Liu Jianzhao,Wu Kou-Juey,He Chuan Molecular cell N-Methyldeoxyadenosine (6mA) has recently been shown to exist and play regulatory roles in eukaryotic genomic DNA (gDNA). However, the biological functions of 6mA in mammals have yet to be adequately explored, largely due to its low abundance in most mammalian genomes. Here, we report that mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is enriched for 6mA. The level of 6mA in HepG2 mtDNA is at least 1,300-fold higher than that in gDNA under normal growth conditions, corresponding to approximately four 6mA modifications on each mtDNA molecule. METTL4, a putative mammalian methyltransferase, can mediate mtDNA 6mA methylation, which contributes to attenuated mtDNA transcription and a reduced mtDNA copy number. Mechanistically, the presence of 6mA could repress DNA binding and bending by mitochondrial transcription factor (TFAM). Under hypoxia, the 6mA level in mtDNA could be further elevated, suggesting regulatory roles for 6mA in mitochondrial stress response. Our study reveals DNA 6mA as a regulatory mark in mammalian mtDNA. 10.1016/j.molcel.2020.02.018
    Constitutively active follicle-stimulating hormone receptor enables androgen-independent spermatogenesis. Oduwole Olayiwola O,Peltoketo Hellevi,Poliandri Ariel,Vengadabady Laura,Chrusciel Marcin,Doroszko Milena,Samanta Luna,Owen Laura,Keevil Brian,Rahman Nafis A,Huhtaniemi Ilpo T The Journal of clinical investigation Spermatogenesis is regulated by the 2 pituitary gonadotropins, luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This process is considered impossible without the absolute requirement of LH-stimulated testicular testosterone (T) production. The role of FSH remains unclear because men and mice with inactivating FSH receptor (FSHR) mutations are fertile. We revisited the role of FSH in spermatogenesis using transgenic mice expressing a constitutively strongly active FSHR mutant in a LH receptor-null (LHR-null) background. The mutant FSHR reversed the azoospermia and partially restored fertility of Lhr-/- mice. The finding was initially ascribed to the residual Leydig cell T production. However, when T action was completely blocked with the potent antiandrogen flutamide, spermatogenesis persisted. Hence, completely T-independent spermatogenesis is possible through strong FSHR activation, and the dogma of T being a sine qua non for spermatogenesis may need modification. The mechanism for the finding appeared to be that FSHR activation maintained the expression of Sertoli cell genes considered androgen dependent. The translational message of our findings is the possibility of developing a new strategy of high-dose FSH treatment for spermatogenic failure. Our findings also provide an explanation of molecular pathogenesis for Pasqualini syndrome (fertile eunuchs; LH/T deficiency with persistent spermatogenesis) and explain how the hormonal regulation of spermatogenesis has shifted from FSH to T dominance during evolution. 10.1172/JCI96794
    Mediation of association between polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure and semen quality by spermatogenesis-related microRNAs: A pilot study in an infertility clinic. Yang Pan,Chen Da,Wang Yi-Xin,Zhang Li,Huang Li-Li,Lu Wen-Qing,Zeng Qiang Journal of hazardous materials Spermatogenesis-related microRNAs (miRNAs) are vulnerable to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Changes in spermatogenesis-related miRNAs may be biological intermedia in mechanisms linking PAHs and semen quality. This study aimed to investigate whether spermatogenesis-related microRNAs mediate the associations between PAHs and semen quality. We measured 10 monohydroxylated PAHs (OH-PAHs) in repeated urine samples and three candidate spermatogenesis-related miRNAs (miRNA106a, miRNA21, and miRNA34c) in seminal plasma from men attending an infertility clinic (n = 111). Mediation analysis was applied to determine the mediating role of spermatogenesis-related miRNAs in the association of PAH exposure with semen quality. Urinary 2-OHFlu and 2-OHPh were related to reduced seminal plasma miRNA34c (p for trend = 0.05 and 0.03, respectively). Urinary 9-OHPh was related to reduced seminal plasma miR106a (p for trend = 0.02), which in turn, was positively associated with sperm concentration, sperm count, sperm total motility, and progressive motility (all p for trends<0.05). Up to 43.8% of the eff ;ect of urinary 9-OHPh on decreased sperm concentration was mediated by seminal plasma miR106a. Our results suggested that certain PAH exposure was associated with reduced spermatogenesis-related miRNAs and such alterations might be an intermediate mechanism by which PAHs exert its adverse effects on semen quality. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121431
    CAP1 binds and activates adenylyl cyclase in mammalian cells. Zhang Xuefeng,Pizzoni Alejandro,Hong Kyoungja,Naim Nyla,Qi Chao,Korkhov Volodymyr,Altschuler Daniel L Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America CAP1 (Cyclase-Associated Protein 1) is highly conserved in evolution. Originally identified in yeast as a bifunctional protein involved in Ras-adenylyl cyclase and F-actin dynamics regulation, the adenylyl cyclase component seems to be lost in mammalian cells. Prompted by our recent identification of the Ras-like small GTPase Rap1 as a GTP-independent but geranylgeranyl-specific partner for CAP1, we hypothesized that CAP1-Rap1, similar to CAP-Ras-cyclase in yeast, might play a critical role in cAMP dynamics in mammalian cells. In this study, we report that CAP1 binds and activates mammalian adenylyl cyclase in vitro, modulates cAMP in live cells in a Rap1-dependent manner, and affects cAMP-dependent proliferation. Utilizing deletion and mutagenesis approaches, we mapped the interaction of CAP1-cyclase with CAP's N-terminal domain involving critical leucine residues in the conserved RLE motifs and adenylyl cyclase's conserved catalytic loops (e.g., C1a and/or C2a). When combined with a FRET-based cAMP sensor, CAP1 overexpression-knockdown strategies, and the use of constitutively active and negative regulators of Rap1, our studies highlight a critical role for CAP1-Rap1 in adenylyl cyclase regulation in live cells. Similarly, we show that CAP1 modulation significantly affected cAMP-mediated proliferation in an RLE motif-dependent manner. The combined study indicates that CAP1-cyclase-Rap1 represents a regulatory unit in cAMP dynamics and biology. Since Rap1 is an established downstream effector of cAMP, we advance the hypothesis that CAP1-cyclase-Rap1 represents a positive feedback loop that might be involved in cAMP microdomain establishment and localized signaling. 10.1073/pnas.2024576118
    LARP7-Mediated U6 snRNA Modification Ensures Splicing Fidelity and Spermatogenesis in Mice. Wang Xin,Li Zhi-Tong,Yan Yue,Lin Penghui,Tang Wei,Hasler Daniele,Meduri Rajyalakshmi,Li Ye,Hua Min-Min,Qi Hui-Tao,Lin Di-Hang,Shi Hui-Juan,Hui Jingyi,Li Jinsong,Li Dangsheng,Yang Jian-Hua,Lin Jinzhong,Meister Gunter,Fischer Utz,Liu Mo-Fang Molecular cell U6 snRNA, as an essential component of the catalytic core of the pre-mRNA processing spliceosome, is heavily modified post-transcriptionally, with 2'-O-methylation being most common. The role of these modifications in pre-mRNA splicing as well as their physiological function in mammals have remained largely unclear. Here we report that the La-related protein LARP7 functions as a critical cofactor for 2'-O-methylation of U6 in mouse male germ cells. Mechanistically, LARP7 promotes U6 loading onto box C/D snoRNP, facilitating U6 2'-O-methylation by box C/D snoRNP. Importantly, ablation of LARP7 in the male germline causes defective U6 2'-O-methylation, massive alterations in pre-mRNA splicing, and spermatogenic failure in mice, which can be rescued by ectopic expression of wild-type LARP7 but not an U6-loading-deficient mutant LARP7. Our data uncover a novel role of LARP7 in regulating U6 2'-O-methylation and demonstrate the functional requirement of such modification for splicing fidelity and spermatogenesis in mice. 10.1016/j.molcel.2020.01.002
    SLC25A51 is a mammalian mitochondrial NAD transporter. Luongo Timothy S,Eller Jared M,Lu Mu-Jie,Niere Marc,Raith Fabio,Perry Caroline,Bornstein Marc R,Oliphint Paul,Wang Lin,McReynolds Melanie R,Migaud Marie E,Rabinowitz Joshua D,Johnson F Brad,Johnsson Kai,Ziegler Mathias,Cambronne Xiaolu A,Baur Joseph A Nature Mitochondria require nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) to carry out the fundamental processes that fuel respiration and mediate cellular energy transduction. Mitochondrial NAD transporters have been identified in yeast and plants, but their existence in mammals remains controversial. Here we demonstrate that mammalian mitochondria can take up intact NAD, and identify SLC25A51 (also known as MCART1)-an essential mitochondrial protein of previously unknown function-as a mammalian mitochondrial NAD transporter. Loss of SLC25A51 decreases mitochondrial-but not whole-cell-NAD content, impairs mitochondrial respiration, and blocks the uptake of NAD into isolated mitochondria. Conversely, overexpression of SLC25A51 or SLC25A52 (a nearly identical paralogue of SLC25A51) increases mitochondrial NAD levels and restores NAD uptake into yeast mitochondria lacking endogenous NAD transporters. Together, these findings identify SLC25A51 as a mammalian transporter capable of importing NAD into mitochondria. 10.1038/s41586-020-2741-7
    Protein phosphatase 6 is a key factor regulating spermatogenesis. Cell death and differentiation Protein phosphatase 6 (PP6) is a member of the PP2A-like subfamily, which plays a critical role in many fundamental cellular processes. We recently reported that PP6 is essential for female fertility. Here, we report that PP6 is involved in meiotic recombination and that germ cell-specific deletion of PP6 by Stra8-Cre causes defective spermatogenesis. The PP6-deficient spermatocytes were arrested at the pachytene stage and defects in DSB repair and crossover formation were observed, indicating that PP6 facilitated meiotic double-stranded breaks (DSB) repair. Further investigations revealed that depletion of PP6 in the germ cells affected chromatin relaxation, which was dependent on MAPK pathway activity, consequently preventing programmed DSB repair factors from being recruited to proper positions on the chromatin. Taken together, our results demonstrate that PP6 has an important role in meiotic recombination and male fertility. 10.1038/s41418-019-0472-9
    Ythdc2 is an N-methyladenosine binding protein that regulates mammalian spermatogenesis. Hsu Phillip J,Zhu Yunfei,Ma Honghui,Guo Yueshuai,Shi Xiaodan,Liu Yuanyuan,Qi Meijie,Lu Zhike,Shi Hailing,Wang Jianying,Cheng Yiwei,Luo Guanzheng,Dai Qing,Liu Mingxi,Guo Xuejiang,Sha Jiahao,Shen Bin,He Chuan Cell research N-methyladenosine (mA) is the most common internal modification in eukaryotic mRNA. It is dynamically installed and removed, and acts as a new layer of mRNA metabolism, regulating biological processes including stem cell pluripotency, cell differentiation, and energy homeostasis. mA is recognized by selective binding proteins; YTHDF1 and YTHDF3 work in concert to affect the translation of mA-containing mRNAs, YTHDF2 expedites mRNA decay, and YTHDC1 affects the nuclear processing of its targets. The biological function of YTHDC2, the final member of the YTH protein family, remains unknown. We report that YTHDC2 selectively binds mA at its consensus motif. YTHDC2 enhances the translation efficiency of its targets and also decreases their mRNA abundance. Ythdc2 knockout mice are infertile; males have significantly smaller testes and females have significantly smaller ovaries compared to those of littermates. The germ cells of Ythdc2 knockout mice do not develop past the zygotene stage and accordingly, Ythdc2 is upregulated in the testes as meiosis begins. Thus, YTHDC2 is an mA-binding protein that plays critical roles during spermatogenesis. 10.1038/cr.2017.99
    Alginate oligosaccharides improve germ cell development and testicular microenvironment to rescue busulfan disrupted spermatogenesis. Zhao Yong,Zhang Pengfei,Ge Wei,Feng Yanni,Li Lan,Sun Zhongyi,Zhang Hongfu,Shen Wei Theranostics : Busulfan is currently an indispensable anti-cancer drug, particularly for children, but the side effects on male reproduction are so serious that critical drug management is needed to minimize any negative impact. Meanwhile, alginate oligosaccharides (AOS) are natural products with many consequent advantages, that have attracted a great deal of pharmaceutical attention. In the current investigation, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing on murine testes treated with busulfan and/or AOS to define the mitigating effects of AOS on spermatogenesis at the single cell level. : Testicular cells () were examined by single cell RNA sequencing analysis, histopathological analysis, immunofluorescence staining, and Western blotting. Testes samples () underwent RNA sequencing analysis. Blood and testicular metabolomes were determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS). : We found that AOS increased murine sperm concentration and motility, and rescued busulfan disrupted spermatogenesis through improving (i) the proportion of germ cells, (ii) gene expression important for spermatogenesis, and (iii) transcriptional factors . Furthermore, AOS promoted the expression of genes important for spermatogenesis Finally, our results showed that AOS improved blood and testis metabolomes as well as the gut microbiota to support the recovery of spermatogenesis. : AOS could be used to improve fertility in patients undergoing chemotherapy and to combat other factors that induce infertility in humans. 10.7150/thno.43189
    Mammalian SWI/SNF chromatin remodeler is essential for reductional meiosis in males. Menon Debashish U,Kirsanov Oleksandr,Geyer Christopher B,Magnuson Terry Nature communications The mammalian SWI/SNF nucleosome remodeler is essential for spermatogenesis. Here, we identify a role for ARID2, a PBAF (Polybromo - Brg1 Associated Factor)-specific subunit, in meiotic division. Arid2 spermatocytes arrest at metaphase-I and are deficient in spindle assembly, kinetochore-associated Polo-like kinase1 (PLK1), and centromeric targeting of Histone H3 threonine3 phosphorylation (H3T3P) and Histone H2A threonine120 phosphorylation (H2AT120P). By determining ARID2 and BRG1 genomic associations, we show that PBAF localizes to centromeres and promoters of genes known to govern spindle assembly and nuclear division in spermatocytes. Consistent with gene ontology of target genes, we also identify a role for ARID2 in centrosome stability. Additionally, misexpression of genes such as Aurkc and Ppp1cc (Pp1γ), known to govern chromosome segregation, potentially compromises the function of the chromosome passenger complex (CPC) and deposition of H3T3P, respectively. Our data support a model where-in PBAF activates genes essential for meiotic cell division. 10.1038/s41467-021-26828-1
    CdSe/ZnS quantum dots induced spermatogenesis dysfunction via autophagy activation. Yang Qingling,Li Fangyuan,Miao Yanyan,Luo Xiaoyan,Dai Shanjun,Liu Jinhao,Niu Wenbin,Sun Yingpu Journal of hazardous materials Recent researches have demonstrated that many nanoparticles are harmful to spermatogenesis. However, the reported nanoparticles -elicited testicular pathologies have been mostly confined to hormone levels and sperm quality and quantity, the detail mechanism is still largely unknown and the strategies to reduce the toxicity of nanoparticles on testis are lacking. Here, we found that CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) exposure impair double-strand break (DSB) repair in spermatocyte, leading to the disruption of meiotic progression and thus cell apoptosis and decreased sperm production. Furthermore, we found that QDs exposure elevates the autophagy. Crucially, both in vitro and in vivo studies indicated that elevated autophagy could down-regulate the expression of the genes responsible for homologous recombination, which is the main pathway for DSB repair during meiosis, indicating that spermatogenesis impairment by CdSe/ZnS QDs is mediated by autophagy. Consequently, injection of autophagy inhibitor (3-MA) restore DSB repair in spermatocytes, resulting in prevention of spermatocyte apoptosis and recovery of spermatogenesis. Our studies strongly indicate that autophagy is key for eliciting the spermatogenesis dysfunction after nanoparticle exposure, and autophagy inhibition can be used as a potential clinical remedy for alleviating the male reproductive toxicity of nanoparticles. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.122327
    HDAC3 controls male fertility through enzyme-independent transcriptional regulation at the meiotic exit of spermatogenesis. Yin Huiqi,Kang Zhenlong,Zhang Yingwen,Gong Yingyun,Liu Mengrou,Xue Yanfeng,He Wenxiu,Wang Yanfeng,Zhang Shuya,Xu Qiushi,Fu Kaiqiang,Zheng Bangjin,Xie Jie,Zhang Jinwen,Wang Yuanyuan,Lin Mingyan,Zhang Yihan,Feng Hua,Xin Changpeng,Guan Yichun,Huang Chaoyang,Guo Xuejiang,Wang P Jeremy,Baur Joseph A,Zheng Ke,Sun Zheng,Ye Lan Nucleic acids research The transition from meiotic spermatocytes to postmeiotic haploid germ cells constitutes an essential step in spermatogenesis. The epigenomic regulatory mechanisms underlying this transition remain unclear. Here, we find a prominent transcriptomic switch from the late spermatocytes to the early round spermatids during the meiotic-to-postmeiotic transition, which is associated with robust histone acetylation changes across the genome. Among histone deacetylases (HDACs) and acetyltransferases, we find that HDAC3 is selectively expressed in the late meiotic and early haploid stages. Three independent mouse lines with the testis-specific knockout of HDAC3 show infertility and defects in meiotic exit with an arrest at the late stage of meiosis or early stage of round spermatids. Stage-specific RNA-seq and histone acetylation ChIP-seq analyses reveal that HDAC3 represses meiotic/spermatogonial genes and activates postmeiotic haploid gene programs during meiotic exit, with associated histone acetylation alterations. Unexpectedly, abolishing HDAC3 catalytic activity by missense mutations in the nuclear receptor corepressor (NCOR or SMRT) does not cause infertility, despite causing histone hyperacetylation as HDAC3 knockout, demonstrating that HDAC3 enzyme activity is not required for spermatogenesis. Motif analysis of the HDAC3 cistrome in the testes identified SOX30, which has a similar spatiotemporal expression pattern as HDAC3 during spermatogenesis. Depletion of SOX30 in the testes abolishes the genomic recruitment of the HDAC3 to the binding sites. Collectively, these results establish the SOX30/HDAC3 signaling as a key regulator of the transcriptional program in a deacetylase-independent manner during the meiotic-to-postmeiotic transition in spermatogenesis. 10.1093/nar/gkab313
    Reprogramming of Meiotic Chromatin Architecture during Spermatogenesis. Wang Yao,Wang Hanben,Zhang Yu,Du Zhenhai,Si Wei,Fan Suixing,Qin Dongdong,Wang Mei,Duan Yanchao,Li Lufan,Jiao Yuying,Li Yuanyuan,Wang Qiujun,Shi Qinghua,Wu Xin,Xie Wei Molecular cell Chromatin organization undergoes drastic reconfiguration during gametogenesis. However, the molecular reprogramming of three-dimensional chromatin structure in this process remains poorly understood for mammals, including primates. Here, we examined three-dimensional chromatin architecture during spermatogenesis in rhesus monkey using low-input Hi-C. Interestingly, we found that topologically associating domains (TADs) undergo dissolution and reestablishment in spermatogenesis. Strikingly, pachytene spermatocytes, where synapsis occurs, are strongly depleted for TADs despite their active transcription state but uniquely show highly refined local compartments that alternate between transcribing and non-transcribing regions (refined-A/B). Importantly, such chromatin organization is conserved in mouse, where it remains largely intact upon transcription inhibition. Instead, it is attenuated in mutant spermatocytes, where the synaptonemal complex failed to be established. Intriguingly, this is accompanied by the restoration of TADs, suggesting that the synaptonemal complex may restrict TADs and promote local compartments. Thus, these data revealed extensive reprogramming of higher-order meiotic chromatin architecture during mammalian gametogenesis. 10.1016/j.molcel.2018.11.019
    Donor-derived spermatogenesis following stem cell transplantation in sterile knockout males. Ciccarelli Michela,Giassetti Mariana I,Miao Deqiang,Oatley Melissa J,Robbins Colton,Lopez-Biladeau Blanca,Waqas Muhammad Salman,Tibary Ahmed,Whitelaw Bruce,Lillico Simon,Park Chi-Hun,Park Ki-Eun,Telugu Bhanu,Fan Zhiqiang,Liu Ying,Regouski Misha,Polejaeva Irina A,Oatley Jon M Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Spermatogonial stem cell transplantation (SSCT) is an experimental technique for transfer of germline between donor and recipient males that could be used as a tool for biomedical research, preservation of endangered species, and dissemination of desirable genetics in food animal populations. To fully realize these potentials, recipient males must be devoid of endogenous germline but possess normal testicular architecture and somatic cell function capable of supporting allogeneic donor stem cell engraftment and regeneration of spermatogenesis. Here we show that male mice, pigs, goats, and cattle harboring knockout alleles of the gene generated by CRISPR-Cas9 editing have testes that are germline ablated but otherwise structurally normal. In adult pigs and goats, SSCT with allogeneic donor stem cells led to sustained donor-derived spermatogenesis. With prepubertal mice, allogeneic SSCT resulted in attainment of natural fertility. Collectively, these advancements represent a major step toward realizing the enormous potential of surrogate sires as a tool for dissemination and regeneration of germplasm in all mammalian species. 10.1073/pnas.2010102117
    Functional Analysis of Hydrolethalus Syndrome Protein HYLS1 in Ciliogenesis and Spermatogenesis in . Hou Yanan,Wu Zhimao,Zhang Yingying,Chen Huicheng,Hu Jinghua,Guo Yi,Peng Ying,Wei Qing Frontiers in cell and developmental biology Cilia and flagella are conserved subcellular organelles, which arise from centrioles and play critical roles in development and reproduction of eukaryotes. Dysfunction of cilia leads to life-threatening ciliopathies. HYLS1 is an evolutionarily conserved centriole protein, which is critical for ciliogenesis, and its mutation causes ciliopathy-hydrolethalus syndrome. However, the molecular function of HYLS1 remains elusive. Here, we investigated the function of HYLS1 in cilia formation using the model. We demonstrated that HYLS1 is a conserved centriole and basal body protein. Deletion of HYLS1 led to sensory cilia dysfunction and spermatogenesis abnormality. Importantly, we found that HYLS1 is essential for giant centriole/basal body elongation in spermatocytes and is required for spermatocyte centriole to efficiently recruit pericentriolar material and for spermatids to assemble the proximal centriole-like structure (the precursor of the second centriole for zygote division). Hence, by taking advantage of the giant centriole/basal body of spermatocyte, we uncover previously uncharacterized roles of HYLS1 in centriole elongation and assembly. 10.3389/fcell.2020.00301
    Benzo[a]pyrene exposure disrupts steroidogenesis and impairs spermatogenesis in diverse reproductive stages of male scallop (Chlamys farreri). Yang Yingying,Pan Luqing,Zhou Yueyao,Xu Ruiyi,Li Dongyu Environmental research Benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), a model compound of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon known to impair reproductive functions of vertebrates, while the data is scarce in marine invertebrates. To investigate the toxic effects of BaP on invertebrates reproduction, we exposed male scallop (Chlamys farreri) to BaP (0, 0.38 and 3.8 μg/L) throughout three stages of reproductive cycle (early gametogenesis stage, late gametogenesis stage and ripe stage). The results demonstrated that BaP decreased the gonadosomatic index and mature sperms counts in a dose-dependent manner. Significant changes in sex hormones contents and increased 17β-estradiol/testosterone ratio suggested that BaP produced the estrogenic endocrine effects in male scallops. In support of this view, we confirmed that BaP significantly altered transcripts of genes along the upstream PKA and PKC mediated signaling pathway like fshr, lhcgr, adcy, PKA, PKC, PLC and NR5A2. Subsequently, the expressions of genes encoding downstream steroidogenic enzymes (e.g., 3β-HSD, CYP17 and 17β-HSD) were impacted, which corresponded well with hormonal alterations. In addition, BaP suppressed transcriptions of spermatogenesis-related genes, including ccnd2, SCP3, NRF1 and AQP9. Due to different functional demands, these transcript profiles involved in spermatogenesis exhibited a stage-specific expression pattern. Furthermore, histopathological analysis determined that BaP significantly inhibited testicular development and maturation in male scallops. Overall, the present findings indicated that, playing as an estrogenic-like chemical, BaP could disrupt the steroidogenesis pathway, impair spermatogenesis and caused histological damages, thereby inducing reproductive toxicities with dose- and stage-specific effects in male scallops. And the adverse outcomes might threaten the stability of bivalve populations and destroy the function of marine ecosystems in the long term. 10.1016/j.envres.2020.110125
    Low doses of carbendazim and chlorothalonil synergized to impair mouse spermatogenesis through epigenetic pathways. Li Huatao,Zhang Pengfei,Zhao Yong,Zhang Hongfu Ecotoxicology and environmental safety Pesticides have been extensively produced and used to help the agricultural production which leads to the contamination of the environment, soil, groundwater sources, and even foodstuffs. Fungicides carbendazim (CBZ) and chlorothalonil (Chl) are widely applied in agriculture and other aspects. CBZ or Chl have been reported to disrupt spermatogenesis and decrease semen quality. However, it is not understood the effects of pubertal exposure to low doses of CBZ and Chl together, and the underlying mechanisms. Therefore, the aim of current investigation was to explore the negative impacts of pubertal exposure to low doses of CBZ and Chl together on spermatogenesis and the role of epigenetic modifications in the process. We demonstrated that CBZ and Chl together synergize to decrease sperm motility in vitro (CBZ 1.0 + Chl 0.1, CBZ 10.0 + CHl 1.0, CBZ 100.0 + Chl 10 μM in incubation medium for 24 h) and sperm concentration and motility in vivo with ICR mice (CBZ 0.1 + Chl 0.1, CBZ 1.0 + CHl 1.0, CBZ 10.0 + Chl 10 mg/kg body weight; oral gavage for five weeks). CBZ + Chl significantly increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptosis by the increase in the protein level of caspase 8 in vitro. Moreover, CBZ + Chl synergized to disrupt mouse spermatogenesis with the disturbance in sperm production proteins and sperm proteins (VASA, A-Myb, STK31, AR, Acrosin). CBZ + Chl synergized to decrease the protein level of estrogen receptor alpha and the protein level of DNA methylation marker 5 mC in Leydig cells, and to increase the protein levels of histone methylation marker H3K9 and the methylation enzyme G9a in germ cells. Therefore, greater attention should be paid to the use of CBZ and Chl as pesticides to minimise their adverse impacts on spermatogenesis. 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2019.109908
    Deficiency of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) leads to abnormal spermatogenesis and altered sperm physiology. Saucedo Lucía,Rumpel Regina,Sobarzo Cristian,Schreiner Dietmar,Brandes Gudrun,Lustig Livia,Vazquez-Levin Mónica Hebe,Grothe Claudia,Marín-Briggiler Clara Journal of cellular physiology In previous studies, we described the presence of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) and its receptors (FGFRs) in human testis and sperm, which are involved in spermatogenesis and in motility regulation. The aim of the present study was to analyze the role of FGF-2 in the maintenance of sperm physiology using FGF-2 knockout (KO) mice. Our results showed that in wild-type (WT) animals, FGF-2 is expressed in germ cells of the seminiferous epithelium, in epithelial cells of the epididymis, and in the flagellum and acrosomal region of epididymal sperm. In the FGF-2 KO mice, we found alterations in spermatogenesis kinetics, higher numbers of spermatids per testis, and enhanced daily sperm production compared with the WT males. No difference in the percentage of sperm motility was detected, but a significant increase in sperm concentration and in sperm head abnormalities was observed in FGF-2 KO animals. Sperm from KO mice depicted reduced phosphorylation on tyrosine residues (a phenomenon that was associated with sperm capacitation) and increased acrosomal loss after incubation under capacitating conditions. However, the FGF-2 KO males displayed no apparent fertility defects, since their mating with WT females showed no differences in the time to delivery, litter size, and pup weight in comparison with WT males. Overall, our findings suggest that FGF-2 exerts a role in mammalian spermatogenesis and that the lack of FGF-2 leads to dysregulated sperm production and altered sperm morphology and function. FGF-2-deficient mice constitute a model for the study of the complex mechanisms underlying mammalian spermatogenesis. 10.1002/jcp.26876
    Long-term exposure to environmental levels of phenanthrene disrupts spermatogenesis in male mice. Huang Jie,Fang Lu,Zhang Shenli,Zhang Ying,Ou Kunlin,Wang Chonggang Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) Phenanthrene (Phe) is a tricyclic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon with high bioavailability under natural exposure. However, there are few studies on the reproductive toxicity of Phe in mammals. In this study, male Kunming mice were gavaged once every two days with Phe (5, 50, and 500 ng/kg) for 28 weeks. The accumulation levels of Phe in the testis were dose-dependently increased. Histopathological staining showed that Phe exposure reduced the number of spermatogonia, sperm and Sertoli cells. The percentage of testicular apoptotic cells was significantly increased, which was further verified by the upregulated BAX protein. The expression of the GDNF/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway was downregulated, which might suppress the self-renewal and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells. Meanwhile, Phe exposure inhibited the expression of Sertoli cell markers (Fshr, WT1, Sox9) and the Leydig cell marker Cyp11a1, indicating damage to the function of Sertoli cells and Leydig cells. Serum estrogen and testicular estrogen receptor alpha were significantly upregulated, while androgen receptor expression was downregulated. These alterations might be responsible for impaired spermatogenesis. This study provides new insights for evaluating the reproductive toxicity and potential mechanisms of Phe in mammals. 10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117488
    The conserved molting/circadian rhythm regulator NHR-23/NR1F1 serves as an essential co-regulator of spermatogenesis. Ragle James Matthew,Aita Abigail L,Morrison Kayleigh N,Martinez-Mendez Raquel,Saeger Hannah N,Ashley Guinevere A,Johnson Londen C,Schubert Katherine A,Shakes Diane C,Ward Jordan D Development (Cambridge, England) In sexually reproducing metazoans, spermatogenesis is the process by which uncommitted germ cells give rise to haploid sperm. Work in model systems has revealed mechanisms controlling commitment to the sperm fate, but how this fate is subsequently executed remains less clear. While studying the well-established role of the conserved nuclear hormone receptor transcription factor, NHR-23/NR1F1, in regulating molting, we discovered that NHR-23/NR1F1 is also constitutively expressed in developing primary spermatocytes and is a critical regulator of spermatogenesis. In this novel role, NHR-23/NR1F1 functions downstream of the canonical sex-determination pathway. Degron-mediated depletion of NHR-23/NR1F1 within hermaphrodite or male germlines causes sterility due to an absence of functional sperm, as depleted animals produce arrested primary spermatocytes rather than haploid sperm. These spermatocytes arrest in prometaphase I and fail to either progress to anaphase or attempt spermatid-residual body partitioning. They make sperm-specific membranous organelles but fail to assemble their major sperm protein into fibrous bodies. NHR-23/NR1F1 appears to function independently of the known SPE-44 gene regulatory network, revealing the existence of an NHR-23/NR1F1-mediated module that regulates the spermatogenesis program. 10.1242/dev.193862
    Distinct Roles for Rac1 in Sertoli Cell Function during Testicular Development and Spermatogenesis. Heinrich Anna,Potter Sarah J,Guo Li,Ratner Nancy,DeFalco Tony Cell reports Sertoli cells are supporting cells of the testicular seminiferous tubules, which provide a nurturing environment for spermatogenesis. Adult Sertoli cells are polarized so that they can simultaneously support earlier-stage spermatogenic cells (e.g., spermatogonia) basally and later-stage cells (e.g., spermatids) apically. To test the consequences of disrupting cell polarity in Sertoli cells, we perform a Sertoli-specific conditional deletion of Rac1, which encodes a Rho GTPase required for apicobasal cell polarity. Rac1 conditional knockout adults exhibit spermatogenic arrest at the round spermatid stage, with severe disruption of Sertoli cell polarity, and show increased germline and Sertoli cell apoptosis. Thus, Sertoli Rac1 function is critical for the progression of spermatogenesis but, surprisingly, is dispensable for fetal testicular development, adult maintenance of undifferentiated spermatogonia, and meiotic entry. Our data indicate that Sertoli Rac1 function is required only for certain aspects of spermatogenesis and reveal that there are distinct requirements for cell polarity during cellular differentiation. 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.03.077
    Three-Dimensional Genomic Structure and Cohesin Occupancy Correlate with Transcriptional Activity during Spermatogenesis. Vara Covadonga,Paytuví-Gallart Andreu,Cuartero Yasmina,Le Dily François,Garcia Francisca,Salvà-Castro Judit,Gómez-H Laura,Julià Eva,Moutinho Catia,Aiese Cigliano Riccardo,Sanseverino Walter,Fornas Oscar,Pendás Alberto M,Heyn Holger,Waters Paul D,Marti-Renom Marc A,Ruiz-Herrera Aurora Cell reports Mammalian gametogenesis involves dramatic and tightly regulated chromatin remodeling, whose regulatory pathways remain largely unexplored. Here, we generate a comprehensive high-resolution structural and functional atlas of mouse spermatogenesis by combining in situ chromosome conformation capture sequencing (Hi-C), RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), and chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) of CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) and meiotic cohesins, coupled with confocal and super-resolution microscopy. Spermatogonia presents well-defined compartment patterns and topological domains. However, chromosome occupancy and compartmentalization are highly re-arranged during prophase I, with cohesins bound to active promoters in DNA loops out of the chromosomal axes. Compartment patterns re-emerge in round spermatids, where cohesin occupancy correlates with transcriptional activity of key developmental genes. The compact sperm genome contains compartments with actively transcribed genes but no fine-scale topological domains, concomitant with the presence of protamines. Overall, we demonstrate how genome-wide cohesin occupancy and transcriptional activity is associated with three-dimensional (3D) remodeling during spermatogenesis, ultimately reprogramming the genome for the next generation. 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.06.037
    Single-cell ATAC-Seq reveals cell type-specific transcriptional regulation and unique chromatin accessibility in human spermatogenesis. Human molecular genetics During human spermatogenesis, germ cells undergo dynamic changes in chromatin organization/re-packaging and in transcriptomes. In order to better understand the underlying mechanism(s), scATAC-Seq of 5376 testicular cells from 3 normal men were performed. Data were analyzed in parallel with the scRNA-Seq data of human testicular cells. In all, 10 germ cell types associated with spermatogenesis and 6 testicular somatic cell types were identified, along with 142 024 peaks located in promoter, genebody and CpG Island. We had examined chromatin accessibility of all chromosomes, with chromosomes 19 and 17 emerged as the leading chromosomes that displayed high chromatin accessibility. In accessible chromatin regions, transcription factor-binding sites were identified and specific motifs with high frequencies at different spermatogenesis stages were detected, including CTCF, BORIS, NFY, DMRT6, EN1, ISL1 and GLI3. Two most remarkable observations were noted. First, TLE3 was specifically expressed in differentiating spermatogonia. Second, PFN4 was found to be involved in actin cytoskeletal organization during meiosis. More important, unique regions upstream of PFN4 and TLE3 were shown to display high accessibility, illustrating their significance in supporting human spermatogenesis. 10.1093/hmg/ddab006
    Specific deletion of protein phosphatase 6 catalytic subunit in Sertoli cells leads to disruption of spermatogenesis. Lei Wen-Long,Li Yuan-Yuan,Meng Tie-Gang,Ning Yan,Sun Si-Min,Zhang Chun-Hui,Gui Yaoting,Wang Zhen-Bo,Qian Wei-Ping,Sun Qing-Yuan Cell death & disease Protein phosphatase 6 (PP6) is a member of the PP2A-like subfamily, which plays significant roles in numerous fundamental biological activities. We found that PPP6C plays important roles in male germ cells recently. Spermatogenesis is supported by the Sertoli cells in the seminiferous epithelium. In this study, we crossed Ppp6c mice with AMH-Cre mice to gain mutant mice with specific depletion of the Ppp6c gene in the Sertoli cells. We discovered that the PPP6C cKO male mice were absolutely infertile and germ cells were largely lost during spermatogenesis. By combing phosphoproteome with bioinformatics analysis, we showed that the phosphorylation status of β-catenin at S552 (a marker of adherens junctions) was significantly upregulated in mutant mice. Abnormal β-catenin accumulation resulted in impaired testicular junction integrity, thus led to abnormal structure and functions of BTB. Taken together, our study reveals a novel function for PPP6C in male germ cell survival and differentiation by regulating the cell-cell communication through dephosphorylating β-catenin at S552. 10.1038/s41419-021-04172-y
    Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Defines the Regulation of Spermatogenesis by Sertoli-Cell Androgen Signaling. Cao Congcong,Ma Qian,Mo Shaomei,Shu Ge,Liu Qunlong,Ye Jing,Gui Yaoting Frontiers in cell and developmental biology Androgen receptor (AR) signaling is essential for maintaining spermatogenesis and male fertility. However, the molecular mechanisms by which AR acts between male germ cells and somatic cells during spermatogenesis have not begun to be revealed until recently. With the advances obtained from the use of transgenic mice lacking AR in Sertoli cells (SCARKO) and single-cell transcriptomic sequencing (scRNA-seq), the cell specific targets of AR action as well as the genes and signaling pathways that are regulated by AR are being identified. In this study, we collected scRNA-seq data from wild-type (WT) and SCARKO mice testes at p20 and identified four somatic cell populations and two male germ cell populations. Further analysis identified that the distribution of Sertoli cells was completely different and uncovered the cellular heterogeneity and transcriptional changes between WT and SCARKO Sertoli cells. In addition, several differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in SCARKO Sertoli cells, many of which have been previously implicated in cell cycle, apoptosis and male infertility, have also been identified. Together, our research explores a novel perspective on the changes in the transcription level of various cell types between WT and SCARKO mice testes, providing new insights for the investigations of the molecular and cellular processes regulated by AR signaling in Sertoli cells. 10.3389/fcell.2021.763267
    Food-Derived High Arginine Peptides Promote Spermatogenesis Recovery in Busulfan Treated Mice. Liu Wenwen,Zhang Lingfeng,Gao Anning,Khawar Muhammad Babar,Gao Fengyi,Li Wei Frontiers in cell and developmental biology Food-derived peptides with high arginine content have important applications in medicine and food industries, but their potential application in the treatment of oligoasthenospermia remains elusive. Here, we report that high-arginine peptides, such as Oyster peptides and Perilla purple peptides were able to promote spermatogenesis recovery in busulfan-treated mice. We found that both Opp and Ppp could increase sperm concentration and motility after busulfan-induced testicular damage in mice. Further research revealed that Opp and Ppp might promote spermatogonia proliferation, which improved blood-testis barrier recovery between Sertoli cells. Taken together, these high-arginine peptides might be used as a medication or therapeutic component of a diet prescription to improve the fertility of some oligoasthenospermia patients. 10.3389/fcell.2021.791471
    Effect of varicoceles on spermatogenesis. Kang Caroline,Punjani Nahid,Lee Richard K,Li Philip S,Goldstein Marc Seminars in cell & developmental biology Varicoceles are dilated veins within the spermatic cord and a relatively common occurrence in men. Fortunately, the large majority of men are asymptomatic, however, a proportion of men with varicoceles can suffer from infertility and testosterone deficiency. Sperm and testosterone are produced within the testis, and any alteration to the testicular environment can negatively affect the cells responsible for these processes. The negative impact of varicoceles on testicular function occurs mainly due to increased oxidative stress within the testicular parenchyma which is thought to be caused by scrotal hyperthermia, testicular hypoxia, and blood-testis barrier disruption. Management of varicoceles involves ligation or percutaneous embolization of the dilated veins. Repair of varicoceles can improve semen parameters and fertility, along with serum testosterone concentration. In this review, we discuss the pathophysiology of varicoceles, their impact on testicular function, and management. 10.1016/j.semcdb.2021.04.005
    Effect of Astragalus membranaceus polysaccharide on the serum cytokine levels and spermatogenesis of mice. Qiu Chunjiang,Cheng Yuanxia International journal of biological macromolecules In this work, a water-soluble Astragalus membranaceus polysaccharide (AMP) was prepared by hot water extraction, and the effects of AMP on the serum cytokine levels and spermatogenesis of Kunming mice were investigated. Sixty Kunming mice were randomly divided into five groups: a normal control group, a model control group (treated with cyclophosphamide) and three treatment groups (treated with cyclophosphamide and 25, 50 and 75 mg/kg AMP). The effects of AMP on the serum cytokine levels and spermatogenesis of mice were evaluated. Intragastric treatment with different levels of AMP significantly increased serum interleukin-11, tumour necrosis factor-α and interferon-γ levels; protein expression and superoxide dismutase activity in testis; and sperm density, sperm movement and the rate of normal sperm morphology. In addition, AMP decreased the nitrate nitrogen level in the testes of Kunming mice compared with the model control group. The results indicated that AMP can ameliorate the immunity and spermatogenesis of mice with reproduction system impaired by cyclophosphamide. 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.08.191
    RNA profiling of human testicular cells identifies syntenic lncRNAs associated with spermatogenesis. Rolland A D,Evrard B,Darde T A,Le Béguec C,Le Bras Y,Bensalah K,Lavoué S,Jost B,Primig M,Dejucq-Rainsford N,Chalmel F,Jégou B Human reproduction (Oxford, England) STUDY QUESTION:Is the noncoding transcriptional landscape during spermatogenesis conserved between human and rodents? SUMMARY ANSWER:We identified a core group of 113 long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) and 20 novel genes dynamically and syntenically transcribed during spermatogenesis. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY:Spermatogenesis is a complex differentiation process driven by a tightly regulated and highly specific gene expression program. Recently, several studies in various species have established that a large proportion of known lncRNAs are preferentially expressed during meiosis and spermiogenesis in a testis-specific manner. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION:To further investigate lncRNA expression in human spermatogenesis, we carried out a cross-species RNA profiling study using isolated testicular cells. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS:Human testes were obtained from post-mortem donors (N = 8, 51 years old on average) or from prostate cancer patients with no hormonal treatment (N = 9, 80 years old on average) and only patients with full spermatogenesis were used to prepare enriched populations of spermatocytes, spermatids, Leydig cells, peritubular cells and Sertoli cells. To minimize potential biases linked to inter-patient variations, RNAs from two or three donors were pooled prior to RNA-sequencing (paired-end, strand-specific). Resulting reads were mapped to the human genome, allowing for assembly and quantification of corresponding transcripts. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE:Our RNA-sequencing analysis of pools of isolated human testicular cells enabled us to reconstruct over 25 000 transcripts. Among them we identified thousands of lncRNAs, as well as many previously unidentified genes (novel unannotated transcripts) that share many properties of lncRNAs. Of note is that although noncoding genes showed much lower synteny than protein-coding ones, a significant fraction of syntenic lncRNAs displayed conserved expression during spermatogenesis. LARGE SCALE DATA:Raw data files (fastq) and a searchable table (.xlss) containing information on genomic features and expression data for all refined transcripts have been submitted to the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus under accession number GSE74896. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION:Isolation procedures may alter the physiological state of testicular cells, especially for somatic cells, leading to substantial changes at the transcriptome level. We therefore cross-validated our findings with three previously published transcriptomic analyses of human spermatogenesis. Despite the use of stringent filtration criteria, i.e. expression cut-off of at least three fragments per kilobase of exon model per million reads mapped, fold-change of at least three and false discovery rate adjusted P-values of less than <1%, the possibility of assembly artifacts and false-positive transcripts cannot be fully ruled out. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS:For the first time, this study has led to the identification of a large number of conserved germline-associated lncRNAs that are potentially important for spermatogenesis and sexual reproduction. In addition to further substantiating the basis of the human testicular physiology, our study provides new candidate genes for male infertility of genetic origin. This is likely to be relevant for identifying interesting diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and also potential novel therapeutic targets for male contraception. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S):This work was supported by l'Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (Inserm); l'Université de Rennes 1; l'Ecole des hautes études en santé publique (EHESP); INERIS-STORM to B.J. [N 10028NN]; Rennes Métropole 'Défis scientifiques émergents' to F.C (2011) and A.D.R (2013). The authors have no competing financial interests. 10.1093/humrep/dez063
    Targeted disruption of galectin 3 in mice delays the first wave of spermatogenesis and increases germ cell apoptosis. Lei Tao,Blois Sandra M,Freitag Nancy,Bergmann Martin,Bhushan Sudhanshu,Wahle Eva,Huang Annie Chi-Chun,Chen Hung-Lin,Hartmann Michaela F,Wudy Stefan A,Liu Fu-Tong,Meinhardt Andreas,Fijak Monika Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS Galectin 3 is a multifunctional lectin implicated in cellular proliferation, differentiation, adhesion, and apoptosis. This lectin is broadly expressed in testicular somatic cells and germ cells, and is upregulated during testicular development. Since the role of galectin 3 in testicular function remains elusive, we aimed to characterize the role of galectin 3 in testicular physiology. We found that galectin 3 transgenic mice (Lgals3) exhibited significantly decreased testicular weight in adulthood compared to controls. The transgenic mice also exhibited a delay to the first wave of spermatogenesis, a decrease in the number of germ cells at postnatal day 5 (P5) and P15, and defective Sertoli cell maturation. Mechanistically, we found that Insulin-like-3 (a Leydig cell marker) and enzymes involved in steroid biosynthesis were significantly upregulated in adult Lgals3 testes. These observations were accompanied by increased serum testosterone levels. To determine the underlying causes of the testicular atrophy, we monitored cellular apoptosis. Indeed, adult Lgals3 testicular cells exhibited an elevated apoptosis rate that is likely driven by downregulated Bcl-2 and upregulated Bax and Bak expression, molecules responsible for live/death cell balance. Moreover, the percentage of testicular macrophages within CD45 cells was decreased in Lgals3 mice. These data suggest that galectin 3 regulates spermatogenesis initiation and Sertoli cell maturation in part, by preventing germ cells from undergoing apoptosis and regulating testosterone biosynthesis. Going forward, understanding the role of galectin 3 in testicular physiology will add important insights into the factors governing the development of germ cells and steroidogenesis and delineate novel biomarkers of testicular function. 10.1007/s00018-021-03757-2
    Chronic exposure to diesel exhaust particulate matter impairs meiotic progression during spermatogenesis in a mouse model. Yang Wei,Xu Yanyi,Pan Hongjie,Tian Fang,Wang Yuzhu,Xia Minjie,Hu Jingying,Yang Mingjun,Tao Shimin,Sun Shenfei,Kan Haidong,Li Runsheng,Ying Zhekang,Li Weihua Ecotoxicology and environmental safety Exposure to ambient PM may correlate with the decline of semen quality, and the underlying biological mechanism has not been fully understood. In the present study, mice were intratracheally instilled with diesel exhaust PM (DEP), and its effects on the spermatogenic process as well as the alterations of testicular gene expression profile were assessed. Our results showed that chronic exposure to DEP impaired the fertility of male mice without influencing their libido. Compared with Vehicle-exposed group, the sperm count and motility from DEP-exposed mice were significantly decreased. In addition, immunohistological staining of γH2AX and DMC1, biomarkers for meiotic double strand breaks (DSBs), demonstrated that chronic exposure to DEP comprised the repair of meiotic DSBs, thus disrupting the spermatogenesis. Deep RNA sequencing test showed altered expressions of testicular genes including the GnRH signaling pathway. In summary, our research demonstrated that chronic exposure to DEP may disrupt spermatogenesis through targeting the meiotic recombination, providing a new perspective for the research on the male reproductive system damage caused by air pollution. 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2020.110881
    High fat diet impairs spermatogenesis by regulating glucose and lipid metabolism in Sertoli cells. Luo Dandan,Zhang Meijie,Su Xiaohui,Liu Luna,Zhou Xinli,Zhang Xiujuan,Zheng Dongmei,Yu Chunxiao,Guan Qingbo Life sciences AIMS:Sertoli cells (SCs) play an important role in the process of spermatogenesis. SCs provide energy for germ cells (GCs) and themselves through glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation (FAO) respectively. High fat diet (HFD) impairs spermatogenesis by damaging function of SCs, however whether HFD disrupts energy metabolism in SCs remains unclear. MAIN METHODS:To explore this hypothesis, we built male Wistar rat model fed on HFD and cultured rats' primary SCs with palmitic acid (PA). Rats' fertility and sperm quality were evaluated in vivo. Glycolysis, lactate production and mitochondrial respiration were assessed by using extracellular flux analyzer, and the expression of enzymes involved in glucose and FAO was analyzed by Real-Time PCR or Western Blotting. KEY FINDINGS:The showed that the sperm concentration and pups per litter significantly decreased in rats fed on HFD compared to those rats fed on normal diet. There was an elevation of lactate levels in testicular tissue of rats fed on HFD and primary SCs exposed to PA. In vitro, PA increased glycolytic flux, and lactate production, and the levels of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT1) and long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCAD) which were two key enzymes for fatty acid β oxidation. Further analysis showed that mitochondrial respiration was impaired by PA, followed by the decrease in ATP turnover, maximal respiration and the increase in proton leak. SIGNIFICANCE:Taken together, the elevated lactate level, lipid metabolism disorder and mitochondrial dysfunction caused by HFD lead to SCs dysfunction, which ultimately leads to decreased sperm quality. 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.118028
    CRISPR/Cas9-based directed evolution in mammalian cells. Griesbeck Oliver Current opinion in structural biology An increasingly powerful set of new CRISPR/Cas-based methods is becoming available for directed evolution of proteins in mammalian cells. Although in vitro techniques or microbial expression systems have been dominating directed evolution, there are now promising approaches to diversify proteins in mammalian cells in situ. This can be achieved by simple indel mutagenesis or more sophisticated homology repair mechanisms for cassette mutagenesis of coding sequences. Cas9 variant fusions to base editors and other effectors pose another promising way to introduce diversity into proteins. CRISPR/Cas9-based directed evolution in mammalian cells opens a new exciting era of discovery for the many classes of proteins for which a mammalian cellular context is preferable. 10.1016/j.sbi.2021.02.005
    and negatively regulate JNK signalling during spermatogenesis. La Marca John E,Diepstraten Sarah T,Hodge Amy L,Wang Hongyan,Hart Adam H,Richardson Helena E,Somers W Gregory Development (Cambridge, England) One fundamental property of a stem cell niche is the exchange of molecular signals between its component cells. Niche models, such as the testis, have been instrumental in identifying and studying the conserved genetic factors that contribute to niche molecular signalling. Here, we identify (), an allele of (), which is a core member of the highly conserved Striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complex. In the developing testis, cell-autonomously regulates the differentiation and morphology of the somatic lineage, and non-cell-autonomously regulates the proliferation and differentiation of the germline lineage. Mechanistically, acts in the somatic lineage with its STRIPAK partner, (), where they negatively regulate the Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signalling pathway. Our study reveals a novel role for / in JNK pathway regulation during spermatogenesis within the developing testis. 10.1242/dev.174292
    Mitochondrial damage are involved in Aflatoxin B-induced testicular damage and spermatogenesis disorder in mice. Huang Wanyue,Cao Zheng,Yao Qiucheng,Ji Qiang,Zhang Jian,Li Yanfei The Science of the total environment Aflatoxin B (AFB) is an unavoidable environmental pollutants, which seriously endangers human and animal health. AFB has male reproductive toxicity, yet the underlying mechanisms remain inconclusive. Mitochondra are a kind of crucial organelle for maintaining spermatogenesis in testis. Thus, we hypothesized that AFB can impair mitochondria to aggravate testicular damage and spermatogenesis disorder. To verify this hypothesis, 48 male mice were intragastrically administered with 0, 0.375, 0.75 or 1.5 mg/kg body weight AFB for 30 days, respectively. In this study, we found AFB caused testicular histopathological lesions and spermatogenesis abnormalities, with the elevation of oxidative stress (increased HO, whereas decreased SOD and GSH). Significant mitochondria structure damage of germ cells and Leydig cells, MMP loss, ATP contents reduction, and inhibited activities of mitochondrial complexes I-IV in mice testis were found in AFB treatment groups. Besides, AFB inhibited mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial dynamics, presenting as the decreased mRNA and protein expressions of PGC-1α, Nrf1, Tfam, Drp1, Fis1, Mfn1 and Opa1. The results revealed that the mitochondrial damage were involved in AFB-induced testicular damage and spermatogenesis disorder, providing a considerable direction to clarify potential mechanisms of AFB reproductive toxicity. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135077
    The glucose-sensing transcription factor MLX balances metabolism and stress to suppress apoptosis and maintain spermatogenesis. Carroll Patrick A,Freie Brian W,Cheng Pei Feng,Kasinathan Sivakanthan,Gu Haiwei,Hedrich Theresa,Dowdle James A,Venkataramani Vivek,Ramani Vijay,Wu Xiaoying,Raftery Daniel,Shendure Jay,Ayer Donald E,Muller Charles H,Eisenman Robert N PLoS biology Male germ cell (GC) production is a metabolically driven and apoptosis-prone process. Here, we show that the glucose-sensing transcription factor (TF) MAX-Like protein X (MLX) and its binding partner MondoA are both required for male fertility in the mouse, as well as survival of human tumor cells derived from the male germ line. Loss of Mlx results in altered metabolism as well as activation of multiple stress pathways and GC apoptosis in the testes. This is concomitant with dysregulation of the expression of male-specific GC transcripts and proteins. Our genomic and functional analyses identify loci directly bound by MLX involved in these processes, including metabolic targets, obligate components of male-specific GC development, and apoptotic effectors. These in vivo and in vitro studies implicate MLX and other members of the proximal MYC network, such as MNT, in regulation of metabolism and differentiation, as well as in suppression of intrinsic and extrinsic death signaling pathways in both spermatogenesis and male germ cell tumors (MGCTs). 10.1371/journal.pbio.3001085
    Arsenic influences spermatogenesis by disorganizing the elongation of spermatids in adult male mice. Han Yongli,Liang Chen,Manthari Ram Kumar,Yu Yuxiang,Gao Yan,Liu Yu,Jiang Shanshan,Tikka Chiranjeevi,Wang Jundong,Zhang Jianhai Chemosphere Arsenic (As) has become a major problem in maintaining the environment and human health due to its wide application in the production of agriculture and industry. Many studies indicate that As can affect spermatogenesis process and lower sperm quality. However, the undergoing molecular mechanism is unclear. For this, forty-eight 8-week old adult male mice were divided into four groups of twelve each, which were administrated to 0, 0.2, 2, 20 ppm AsO in their drinking water respectively for six months. The results showed that As treatment reduced sperm counts and increased the sperm malformation ratio of mice. Interestingly, both the amounts of round and elongated spermatids, and the ratios of spermatids elongation were decreased significantly by As exposure. Furthermore, the structure of Chromatoid Body (CB) which presents a typical nebulous shape in round spermatids after spermatogenesis arrested, and the mRNA expression levels of gene TDRD1, TDRD6 and TDRD7 related to CB were changed by arsenic. Again, the mRNA and protein expression levels of the markers DDX25 and CRM1 in haploid periods of spermatogenesis and the associated proteins HMG2, PGK2, and H4 with DDX25 regulation were declined significantly with As treatment. Taken together; it reveals that As interferes with spermatogenesis by disorganizing the elongation of spermatids. H4, HMG2 and PGK2 are regulated by DDX25 which interacts with CRM1 and may play a vital role in spermatogenesis disorder induced by As exposure, which maybe provides one of the underlying mechanisms for As-induced male reproductive toxicity. 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124650
    Wuzi Yanzong Pill-Based on Network Pharmacology and Evidence-Protects Against Spermatogenesis Disorder the Regulation of the Apoptosis Pathway. Chen Wang-Qiang,Ding Cai-Fei,Yu Jia,Wang Chen-Ye,Wan Ling-Yi,Hu Hui-Min,Ma Jian-Xiong Frontiers in pharmacology The crisis of male infertility is an issue of human reproductive health worldwide. The Wuzi Yanzong pill (WZYZP) is a traditional Chinese medicine prescription that shows efficacy in kidney reinforcement and essence benefit to ameliorate male reproductive dysfunctions. However, the pharmacological mechanisms of the WZYZP on male infertility have not been investigated and clarified clearly. This study was designed to investigate the effects of the WZYZP on spermatogenesis disorder and explore its underlying pharmacological mechanisms. First, based on a network pharmacology study, 39 bioactive compounds and 40 targets of the WZYZP associated with spermatogenesis disorder were obtained, forming a tight compound-target network. Molecular docking tests showed tight docking of these compounds with predicted targeted proteins. The protein-protein interaction (PPI) network identified TP53, TNF, AKT1, Bcl-XL, Bcl-2, and IκBA as hub targets. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway network and pathway-target-compound network revealed that the apoptosis pathway was enriched by multiple signaling pathways and multiple targets, including the hub targets. Subsequently, the chemical characterization of WZYZP was analyzed using liquid chromatography to quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry, and 40 compounds in positive ion mode and 41 compounds in negative ion mode in the WZYZP were identified. Furthermore, based on the prediction of a network pharmacology study, a rat model of spermatogenesis disorder was established to evaluate the curative role and underlying mechanisms of the WZYZP. The results showed that WZYZP treatment improved rat sperm quality and attenuated serum hormone levels, reversed histopathological damage of the testis, reduced cell apoptosis in testis tissues, and ameliorated the expression of the predicted hub targets (TP53, TNF-α, AKT1, NFκB, and IκBA) and the apoptosis related proteins (Bcl-XL, Bcl-2, Bax, Caspase 3, and Caspase 9). These results indicated that the WZYZP has a protective effect on spermatogenesis disorder, suggesting that it could be an alternative choice for male infertility therapy. 10.3389/fphar.2020.592827
    RNA kinase CLP1/Cbc regulates meiosis initiation in spermatogenesis. Wu Jianbo,Li Xin,Gao Zhiyang,Pang Lin,Liu Xian,Huang Xiahe,Wang Yingchun,Wang Zhaohui Human molecular genetics CLP1, TSEN complex, and VCP are evolutionarily conserved proteins whose mutations are associated with neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, we have found that they are also involved in germline differentiation. To optimize both quantity and quality in gametes production, germ cells expand themselves through limited mitotic cycles prior to meiosis. Stemming from our previous findings on the correlation between mRNA 3'-processing and meiosis entry, here we identify that the RNA kinase Cbc, the Drosophila member of the highly conserved CLP1 family, is a component of the program regulating the transition from mitosis to meiosis. Using genetic manipulations in Drosophila testis, we demonstrate that nuclear Cbc is required to promote meiosis entry. Combining biochemical and genetic methods, we reveal that Cbc physically and/or genetically intersects with Tsen54 and TER94 (VCP ortholog) in this process. The C-terminal half of Tsen54 is both necessary and sufficient for its binding with Cbc. Further, we illustrate the functional conservation between Cbc and mammalian CLP1 in the assays of subcellular localization and Drosophila fertility. As CLP1, TSEN complex, and VCP have also been identified in neurodegenerations of animal models, a mechanism involving these factors seems to be shared in gametogenesis and neurogenesis. 10.1093/hmg/ddab107
    LncRNAs induce oxidative stress and spermatogenesis by regulating endoplasmic reticulum genes and pathways. Sun Tie-Cheng,Zhang Yi,Yu Kun,Li Yao,Yu Hong,Zhou Shan-Jie,Wang Ya-Peng,Deng Shou-Long,Tian Li Aging Oligozoospermia or low sperm count is a leading cause of male infertility worldwide. Despite decades of work on non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) as regulators of spermatogenesis, fertilization, and male fertility, the literature on the function of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in human oligozoospermia is scarce. We integrated lncRNA and mRNA sequencing data from 12 human normozoospermic and oligozoospermic samples and comprehensively analyzed the function of differentially expressed lncRNAs (DE lncRNAs) and mRNAs (DE mRNAs) in male infertility. The target genes of DE lncRNAs were identified using a Gaussian graphical model. Gene ontology terms and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways were primarily enriched in protein transport and localization to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The lncRNA-mRNA co-expression network revealed cis- and trans-regulated target genes of lncRNAs. The transcriptome data implicated DE lncRNAs and DE mRNAs and their target genes in the accumulation of unfolded proteins in sperm ER, PERK-EIF2 pathway-induced ER stress, oxidative stress, and sperm cell apoptosis in individuals with oligozoospermia. These findings suggest that the identified lncRNAs and pathways could serve as effective therapeutic targets for male infertility. 10.18632/aging.202971
    Basonuclin 1 deficiency causes testicular premature aging: BNC1 cooperates with TAF7L to regulate spermatogenesis. Li Jing-Yi,Liu Yi-Feng,Xu Hai-Yan,Zhang Jun-Yu,Lv Ping-Ping,Liu Miao-E,Ying Yan-Yun,Qian Ye-Qing,Li Kun,Li Cheng,Huang Yun,Xu Gu-Feng,Ding Guo-Lian,Mao Yu-Chan,Xu Chen-Ming,Liu Xin-Mei,Sheng Jian-Zhong,Zhang Dan,Huang He-Feng Journal of molecular cell biology Basonuclin (BNC1) is expressed primarily in proliferative keratinocytes and gametogenic cells. However, its roles in spermatogenesis and testicular aging were not clear. Previously we discovered a heterozygous BNC1 truncation mutation in a premature ovarian insufficiency pedigree. In this study, we found that male mice carrying the truncation mutation exhibited progressively fertility loss and testicular premature aging. Genome-wide expression profiling and direct binding studies (by chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing) with BNC1 in mouse testis identified several spermatogenesis-specific gene promoters targeted by BNC1 including kelch-like family member 10 (Klhl10), testis expressed 14 (Tex14), and spermatogenesis and centriole associated 1 (Spatc1). Moreover, biochemical analysis showed that BNC1 was associated with TATA-box binding protein-associated factor 7 like (TAF7L), a germ cell-specific paralogue of the transcription factor IID subunit TAF7, both in vitro and in testis, suggesting that BNC1 might directly cooperate with TAF7L to regulate spermatogenesis. The truncation mutation disabled nuclear translocation of the BNC1/TAF7L complex, thus, disturbing expression of related genes and leading to testicular premature aging. Similarly, expressions of BNC1, TAF7L, Y-box-binding protein 2 (YBX2), outer dense fiber of sperm tails 1 (ODF1), and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, spermatogenic (GAPDHS) were significantly decreased in the testis of men with non-obstructive azoospermia. The present study adds to the understanding of the physiology of male reproductive aging and the mechanism of spermatogenic failure in infertile men. 10.1093/jmcb/mjz035
    Deoxynivalenol induced spermatogenesis disorder by blood-testis barrier disruption associated with testosterone deficiency and inflammation in mice. Cao Zheng,Huang Wanyue,Sun Yiran,Li Yanfei Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) Deoxynivalenol (DON) is an unavoidable cereal crops contaminants and environmental pollutants, which seriously threated the health of human and animal. DON has been reported to exert significant toxicity effects on spermatogenesis, but the underlying mechanisms remain largely inconclusive. The blood-testis barrier (BTB) provides a specialized biochemical microenvironment for maintaining spermatogenesis. Thus, we hypothesized that DON could impair BTB and lead to spermatogenesis disorder. To confirm this hypothesis, sixty male mice were intragastrically administered with 0, 1.2, 2.4 and 4.8 mg/kg body weight DON for 28 days, and several important observations were obtained in present study. First, we found that DON induced spermatogenesis disorder, reflected by the declines of sperm concentration and quality, sperm ultrastructural damage as well as seminiferous tubular damage. Then, we proved that DON induced BTB disruption as well as decreased the expressions of BTB junction proteins, including Occludin, Connexin 43 and N-cadherin. Finally, the present study showed that DON induced inflammation and inhibited T biosynthesis in testis of mice. These results revealed that DON induced spermatogenesis disorder by BTB disruption associated with testosterone deficiency and inflammation in mice, which shed a new light on the potential mechanisms of reproductive toxicity induced by DON. 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114748
    JMY expression by Sertoli cells contributes to mediating spermatogenesis in mice. Liu Yue,Fan Jiaying,Yan Yan,Dang Xuening,Zhao Ran,Xu Yimei,Ding Zhide The FEBS journal Sertoli cells are crucial for spermatogenesis in the seminiferous epithelium because their actin cytoskeleton supports vesicular transport, cell junction formation, protein anchoring, and spermiation. Here, we show that a junction-mediating and actin-regulatory protein (JMY) affects the blood-tissue barrier (BTB) function through remodeling of the Sertoli cell junctional integrity and it also contributes to controlling endocytic vesicle trafficking. These functions are critical for the maintenance of sperm fertility since loss of Sertoli cell-specific Jmy function induced male subfertility in mice. Specifically, these mice have (a) impaired BTB integrity and spermatid adhesion in the seminiferous tubules; (b) high incidence of sperm structural deformity; and (c) reduced sperm count and poor sperm motility. Moreover, the cytoskeletal integrity was compromised along with endocytic vesicular trafficking. These effects impaired junctional protein recycling and reduced Sertoli cell BTB junctional integrity. In addition, JMY interaction with actin-binding protein candidates α-actinin1 and sorbin and SH3 domain containing protein 2 was related to JMY activity, and in turn, actin cytoskeletal organization. In summary, JMY affects the control of spermatogenesis through the regulation of actin filament organization and endocytic vesicle trafficking in Sertoli cells. 10.1111/febs.15328
    Cu-induced spermatogenesis disease is related to oxidative stress-mediated germ cell apoptosis and DNA damage. Guo Hongrui,Ouyang Yujuan,Wang Jiaqi,Cui Hengmin,Deng Huidan,Zhong Xinyue,Jian Zhijie,Liu Huan,Fang Jing,Zuo Zhicai,Wang Xun,Zhao Ling,Geng Yi,Ouyang Ping,Tang Huaqiao Journal of hazardous materials Copper is considered as an indispensable trace element for living organisms. However, over-exposure to Cu can lead to adverse health effects on human. In this study, CuSO decreased sperm concentration and motility, increased sperm malformation rate. Concurrently, testicular damage including testicular histopathological aberrations and reduction of testis relative weight were observed. Then, the mechanism underlying Cu-induced testicular toxicity was explored. According to the results, CuSO elevated ROS production while reducing antioxidant function. Additionally, CuSO induced apoptosis which was featured by MMP depolarization and up-regulated levels of cleaved-caspase-3, cleaved-caspase-8, cleaved-caspase-9, caspase-12, cleaved-PARP and Bax, whereas down-regulated Bcl-2 expression. Meanwhile, CuSO caused testis DNA damage (up-regulation of γ-H2AX protein expression) and suppressed DNA repair pathways including BER, NER, HR, MMR, together with the NHEJ repair pathways, yet did not affect MGMT. To investigate the role of oxidative stress in CuSO-induced apoptosis and DNA damage, the antioxidant NAC was co-treated with CuSO. NAC attenuated CuSO-induced ROS production, inhibited apoptosis and DNA damage. Furthermore, the spermatogenesis disorder was also abolished in the co-treatment with CuSO and NAC group. Altogether, abovementioned results indicated that CuSO-induced spermatogenesis disorder is related to oxidative stress-mediated DNA damage and germ cell apoptosis, impairing male reproductive function. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125903
    Role of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone in Spermatogenesis. Oduwole Olayiwola O,Peltoketo Hellevi,Huhtaniemi Ilpo T Frontiers in endocrinology Spermatogenesis is a concerted sequence of events during maturation of spermatogonia into spermatozoa. The process involves differential gene-expression and cell-cell interplay regulated by the key endocrine stimuli, i.e., follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH)-stimulated testosterone. FSH affects independently and in concert with testosterone, the proliferation, maturation and function of the supporting Sertoli cells that produce regulatory signals and nutrients for the maintenance of developing germ cells. Rodents are able to complete spermatogenesis without FSH stimulus, but its deficiency significantly decreases sperm quantity. Men carrying loss-of-function mutation in the gene encoding the ligand () or its receptor ( present, respectively, with azoospermia or suppressed spermatogenesis. Recently, the importance of high intratesticular testosterone concentration for spermatogenesis has been questioned. It was established that it can be completed at minimal intratesticular concentration of the hormone. Furthermore, we recently demonstrated that very robust constitutive FSHR action can rescue spermatogenesis and fertility of mice even when the testosterone stimulus is completely blocked. The clinical relevance of these findings concerns a new strategy of high-dose FSH in treatment of spermatogenic failure. 10.3389/fendo.2018.00763
    NC1-peptide regulates spermatogenesis through changes in cytoskeletal organization mediated by EB1. Liu Shiwen,Li Huitao,Wu Siwen,Li Linxi,Ge Renshan,Cheng C Yan FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology During the epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis, different sets of cellular events take place across the seminiferous epithelium in the testis. For instance, remodeling of the blood-testis barrier (BTB) that facilitates the transport of preleptotene spermatocytes across the immunological barrier and the release of sperms at spermiation take place at the opposite ends of the epithelium simultaneously at stage VIII of the epithelial cycle. These cellular events are tightly coordinated via locally produced regulatory biomolecules. Studies have shown that collagen α3 (IV) chains, a major constituent component of the basement membrane, release the non-collagenous (NC) 1 domain, a 28-kDa peptide, designated NC1-peptide, from the C-terminal region, via the action of MMP-9 (matrix metalloproteinase 9). NC1-peptide was found to be capable of inducing BTB remodeling and spermatid release across the epithelium. As such, the NC1-peptide is an endogenously produced biologically active peptide which coordinates these cellular events across the epithelium in stage VIII tubules. Herein, we used an animal model, wherein NC1-peptide cloned into the pCI-neo mammalian expression vector was overexpressed in the testis, to better understanding the molecular mechanism by which NC1-peptide regulated spermatogenic function. It was shown that NC1-peptide induced considerable downregulation on a number of cell polarity and planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins, and studies have shown these polarity and PCP proteins modulate spermatid polarity and adhesion via their effects on microtubule (MT) and F-actin cytoskeletal organization across the epithelium. More important, NC1-peptide exerted its effects by downregulating the expression of microtubule (MT) plus-end tracking protein (+TIP) called EB1 (end-binding protein 1). We cloned the full-length EB1 cDNA for its overexpression in the testis, which was found to block the NC1-peptide-mediated disruptive effects on cytoskeletal organization in Sertoli cell epithelium and pertinent Sertoli cell functions. These findings thus illustrate that NC1-peptide is working in concert with EB1 to support spermatogenesis. 10.1096/fj.201901968RR
    Spermatogenesis. Nishimura Hitoshi,L'Hernault Steven W Current biology : CB Most organisms consist of two cell lineages - somatic cells and germ cells. The former are required for the current generation, and the latter create offspring. Male and female germ cells are usually produced during spermatogenesis and oogenesis, which take place in the testis and the ovary, respectively. Spermatogenesis involves the differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells into spermatocytes via mitotic cell division and the production of haploid spermatids from the tetraploid primary spermatocytes via meiotic cell division. Spermatids subsequently give rise to spermatozoa in the final phase of spermatogenesis, called spermiogenesis. These fundamental steps, where mitotic proliferation precedes meiosis during spermatogenesis, are observed in a wide variety of organisms. However, developing a comprehensive understanding of the cell biology and genetics of spermatogenesis is difficult for most species because it occurs within a complex testicular environment characterized by the intimate association of developing sperm with accessory cells. In this Primer, we summarize the processes of spermatogenesis occurring in two pivotal model animals - mouse and Caenorhabditis elegans - and compare them to consider which important features might be evolutionarily conserved. 10.1016/j.cub.2017.07.067
    The REGγ-Proteasome Regulates Spermatogenesis Partially by P53-PLZF Signaling. Gao Xiao,Chen Hui,Liu Jian,Shen Shihui,Wang Qingwei,Clement Tracy M,Deskin Brian J,Chen Caiyu,Zhao Dengpan,Wang Lu,Guo Linjie,Ma Xueqing,Zhang Bianhong,Xu Yunfei,Li Xiaotao,Li Lei Stem cell reports Development of spermatogonia and spermatocytes are the critical steps of spermatogenesis, impacting on male fertility. Investigation of the related regulators benefits the understanding of male reproduction. The proteasome system has been reported to regulate spermatogenesis, but the mechanisms and key contributing factors in vivo are poorly explored. Here we found that ablation of REGγ, a proteasome activator, resulted in male subfertility. Analysis of the mouse testes after birth showed there was a decreased number of PLZF spermatogonia and spermatocytes. Molecular analysis found that REGγ loss significantly increased the abundance of p53 protein in the testis, and directly repressed PLZF transcription in cell lines. Of note, allelic p53 haplodeficiency partially rescued the defects in spermatogenesis observed in REGγ-deficient mice. In summary, our results identify REGγ-p53-PLZF to be a critical pathway that regulates spermatogenesis and establishes a new molecular link between the proteasome system and male reproduction. 10.1016/j.stemcr.2019.07.010
    Multiple signaling pathways in Sertoli cells: recent findings in spermatogenesis. Ni Fei-Da,Hao Shuang-Li,Yang Wan-Xi Cell death & disease The functions of Sertoli cells in spermatogenesis have attracted much more attention recently. Normal spermatogenesis depends on Sertoli cells, mainly due to their influence on nutrient supply, maintenance of cell junctions, and support for germ cells' mitosis and meiosis. Accumulating evidence in the past decade has highlighted the dominant functions of the MAPK, AMPK, and TGF-β/Smad signaling pathways during spermatogenesis. Among these pathways, the MAPK signaling pathway regulates dynamics of tight junctions and adherens junctions, proliferation and meiosis of germ cells, proliferation and lactate production of Sertoli cells; the AMPK and the TGF-β/Smad signaling pathways both affect dynamics of tight junctions and adherens junctions, as well as the proliferation of Sertoli cells. The AMPK signaling pathway also regulates lactate supply. These signaling pathways combine to form a complex regulatory network for spermatogenesis. In testicular tumors or infertile patients, the activities of these signaling pathways in Sertoli cells are abnormal. Clarifying the mechanisms of signaling pathways in Sertoli cells on spermatogenesis provides new insights into the physiological functions of Sertoli cells in male reproduction, and also serves as a pre-requisite to identify potential therapeutic targets in abnormal spermatogenesis including testicular tumor and male infertility. 10.1038/s41419-019-1782-z
    Role of laminin and collagen chains in human spermatogenesis - Insights from studies in rodents and scRNA-Seq transcriptome profiling. Wu Xiaolong,Gao Sheng,Wang Lingling,Bu Tiao,Wu Siwen,Zhou Liwei,Shi Jie,Wu Di,Sun Fei,Cheng C Yan Seminars in cell & developmental biology Studies have demonstrated that biologically active fragments are generated from the basement membrane and the Sertoli cell-spermatid adhesion site known as apical ectoplasmic specialization (apical ES, a testis-specific actin-based anchoring junction) in the rat testis. These bioactive fragments or peptides are produced locally across the seminiferous epithelium through proteolytic cleavage of constituent proteins at the basement membrane and the apical ES. Studies have shown that they are being used to modulate and coordinate cellular functions across the seminiferous epithelium during different stages of the epithelial cycle of spermatogenesis. In this review, we briefly summarize recent findings based on studies using rat testes as a study model regarding the role of these bioactive peptides that serve as a local regulatory network to support spermatogenesis. We also used scRNA-Seq transcriptome datasets in the public domain for OA (obstructive azoospermia) and NAO (non-obstructive azoospermia) human testes versus testes from normal men for analysis in this review. It was shown that there are differential expression of different collagen chains and laminin chains in these testes, suggesting the possibility of a similar local regulatory network in the human testis to support spermatogenesis, and the possible disruption of such network in men is associated with OA and/or NOA. 10.1016/j.semcdb.2021.07.011
    MFN2 interacts with nuage-associated proteins and is essential for male germ cell development by controlling mRNA fate during spermatogenesis. Wang Xiaoli,Wen Yujiao,Zhang Jin,Swanson Grace,Guo Shuangshuang,Cao Congcong,Krawetz Stephen A,Zhang Zhibing,Yuan Shuiqiao Development (Cambridge, England) Mitochondria play a crucial role in spermatogenesis and are regulated by several mitochondrial fusion proteins. However, their functional importance associated with their structure formation and mRNA fate regulation during spermatogenesis remains unclear. Here, we show that mitofusin 2 (MFN2), a mitochondrial fusion protein, interacts with nuage-associated proteins (including MIWI, DDX4, TDRKH and GASZ) in mice. Conditional mutation of Mfn2 in postnatal germ cells results in male sterility due to germ cell developmental defects. Moreover, MFN2 interacts with MFN1, another mitochondrial fusion protein with a high-sequence similarity to MFN2, in testes to facilitate spermatogenesis. Simultaneous mutation of Mfn1 and Mfn2 in testes causes very severe infertile phenotypes. Importantly, we show that MFN2 is enriched in polysome fractions of testes and interacts with MSY2, a germ cell-specific DNA/RNA-binding protein, to control gamete-specific mRNA (such as Spata19) translational activity during spermatogenesis. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that MFN2 interacts with nuage-associated proteins and MSY2 to regulate male germ cell development by controlling several gamete-specific mRNA fates. 10.1242/dev.196295
    MFN2 interacts with nuage-associated proteins and is essential for male germ cell development by controlling mRNA fate during spermatogenesis. Wang Xiaoli,Wen Yujiao,Zhang Jin,Swanson Grace,Guo Shuangshuang,Cao Congcong,Krawetz Stephen A,Zhang Zhibing,Yuan Shuiqiao Development (Cambridge, England) Mitochondria play a crucial role in spermatogenesis and are regulated by several mitochondrial fusion proteins. However, their functional importance associated with their structure formation and mRNA fate regulation during spermatogenesis remains unclear. Here, we show that mitofusin 2 (MFN2), a mitochondrial fusion protein, interacts with nuage-associated proteins (including MIWI, DDX4, TDRKH and GASZ) in mice. Conditional mutation of Mfn2 in postnatal germ cells results in male sterility due to germ cell developmental defects. Moreover, MFN2 interacts with MFN1, another mitochondrial fusion protein with a high-sequence similarity to MFN2, in testes to facilitate spermatogenesis. Simultaneous mutation of Mfn1 and Mfn2 in testes causes very severe infertile phenotypes. Importantly, we show that MFN2 is enriched in polysome fractions of testes and interacts with MSY2, a germ cell-specific DNA/RNA-binding protein, to control gamete-specific mRNA (such as Spata19) translational activity during spermatogenesis. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that MFN2 interacts with nuage-associated proteins and MSY2 to regulate male germ cell development by controlling several gamete-specific mRNA fates. 10.1242/dev.196295
    Effects of bacteria on male fertility: Spermatogenesis and sperm function. Oghbaei Hajar,Rastgar Rezaei Yeganeh,Nikanfar Saba,Zarezadeh Reza,Sadegi Mohammadreza,Latifi Zeinab,Nouri Mohammad,Fattahi Amir,Ahmadi Yadollah,Bleisinger Nathalie Life sciences Bacterial infection can negatively affect different parts of the male genital tract and subsequently cause impaired spermatogenesis and male fertility. However, most of the previous studies have focused on the infected organs of the male genital tract and there are not many studies that investigated the direct effect of bacteria on sperm and their mechanism of action. Interestingly, bacteria can induce different damages on sperm cells such as DNA fragmentation, cell membrane peroxidation, and acrosome impairment. Such negative effects can be mediated by bacteria-secreted toxins and metabolites or by direct attachment of bacteria on the sperm cells and subsequent activation of signaling pathways related to oxidative stress, apoptosis, and inflammation. These bacteria-induced changes can impair semen parameters and subsequently cause infertility. Given the significant destructive effect of some bacteria on sperm function and male fertility, in this study, we reviewed the impact of male urogenital bacteria on spermatogenesis and sperm functions as well as the underlying mechanisms by which the bacteria can damage sperm. 10.1016/j.lfs.2020.117891
    PPP2R1B is modulated by ubiquitination and is essential for spermatogenesis. Du Mufeng,Yuan Lin,Zhang Zhong,Zhang Cong,Zhu Minglu,Zhang Zhe,Li Ridong,Zhao Xuyang,Liang Hui,Li Yuhua,Jiang Hui,Qiao Jie,Yin Yuxin FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology The serine-threonine protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a heterotrimeric enzyme complex that regulates many fundamental cellular processes. PP2A is involved in tumorigenesis because mutations in the scaffold subunit, PPP2R1B, were found in several types of cancers. However, the biological function of PPP2R1B remains largely unknown. We report here that homozygous deletion of Ppp2r1b in Mus musculus impairs meiotic recombination and causes meiotic arrest in spermatocytes. Consistently, male mice lacking Ppp2r1b are characterized with infertility. Furthermore, heterozygous missense mutations in the Homo sapiens PPP2R1B gene, which encodes PPP2R1B, are identified in azoospermia patients with meiotic arrest. We found that PPP2R1B mutants are susceptible to degradation by an E3 ligase CRL4A , and resistant to de-polyubiquitylation by ubiquitin-specific protease 5 (USP5). In addition, heterozygous mutations in PPP2R1B reduce stability of the wild-type PPP2R1B. Our results demonstrate an essential role of PPP2R1B in spermatogenesis and identify upstream regulators of PPP2R1B. 10.1096/fj.202002810R
    Chestnut polysaccharides benefit spermatogenesis through improvement in the expression of important genes. Yu Shuai,Zhao Yong,Zhang Fa-Li,Li Ya-Qi,Shen Wei,Sun Zhong-Yi Aging Recently there has been a continuing worldwide decrease in the quality of human spermatozoa, especially in spermatozoa motility and concentration. Many factors are involved in this decline, and great efforts have been made to rescue spermatogenesis; however, there has been little progress in the improvement of sperm quality. Chestnuts are used in traditional Chinese medicine; their major active components are chestnut polysaccharides (CPs). CPs have many biological activities but their effects on spermatogenesis are unknown. The current investigation was designed to explore the impact of CPs on spermatogenesis and the underlying mechanisms. We demonstrated that CPs significantly increased sperm motility and concentration (4-fold and 12-fold, respectively), and improved seminiferous tubule development by increasing the number of germ cells after busulfan treatment. CPs dramatically rescued the expression of important genes and proteins (STRA8, DAZL, SYCP1, SYCP3, TNP1 etc.) in spermatogenesis. Furthermore, CPs increased the levels of hormone synthesis proteins such as CYP17A1 and HSD17β1. All the data suggested that CPs improved the testicular microenvironment to rescue spermatogenesis. With CPs being natural products, they may be an attractive alternative for treating infertile patients in the future. At the same time, the deep underlying mechanisms of their action need to be explored. 10.18632/aging.103205
    The Function of Pre-mRNA Alternative Splicing in Mammal Spermatogenesis. Song Huibin,Wang Ling,Chen Dake,Li Fenge International journal of biological sciences Alternative pre-mRNA splicing plays important roles in co-transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression functioned during many developmental processes, such as spermatogenesis. The studies focusing on alternative splicing on spermatogenesis supported the notion that the development of testis is regulated by a higher level of alternative splicing than other tissues. Here, we aim to review the mechanisms underlying alternative splicing, particularly the splicing variants functioned in the process of spermatogenesis and the male infertility. There are five points regarding the alternative splicing including ⅰ) a brief introduction of alternative pre-mRNA splicing; ⅱ) the alternative splicing events in spermatogenesis-associated genes enriched in different stages of spermatogenesis; ⅲ) the mechanisms of alternative splicing regulation, such as splicing factors and mA demethylation; ⅳ) the splice site recognition and alternative splicing, including the production and degradation of abnormal transcripts caused by gene variations and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay, respectively; ⅴ) abnormal alternative splicing correlated with male infertility. Taking together, this review highlights the impacts of alternative splicing and splicing variants in mammal spermatogenesis and provides new insights of the potential application of the alternative splicing into the therapy of male infertility. 10.7150/ijbs.34422
    Induction of autophagy via the ROS-dependent AMPK-mTOR pathway protects copper-induced spermatogenesis disorder. Guo Hongrui,Ouyang Yujuan,Yin Heng,Cui Hengmin,Deng Huidan,Liu Huan,Jian Zhijie,Fang Jing,Zuo Zhicai,Wang Xun,Zhao Ling,Zhu Yanqiu,Geng Yi,Ouyang Ping Redox biology Copper (Cu) is a necessary micronutrient at lower concentration, while excessive Cu exposure or Cu homeostasis disorders can lead to toxicity. The mechanism of male reproductive toxicity induced by Cu is still unknown. This study aims to investigate whether autophagy plays an important role in copper-induced spermatogenesis disorder in vivo and vitro. The present study showed that copper sulfate (CuSO) might significantly promote autophagy level in the testis and mouse-derived spermatogonia cell line GC-1 spg cells. Concurrently, CuSO could induce autophagy via AMPK-mTOR pathway that downregulated p-mTOR/mTOR and subsequently upregulated p-AMPKα/AMPKα as well as p-ULK1/ULK1. In the meanwhile, CuSO treatment could also increase expression levels of the autophagy-related proteins. Then, the role of oxidative stress in CuSO-induced autophagy was investigated. The findings demonstrated that oxidative stress inhibitor (NAC) attenuated CuSO-induced autophagy in vivo and vitro, reversing the activation for AMPK-mTOR pathway. Additionally, the study also investigated how autophagy worked under the spermatogenesis disorder induced by CuSO. Inhibition of autophagy could decrease cell viability, and enhance the ROS accumulation and apoptosis in the GC-1 cells, meanwhile, the spermatogenesis disorder, oxidative stress and histopathological changes were increased in the testis. Furthermore, co-treatment with the apoptosis inhibitor (Z-VAD-FMK) could decrease the spermatogenesis disorder but not influence autophagy. Besides, the crosslink between autophagy and ferroptosis were also measured, the data showed that inhibition of autophagy could suppress CuSO-induced ferroptosis in in vivo and vitro. Altogether, abovementioned results indicated that CuSO induced autophagy via oxidative stress-dependent AMPK-mTOR pathway in the GC-1 cells and testis, and autophagy activation possibly led to the generation of protection mechanism through oxidative damage and apoptosis inhibition, however, autophagy also aggravate CuSO toxicology through promoting ferroptosis. Overall, autophagy plays a positive role for attenuating CuSO-induced testicular damage and spermatogenesis disorder. Our study provides a possible targeted therapy for Cu overload-induced reproduction toxicology. 10.1016/j.redox.2021.102227
    Differential impacts of particulate air pollution exposure on early and late stages of spermatogenesis. Henry Trenton D,Porucznik Christina A,Honda Trenton J,VanDerslice James A,Blackburn Brenna E,Cox Kyley J,Carrell Douglas T Ecotoxicology and environmental safety BACKGROUND:Despite increasing evidence that particulate air pollution has adverse effects on human semen quality, few studies examine the impact of air pollution on clinically relevant thresholds used to diagnose male fertility problems. Furthermore, exposure is often assessed using average air pollution levels in a geographic area rather than individualized estimates. Finally, physiologically-informed exposure windows are inconsistent. OBJECTIVES:We sought to test the hypothesis that airborne particulate exposures during early-phase spermatogenesis will have a differential impact on spermatogenic formation compared to late-phase exposures, using an individualized model of exposure to particulate matter ≤ 2.5 µm and ≤ 10 µm (PM and PM, respectively). METHODS:From an original cohort of 183 couples, we conducted a retrospective analysis of 130 healthy males seeking to become parents, using spermatogenesis-relevant exposure windows of 77-34 days and 37-0 days prior to semen collection to encompass sperm development stages of mitosis/meiosis and spermiogenesis, respectively. Individualized residential exposure to PM and PM was estimated by selecting multiple air pollution sensors within the same geographic air basin as participants and employing inverse distance weighting to calculate mean daily exposure levels. We used multiple logistic regression to assess the association between pollution, temperature, and dichotomized World Health Organization semen parameters. RESULTS:During the early phase of spermatogenesis, air pollution exposure is associated with 1.52 (95% CI: 1.04-2.32) times greater odds of < 30% normal heads per 1-unit increase in IQR for PM. In the late phase of spermatogenesis, air pollution exposure is associated with 0.35 (95% CI: 0.10-0.74) times greater odds of semen concentration < 15 million/mL per 1-unit increase in IQR for PM, and 0.28 (95% CI: 0.07-0.72) for PM. CONCLUSION:Particulate exposure has a differential and more deleterious impact on sperm during early-phase spermatogenesis than late-phase. 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2021.112419
    Impact of Circadian Desynchrony on Spermatogenesis: A Mini Review. Fusco Ferdinando,Longo Nicola,De Sio Marco,Arcaniolo Davide,Celentano Giuseppe,Capece Marco,La Rocca Roberto,Mangiapia Francesco,Califano Gianluigi,Morra Simone,Turco Carmine,Spena Gianluca,Spirito Lorenzo,Fusco Giovanni Maria,Cirillo Luigi,De Luca Luigi,Napolitano Luigi,Mirone Vincenzo,Creta Massimiliano Frontiers in endocrinology The purpose of this mini review is to provide data about pre-clinical and clinical evidence exploring the impact of circadian desynchrony on spermatogenesis. Several lines of evidence exist demonstrating that disruption of circadian rhythms may interfere with male fertility. Experimental knock-out or knock-down of clock genes, physiologically involved in the regulation of circadian rhythms, are associated with impairments of fertility pathways in both animal and human models. Moreover, disruption of circadian rhythms, due to reduction of sleep duration and/or alteration of its architecture can negatively interfere in humans with circulating levels of male sexual hormones as well as with semen parameters. Unfortunately, current evidence remains low due to study heterogeneity. 10.3389/fendo.2021.800693
    Planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins support spermatogenesis through cytoskeletal organization in the testis. Wang Lingling,Bu Tiao,Li Linxi,Wu Xiaolong,Wong Chris K C,Perrotta Adolfo,Silvestrini Bruno,Sun Fei,Cheng C Yan Seminars in cell & developmental biology Few reports are found in the literature regarding the role of planar cell polarity (PCP) in supporting spermatogenesis in the testis. Yet morphological studies reported decades earlier have illustrated the directional alignment of polarized developing spermatids, most notably step 17-19 spermatids in stage V-early VIII tubules in the testis, across the plane of the epithelium in seminiferous tubules of adult rats. Such morphological features have unequivocally demonstrated the presence of PCP in developing spermatids, analogous to the PCP noted in hair cells of the cochlea in mammals. Emerging evidence in recent years has shown that Sertoli and germ cells express numerous PCP proteins, mostly notably, the core PCP proteins, PCP effectors and PCP signaling proteins. In this review, we discuss recent findings in the field regarding the two core PCP protein complexes, namely the Van Gogh-like 2 (Vangl2)/Prickle (Pk) complex and the Frizzled (Fzd)/Dishevelled (Dvl) complex. These findings have illustrated that these PCP proteins exert their regulatory role to support spermatogenesis through changes in the organization of actin and microtubule (MT) cytoskeletons in Sertoli cells. For instance, these PCP proteins confer PCP to developing spermatids. As such, developing haploid spermatids can be aligned and orderly packed within the limited space of the seminiferous tubules in the testes for the production of sperm via spermatogenesis. Thus, each adult male in the mouse, rat or human can produce an upward of 30, 50 or 300 million spermatozoa on a daily basis, respectively, throughout the adulthood. We also highlight critical areas of research that deserve attention in future studies. We also provide a hypothetical model by which PCP proteins support spermatogenesis based on recent studies in the testis. It is conceivable that the hypothetical model shown here will be updated as more data become available in future years, but this information can serve as the framework by investigators to unravel the role of PCP in spermatogenesis. 10.1016/j.semcdb.2021.04.008
    Role of cell polarity and planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins in spermatogenesis. Li Linxi,Li Huitao,Wang Lingling,Wu Siwen,Lv Lixiu,Tahir Anam,Xiao Xiang,Wong Chris K C,Sun Fei,Ge Renshan,Cheng C Yan Critical reviews in biochemistry and molecular biology Studies on cell polarity proteins and planar cell polarity (PCP) proteins date back to almost 40 years ago in and when these proteins were shown to be crucial to support apico-basal polarity and also directional alignment of polarity cells across the plane of an epithelium during morphogenesis. In adult mammals, cell polarity and PCP are most notable in cochlear hair cells. However, the role of these two groups of proteins to support spermatogenesis was not explored until a decade earlier when several proteins that confer cell polarity and PCP proteins were identified in the rat testis. Since then, there are several reports appearing in the literature to examine the role of both cell polarity and PCP in supporting spermatogenesis. Herein, we provide an overview regarding the role of cell polarity and PCP proteins in the testis, evaluating these findings in light of studies in other mammalian epithelial cells/tissues. Our goal is to provide a timely evaluation of these findings, and provide some thought provoking remarks to guide future studies based on an evolving concept in the field. 10.1080/10409238.2020.1742091
    Nonclassical androgen and estrogen signaling is essential for normal spermatogenesis. Cooke Paul S,Walker William H Seminars in cell & developmental biology Signaling by androgens through androgen receptor (AR) is essential to complete spermatogenesis in the testis. Similarly, loss of the main estrogen receptor, estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1; also known as ERα), results in male infertility, due in part to indirect deleterious effects on the seminiferous epithelium and spermatogenesis. Effects of steroid hormones are induced primarily through genomic changes induced by hormone-mediated activation of their intracellular receptors and subsequent effects on nuclear gene transcription. However, androgens and estrogens also signal through rapid nonclassical pathways involving actions initiated at the cell membrane. Here we review the data that nonclassical androgen and estrogen signaling pathways support processes essential for male fertility in the testis and reproductive tract. The recent development of transgenic mice lacking nonclassical AR or ESR1 signaling but retaining genomic nuclear signaling has provided a powerful tool to elucidate the function of nonclassical signaling in the overall response to androgens and estrogens. Results from these mice have emphasized that nonclassical signaling is essential for full responses to these hormones, and absence of either nonclassical or classical AR or ESR1 pathways produces abnormalities in spermatogenesis and the male reproductive tract. Although additional work is required to fully understand how classical and nonclassical receptor signaling synergize to produce full steroid hormone responses, here we summarize the known physiological functions of the classical and nonclassical androgen and estrogen signaling pathways in the testis and reproductive tract. 10.1016/j.semcdb.2021.05.032
    FANCI plays an essential role in spermatogenesis and regulates meiotic histone methylation. Xu Lan,Xu Weiwei,Li Duan,Yu Xiaoxia,Gao Fei,Qin Yingying,Yang Yajuan,Zhao Shidou Cell death & disease FANCI is an essential component of Fanconi anemia pathway, which is responsible for the repair of DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs). As an evolutionarily related partner of FANCD2, FANCI functions together with FANCD2 downstream of FA core complex. Currently, growing evidences showed that the essential role of FA pathway in male fertility. However, the underlying mechanisms for FANCI in regulating spermatogenesis remain unclear. In the present study, we found that the male Fanci mice were sterile and exhibited abnormal spermatogenesis, including massive germ cell apoptosis in seminiferous tubules and dramatically decreased number of sperms in epididymis. Besides, FANCI deletion impaired maintenance of undifferentiated spermatogonia. Further investigation indicated that FANCI was essential for FANCD2 foci formation and regulated H3K4 and H3K9 methylation on meiotic sex chromosomes. These findings elucidate the role and mechanism of FANCI during spermatogenesis in mice and provide new insights into the etiology and molecular basis of nonobstructive azoospermia. 10.1038/s41419-021-04034-7
    The roles of microRNAs in regulation of mammalian spermatogenesis. Chen Xiaoxu,Li Xueliang,Guo Jiayin,Zhang Pengfei,Zeng Wenxian Journal of animal science and biotechnology Mammalian spermatogenesis contains three continuous and organized processes, by which spermatogonia undergo mitosis and differentiate to spermatocytes, follow on meiosis to form haploid spermatids and ultimately transform into spermatozoa. These processes require an accurately, spatially and temporally regulated gene expression patterns. The microRNAs are a novel class of post-transcriptional regulators. Cumulating evidences have demonstrated that microRNAs are expressed in a cell-specific or stage-specific manner during spermatogenesis. In this review, we focus on the roles of microRNAs in spermatogenesis. We highlight that N6-methyladenosine (m6A) is involved in the biogenesis of microRNAs and miRNA regulates the m6A modification on mRNA, and that specific miRNAs have been exploited as potential biomarkers for the male factor infertility, which will provide insightful understanding of microRNA roles in spermatogenesis. 10.1186/s40104-017-0166-4
    Cdc42 activity in Sertoli cells is essential for maintenance of spermatogenesis. Heinrich Anna,Bhandary Bidur,Potter Sarah J,Ratner Nancy,DeFalco Tony Cell reports Sertoli cells are highly polarized testicular supporting cells that simultaneously nurture multiple stages of germ cells during spermatogenesis. Proper localization of polarity protein complexes within Sertoli cells, including those responsible for blood-testis barrier formation, is vital for spermatogenesis. However, the mechanisms and developmental timing that underlie Sertoli cell polarity are poorly understood. We investigate this aspect of testicular function by conditionally deleting Cdc42, encoding a Rho GTPase involved in regulating cell polarity, specifically in Sertoli cells. Sertoli Cdc42 deletion leads to increased apoptosis and disrupted polarity of juvenile and adult testes but does not affect fetal and postnatal testicular development. The onset of the first wave of spermatogenesis occurs normally, but it fails to progress past round spermatid stages, and by young adulthood, conditional knockout males exhibit a complete loss of spermatogenic cells. These findings demonstrate that Cdc42 is essential for Sertoli cell polarity and for maintaining steady-state sperm production. 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109885
    Genes Regulating Spermatogenesis and Sperm Function Associated With Rare Disorders. Linn Emma,Ghanem Lillian,Bhakta Hanisha,Greer Cory,Avella Matteo Frontiers in cell and developmental biology Spermatogenesis is a cell differentiation process that ensures the production of fertilizing sperm, which ultimately fuse with an egg to form a zygote. Normal spermatogenesis relies on Sertoli cells, which preserve cell junctions while providing nutrients for mitosis and meiosis of male germ cells. Several genes regulate normal spermatogenesis, some of which are not exclusively expressed in the testis and control multiple physiological processes in an organism. Loss-of-function mutations in some of these genes result in spermatogenesis and sperm functionality defects, potentially leading to the insurgence of rare genetic disorders. To identify genetic intersections between spermatogenesis and rare diseases, we screened public archives of human genetic conditions available on the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), the Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), and the Clinical Variant (ClinVar), and after an extensive literature search, we identified 22 distinct genes associated with 21 rare genetic conditions and defective spermatogenesis or sperm function. These protein-coding genes regulate Sertoli cell development and function during spermatogenesis, checkpoint signaling pathways at meiosis, cellular organization and shape definition during spermiogenesis, sperm motility, and capacitation at fertilization. A number of these genes regulate folliculogenesis and oogenesis as well. For each gene, we review the genotype-phenotype association together with associative or causative polymorphisms in humans, and provide a description of the shared molecular mechanisms that regulate gametogenesis and fertilization obtained in transgenic animal models. 10.3389/fcell.2021.634536
    Spermatogenesis and the Evolution of Mammalian Sex Chromosomes. Larson Erica L,Kopania Emily E K,Good Jeffrey M Trends in genetics : TIG Developmental constraint and sexual conflict shape the evolution of heteromorphic sex chromosomes. These contrasting forces are perhaps strongest during spermatogenesis in species with XY males. In this review, we consider how the unique regulatory environment and selective pressures of spermatogenesis interact to impact sex chromosome evolution in mammals. We explore how each developmental phase of spermatogenesis influences sex chromosome gene content, structure, and rate of molecular evolution, and how these attributes may contribute to speciation. We argue that a developmental context is fundamental to understanding sex chromosome evolution and that an evolutionary perspective can shed new light on our understanding of sperm development. 10.1016/j.tig.2018.06.003
    Mitochondrial dynamics during spermatogenesis. Varuzhanyan Grigor,Chan David C Journal of cell science Mitochondrial fusion and fission (mitochondrial dynamics) are homeostatic processes that safeguard normal cellular function. This relationship is especially strong in tissues with constitutively high energy demands, such as brain, heart and skeletal muscle. Less is known about the role of mitochondrial dynamics in developmental systems that involve changes in metabolic function. One such system is spermatogenesis. The first mitochondrial dynamics gene, (), was discovered in 1997 to mediate mitochondrial fusion during spermatogenesis. In mammals, however, the role of mitochondrial fusion during spermatogenesis remained unknown for nearly two decades after discovery of Mammalian spermatogenesis is one of the most complex and lengthy differentiation processes in biology, transforming spermatogonial stem cells into highly specialized sperm cells over a 5-week period. This elaborate differentiation process requires several developmentally regulated mitochondrial and metabolic transitions, making it an attractive model system for studying mitochondrial dynamics We review the emerging role of mitochondrial biology, and especially its dynamics, during the development of the male germ line. 10.1242/jcs.235937
    Epigenetic regulations in mammalian spermatogenesis: RNA-mA modification and beyond. Gui Yiqian,Yuan Shuiqiao Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS Emerging evidence shows that mA, one of the most abundant RNA modifications in mammals, is involved in the entire process of spermatogenesis, including mitosis, meiosis, and spermiogenesis. "Writers" catalyze mA formation on stage-specific transcripts during male germline development, while "erasers" remove mA modification to maintain a balance between methylation and demethylation. The different functions of RNA-mA transcripts depend on their recognition by "readers". mA modification mediates RNA metabolism, including mRNA splicing, translation, and degradation, as well as the maturity and biosynthesis of non-coding RNAs. Sperm RNA profiles are easily affected by environmental exposure and can even be inherited for several generations, similar to epigenetic inheritance. Here, we review and summarize the critical role of mA in different developmental stages of male germ cells, to understand of the mechanisms and epigenetic regulation of mA modifications. In addition, we also outline and discuss the important role of non-coding RNAs in spermatogenesis and RNA modifications in epigenetic inheritance. 10.1007/s00018-021-03823-9
    Panoramic transcriptome analysis and functional screening of long noncoding RNAs in mouse spermatogenesis. Li Kai,Xu Jiayue,Luo Yanyun,Zou Dingfeng,Han Ruiqin,Zhong Shunshun,Zhao Qing,Mang Xinyu,Li Mengzhen,Si Yanmin,Lu Yan,Li Pengyu,Jin Cheng,Wang Zhipeng,Wang Fang,Miao Shiying,Wen Bo,Wang Linfang,Ma Yanni,Yu Jia,Song Wei Genome research Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as diverse functional regulators involved in mammalian development; however, large-scale functional investigation of lncRNAs in mammalian spermatogenesis in vivo is lacking. Here, we delineated the global lncRNA expression landscape in mouse spermatogenesis and identified 968 germ cell signature lncRNAs. By combining bioinformatics and functional screening, we identified three functional lncRNAs (, , and ) that directly influence spermatogenesis in vivo. Knocking down hampered the development of round spermatids into elongating spermatids and disrupted key spermatogenic gene expression. Mechanistically, lncRNA localized in the nucleus of round spermatids and occupied the genomic regulatory region of important spermatogenic genes including and These findings provide a valuable resource and framework for future functional analysis of lncRNAs in spermatogenesis and their potential roles in other biological processes. 10.1101/gr.264333.120