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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Dec 19;312(3):697-701.

Role of follitropin receptor signaling in nuclear protein transitions and chromatin condensation during spermatogenesis.

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Molecular Reproduction Research Laboratory, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal 110 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Que., Canada H2W 1R7.


Follitropin receptor (FSHR) in testicular Sertoli cells mediates signaling by pituitary follitropin (FSH) promoting intercellular communication with germ cells for normal spermatogenesis. Using receptor knockout mice we examined changes in sperm nucleoproteins and chromatin architecture. The expressions of transition proteins 1/2 (TP1/2) and protamine-2 (PRM-2) were greatly diminished at 21 days, but returned to normal at 35 days and 3 months after birth. However, protein components in chromatin were quite different. Western blots detected a reduction in PRM1/2 and prolonged retention of mono-ubiquitinated histone 2A (uH2A) in the epididymal sperm from adult mutants. Two forms of mono- and poly-uH2A were present in sonication-resistant testicular spermatids in normal mice, whereas only an elevated mono-uH2A was detectable in mutants. Decrease in PRM1/2 and retention of mono-uH2A was coincident with reduction in TP1/2 in premature spermatids. Thus lack of FSHR signaling impairs expression of TP1/2 and PRM-2 at an early stage of post-natal development causing delayed spermatogenesis. In the adult, absence of FSHR signaling prolongs retention of mono-uH2A, leading to impair transition of basic nucleoproteins and chromatin remodeling during mouse spermatogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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