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Dev Cell. 2008 Aug;15(2):285-97. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2008.05.015.

Mouse maelstrom, a component of nuage, is essential for spermatogenesis and transposon repression in meiosis.

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1
Biology Department, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.

Abstract

Tight control of transposon activity is essential for the integrity of the germline. Recently, a germ-cell-specific organelle, nuage, was proposed to play a role in transposon repression. To test this hypothesis, we disrupted a murine homolog of a Drosophila nuage protein Maelstrom. Effects on male meiotic chromosome synapsis and derepression of transposable elements (TEs) were observed. In the adult Mael(-/-) testes, LINE-1 (L1) derepression occurred at the onset of meiosis. As a result, Mael(-/-) spermatocytes were flooded with L1 ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) that accumulated in large cytoplasmic enclaves and nuclei. Mael(-/-) spermatocytes with nuclear L1 RNPs exhibited massive DNA damage and severe chromosome asynapsis even in the absence of SPO11-generated meiotic double-strand breaks. This study demonstrates that MAEL, a nuage component, is indispensable for the silencing of TEs and identifies the initiation of meiosis as an important step in TE control in the male germline.

PMID:
18694567
PMCID:
PMC2546488
DOI:
10.1016/j.devcel.2008.05.015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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