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J Biol Chem. 2010 Oct 8;285(41):31418-26. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.116418. Epub 2010 Jul 30.

Zmynd15 encodes a histone deacetylase-dependent transcriptional repressor essential for spermiogenesis and male fertility.

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Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, Nevada 89557, USA.


Spermatogenesis is a complex process through which male germ line stem cells undergo a multi-step differentiation program and sequentially become spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids, and eventually spermatozoa. In this process, transcription factors act as switches that precisely regulate the expression of genes that in turn control the developmental program of male germ cells. Transcription factors identified to be essential for normal haploid gene expression all display transcription-activating effects and thus serve as the "on" switch for haploid gene expression. Here, we report that ZMYND15 acts as a histone deacetylase-dependent transcriptional repressor and controls normal temporal expression of haploid cell genes during spermiogenesis. Inactivation of Zmynd15 results in early activation of transcription of numerous important haploid genes including Prm1, Tnp1, Spem1, and Catpser3; depletion of late spermatids; and male infertility. ZMYND15 represents the first transcriptional repressor identified to be essential for sperm production and male fertility.

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