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PLoS One. 2010 Nov 16;5(11):e14017. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014017.

The ubiquitin ligase Ubr2, a recognition E3 component of the N-end rule pathway, stabilizes Tex19.1 during spermatogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Animal Biology, Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.


Ubiquitin E3 ligases target their substrates for ubiquitination, leading to proteasome-mediated degradation or altered biochemical properties. The ubiquitin ligase Ubr2, a recognition E3 component of the N-end rule proteolytic pathway, recognizes proteins with N-terminal destabilizing residues and plays an important role in spermatogenesis. Tex19.1 (also known as Tex19) has been previously identified as a germ cell-specific protein in mouse testis. Here we report that Tex19.1 forms a stable protein complex with Ubr2 in mouse testes. The binding of Tex19.1 to Ubr2 is independent of the second position cysteine of Tex19.1, a putative target for arginylation by the N-end rule pathway R-transferase. The Tex19.1-null mouse mutant phenocopies the Ubr2-deficient mutant in three aspects: heterogeneity of spermatogenic defects, meiotic chromosomal asynapsis, and embryonic lethality preferentially affecting females. In Ubr2-deficient germ cells, Tex19.1 is transcribed, but Tex19.1 protein is absent. Our results suggest that the binding of Ubr2 to Tex19.1 metabolically stabilizes Tex19.1 during spermatogenesis, revealing a new function for Ubr2 outside the conventional N-end rule pathway.

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