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Development. 2013 Sep;140(18):3819-25. doi: 10.1242/dev.099184. Epub 2013 Aug 7.

The nuage mediates retrotransposon silencing in mouse primordial ovarian follicles.

Author information

1
Institute of Medical Biology, A*STAR, 8A Biomedical Grove, Immunos, 138648 Singapore. aikhim.lim@imb.a-star.edu.sg

Abstract

Mobilization of endogenous retrotransposons can destabilize the genome, an imminent danger during epigenetic reprogramming of cells in the germline. The P-element-induced wimpy testis (PIWI)-interacting RNA (piRNA) pathway is known to silence retrotransposons in the mouse testes. Several piRNA pathway components localize to the unique, germline structure known as the nuage. In this study, we surveyed mouse ovaries and found, for the first time, transient appearance of nuage-like structures in oocytes of primordial follicles. Mouse vasa homolog (MVH), Piwi-like 2 (PIWIL2/MILI) and tudor domain-containing 9 (TDRD9) are present in these structures, whereas aggregates of germ cell protein with ankyrin repeats, sterile alpha motif and leucine zipper (GASZ) localize separately in the cytoplasm. Retrotransposons are silenced in primordial ovarian follicles, and de-repressed upon reduction of piRNA expression in Mvh, Mili or Gasz mutants. However, these null-mutant females, unlike their male counterparts, are fertile, uncoupling retrotransposon activation from sterility.

KEYWORDS:

Mouse; Nuage; Ovary; Primordial follicles; Retrotransposons; piRNAs

PMID:
23924633
PMCID:
PMC4067262
DOI:
10.1242/dev.099184
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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