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Nat Commun. 2016 Jan 8;7:10324. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10324.

Implementation of meiosis prophase I programme requires a conserved retinoid-independent stabilizer of meiotic transcripts.

Abby E1,2,3,4, Tourpin S1,2,3,4, Ribeiro J1,2,3,4, Daniel K5, Messiaen S1,2,3,4, Moison D1,2,3,4, Guerquin J1,2,3,4, Gaillard JC6, Armengaud J6, Langa F7, Toth A5, Martini E1,2,3,4, Livera G1,2,3,4.

Author information

Université Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Laboratory of Development of the Gonads, Unit of Stem Cells and Radiation, UMR-967, BP 6, Fontenay-aux-Roses 92265, France.
CEA, DSV, iRCM, SCSR, LDG, Fontenay-aux-Roses 92265, France.
INSERM, Unité 967, Fontenay-aux-Roses F-92265, France.
Université Paris-Sud, UMR-967, Fontenay-aux-Roses F-92265, France.
Molecular Cell Biology Group/Experimental Center, Institute of Physiological Chemistry, Medical School, MTZ, Dresden University of Technology, Fiedlerstrasse 42, Dresden 01307, Germany.
CEA, DSV/IBITEC-S/SPI/Li2D, Laboratory 'Innovative Technologies for Detection and Diagnostic', CEA-Marcoule, BP 17171, Bagnols-sur-Cèze F-30200, France.
Centre d'Ingénierie Génétique Murine, Institut Pasteur, Paris 75015, France.


Sexual reproduction is crucially dependent on meiosis, a conserved, specialized cell division programme that is essential for the production of haploid gametes. Here we demonstrate that fertility and the implementation of the meiotic programme require a previously uncharacterized meiosis-specific protein, MEIOC. Meioc invalidation in mice induces early and pleiotropic meiotic defects in males and females. MEIOC prevents meiotic transcript degradation and interacts with an RNA helicase that binds numerous meiotic mRNAs. Our results indicate that proper engagement into meiosis necessitates the specific stabilization of meiotic transcripts, a previously little-appreciated feature in mammals. Remarkably, the upregulation of MEIOC at the onset of meiosis does not require retinoic acid and STRA8 signalling. Thus, we propose that the complete induction of the meiotic programme requires both retinoic acid-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The latter process involving post-transcriptional regulation likely represents an ancestral mechanism, given that MEIOC homologues are conserved throughout multicellular animals.

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