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Elife. 2016 Nov 18;5. pii: e20235. doi: 10.7554/eLife.20235.

Successful transmission and transcriptional deployment of a human chromosome via mouse male meiosis.

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Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Department of Histopathology, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, United states.
Department of Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, United States.
Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology, Science for Life Laboratory, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


Most human aneuploidies originate maternally, due in part to the presence of highly stringent checkpoints during male meiosis. Indeed, male sterility is common among aneuploid mice used to study chromosomal abnormalities, and male germline transmission of exogenous DNA has been rarely reported. Here we show that, despite aberrant testis architecture, males of the aneuploid Tc1 mouse strain produce viable sperm and transmit human chromosome 21 to create aneuploid offspring. In these offspring, we mapped transcription, transcriptional initiation, enhancer activity, non-methylated DNA, and transcription factor binding in adult tissues. Remarkably, when compared with mice derived from female passage of human chromosome 21, the chromatin condensation during spermatogenesis and the extensive epigenetic reprogramming specific to male germline transmission resulted in almost indistinguishable patterns of transcriptional deployment. Our results reveal an unexpected tolerance of aneuploidy during mammalian spermatogenesis, and the surprisingly robust ability of mouse developmental machinery to accurately deploy an exogenous chromosome, regardless of germline transmission.


aneuploidy; chromosomes; epigenetic reprogramming; genes; human; male germline; meiosis; mouse

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