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PLoS Genet. 2018 Jan 12;14(1):e1007175. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007175. eCollection 2018 Jan.

MORC2B is essential for meiotic progression and fertility.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
2
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
3
Center for Reproduction and Genetics, The Affiliated Suzhou Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China.
4
Xinhua Hospital, Affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
5
USTC-SJH Joint Center for Human Reproduction and Genetics, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei,Anhui, China.
6
Department of Microbiology, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Abstract

The microrchidia (MORC) family proteins are chromatin-remodelling factors and function in diverse biological processes such as DNA damage response and transposon silencing. Here, we report that mouse Morc2b encodes a functional germ cell-specific member of the MORC protein family. Morc2b arose specifically in the rodent lineage through retrotransposition of Morc2a during evolution. Inactivation of Morc2b leads to meiotic arrest and sterility in both sexes. Morc2b-deficient spermatocytes and oocytes exhibit failures in chromosomal synapsis, blockades in meiotic recombination, and increased apoptosis. Loss of MORC2B causes mis-regulated expression of meiosis-specific genes. Furthermore, we find that MORC2B interacts with MORC2A, its sequence paralogue. Our results demonstrate that Morc2b, a relatively recent gene, has evolved an essential role in meiosis and fertility.

PMID:
29329290
PMCID:
PMC5785033
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pgen.1007175
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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