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  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)  (1)
  • 1
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: 〈p〉The posttranslational modification of histones is crucial in spermatogenesis, as in other tissues; however, during spermiogenesis, histones are replaced with protamines, which are critical for the tight packaging of the DNA in sperm cells. Protamines are also posttranslationally modified by phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, which prompted our investigation of the underlying mechanisms and biological consequences of their regulation. On the basis of a screen that implicated the heat shock protein Hspa4l in spermatogenesis, we generated mice deficient in Hspa4l (〈i〉Hspa4l〈/i〉-null mice), which showed male infertility and the malformation of sperm heads. These phenotypes are similar to those of 〈i〉Ppp1cc〈/i〉-deficient mice, and we found that the amount of a testis- and sperm-specific isoform of the Ppp1cc phosphatase (Ppp1cc2) in the chromatin-binding fraction was substantially less in 〈i〉Hspa4l〈/i〉-null spermatozoa than that in those of wild-type mice. We further showed that Ppp1cc2 was a substrate of the chaperones Hsc70 and Hsp70 and that Hspa4l enhanced the release of Ppp1cc2 from these complexes, enabling the freed Ppp1cc2 to localize to chromatin. Pull-down and in vitro phosphatase assays suggested the dephosphorylation of protamine 2 at serine 56 (Prm2 Ser〈sup〉56〈/sup〉) by Ppp1cc2. To confirm the biological importance of Prm2 Ser〈sup〉56〈/sup〉 dephosphorylation, we mutated Ser〈sup〉56〈/sup〉 to alanine in Prm2 (Prm2 S56A). Introduction of this mutation to 〈i〉Hspa4l〈/i〉-null mice (〈i〉Hspa4l〈/i〉〈sup〉–/–〈/sup〉; 〈i〉Prm2〈/i〉〈sup〉S56A/S56A〈/sup〉) restored the malformation of sperm heads and the infertility of 〈i〉Hspa4l〈/i〉〈sup〉–/–〈/sup〉 mice. The dephosphorylation signal to eliminate phosphate was crucial, and these results unveiled the mechanism and biological relevance of the dephosphorylation of Prm2 for sperm maturation in vivo.〈/p〉
    Print ISSN: 1945-0877
    Electronic ISSN: 1937-9145
    Topics: Biology , Medicine
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