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Absence of mDazl produces a final block on germ cell development at meiosis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Michael TaggartORCiD, Professor David Elliott


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The autosomal gene DAZL is a member of a family of genes (DAZL, DAZ, BOULE), all of which contain a consensus RNA binding domain and are expressed in germ cells. Adult male and female mice null for Dazl lack gametes. In order to define more precisely the developmental stages in germ cells that require Dazl expression, the patterns of germ cell loss in immature male and female wild-type (+/+, WT) and Dazl -/- (DazlKO) mice were analysed. In females, loss of germ cells occurred during fetal life and was coincident with progression of cells through meiotic prophase. In males, testes were recovered from WT and DazlKO males obtained before and during the first wave of spermatogenesis (days 2-19). Mitotically active germ cells were present up to and including day 19. Functional differentiation of spermatogonia associated with detection of c-kit positive cells did not depend upon expression of Dazl. RBMY-positive cells (A, intermediate, B spermatogonia, zygotene and preleptotene spermatocytes) were reduced in DazlKO compared with WT testes. Staining of cell squashes from day 19 testes with anti-γ-H2AX and anti-SCP3 antibodies showed that germ cells from DazlKO males were unable to progress beyond the leptotene stage of meiotic prophase I. It was concluded that in the absence of Dazl, germ cells can complete mitosis, and embark on functional differentiation but that, in both sexes, progression through meiotic prophase requires this RNA binding protein.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Saunders PTK, Turner JMA, Ruggiu M, Taggart M, Burgoyne PS, Elliott D, Cooke HJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Reproduction

Year: 2003

Volume: 126

Issue: 5

Pages: 589-597

Print publication date: 01/11/2003

ISSN (print): 1470-1626

ISSN (electronic): 1741-7899

Publisher: BioScientifica


DOI: 10.1530/rep.0.1260589

PubMed id: 14611631


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Funder referenceFunder name
MC_U127661055Medical Research Council
U.1276.00.002(61055)Medical Research Council