Germ cell-intrinsic requirement for the homeodomain transcription factor PKnox1/ Prep1 in adult spermatogenesis

Yasuhiro Kawai, Akihisa Oda, Yoshiakira Kanai, Ryo Goitsuka

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PKnox1 (also known as Prep1) belongs to the TALE family of homeodomain transcription factors that are critical for regulating growth and differentiation during embryonic and postnatal development in vertebrates. We demonstrate here that PKnox1 is required for adult spermatogenesis in a germ cell-intrinsic manner. Tamoxifen-mediated PKnox1 loss in the adult testes, as well as its germ cell-specific ablation, causes testis hypotrophy with germ cell apoptosis and, as a consequence, compromised spermatogenesis. In PKnox1-deficient testes, spermatogenesis was arrested at the c-Kit+ spermatogonia stage, with a complete loss of the meiotic spermatocytes, and was accompanied by compromised differentiation of the c-Kit+ spermatogonia. Taken together, these results indicate that PKnox1 is a critical regulator of maintenance and subsequent differentiation of the c-Kit+ stage of spermatogonia in the adult testes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0190702
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

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