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A novel transcriptional factor Nkapl is a germ cell-specific suppressor of Notch signaling and is indispensable for spermatogenesis

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A Novel Transcriptional Factor Nkapl Is a Germ Cell-Specific Suppressor of Notch Signaling and Is Indispensable for Spermatogenesis. Okuda H, Kiuchi H, Takao T, Miyagawa Y, Tsujimura A, et al. PLOS ONE. 2015. 10(4) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124293

Spermatogenesis is an elaborately regulated system dedicated to the continuous production of spermatozoa via the genesis of spermatogonia. In this process, a variety of genes are expressed that are relevant to the differentiation of germ cells at each stage. Although Notch signaling plays a critical role in germ cell development in Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans, its function and importance for spermatogenesis in mammals is controversial. We report that Nkapl is a novel germ cell-specific transcriptional suppressor in Notch signaling. It is also associated with several molecules of the Notch corepressor complex such as CIR, HDAC3, and CSL. It was expressed robustly in spermatogonia and early spermatocytes after the age of 3 weeks. Nkapl-deleted mice showed complete arrest at the level of pachytene spermatocytes. In addition, apoptosis was observed in this cell type. Overexpression of NKAPL in germline stem cells demonstrated that Nkapl induced changes in spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) markers and the reduction of differentiation factors through the Notch signaling pathway, whereas testes with Nkapl deleted showed inverse changes in those markers and factors. Therefore, Nkapl is indispensable because aberrantly elevated Notch signaling has negative effects on spermatogenesis, affecting SSC maintenance and differentiation factors. Notch signaling should be properly regulated through the transcriptional factor Nkapl.


  • PLoS ONE

    PLoS ONE 10 (4), e0124293-, 2015-04-14

    Public Library of Science


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