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The Molecular Landscape of Spermatogonial Stem Cell Renewal, Meiotic Sex Chromosome Inactivation, and Spermatic Head Shaping

  • Laura L. Tres
  • Abraham L. Kierszenbaum
Chapter

Spermatogenesis is a hormonally regulated process involving three sequential events: (1) the mitotic amplification of the spermatogonial cell progeny, (2) the completion of meiosis by the spermatocyte progeny, and (3) spermiogenesis, the gradual morphogenesis of the spermatid progeny. Mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis coexist in the seminiferous epithelium in association with a post-mitotic stable population of somatic Sertoli cells. Cell components of each spermatogonial, spermatocyte, and spermatid cell progeny remain connected by intercellular cytoplasmic bridges. Intercellular bridges are disrupted upon completion of spermiogenesis leading to the release in the seminiferous tubular lumen of single mature spermatids transported to the epididymal duct for acquisition of fertilizing activity. Several key cell cycle regulators have been shown to operate during the mitotic amplification of the spermatogonial progeny. During meiotic prophase, autosomal bivalents are engaged in prominent ribosomal RNA and non-ribosomal RNA transcriptional activity, in contrast with the transcriptional silencing of the condensed XY chromosomes. An autosomal bivalent is a synapsed (conjoined) chromosomal pair, excluding the sex chromosomes X and Y, observed during meiotic prophase I. Each member of a chromosomal bivalent (autosomes and X-Y) consists of two sister chromatids that will disjoin (separate) upon completion of meiosis to produce a haploid genome (spermatid). During spermiogenesis, gradual genetic inactivation of the spermatid genome correlates with spermatid head shaping. The acrosome-acroplaxome-manchette complex is emerging as a significant player in spermatid head shaping as well as in the assembly of the sperm head–tail coupling apparatus and the development of the outer dense fiber-axoneme-containing sperm tail. The acroplaxome is a cytoskeletal plate bordered by a desmosome-like marginal ring fastening the descending recess of the acrosomal sac to the nuclear envelope of the spermatid. The manchette is a transient microtubular-containing structure developed beneath the acroplaxome and encircling the elongating spermatid nucleus. This chapter is restricted to recent developments in the bioregulation of the spermatogonial stem cell progeny, the process of transcriptional inactivation of the XY bivalent, and the steps leading to spermatid head shaping. These are three relevant aspects that, when disrupted, can lead to male infertility.

Keywords

Sertoli Cell Synaptonemal Complex Meiotic Prophase Seminiferous Epithelium Spermatogonial Stem Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

27.7Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

ATR:

DNA repair protein, member of the PI3-kinase-like family

Brca1:

breast cancer 1 gene

c-kit:

cellular homolog of the feline sarcoma viral oncogene v-kit

cyclin D1 and D2:

cell cycle-regulatory genes

DSB:

double-strand breaks

FSH:

follicle stimulating hormone

GDNF:

glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor

GOPC:

Golgi-associated PDZ and coiled-coil motif containing

H2AFY:

H2A histone family, member Y (also known as histone macroH2A1)

H2AX:

variant of the histone H2a

Hrb:

Asn-Pro-Phe (NPF) motif-containing protein (also called Rab or hRip)

hRip:

human immunodeficiency virus Rev-interacting protein.

KIFC:

kinesin family member C

MANO:

meiotic autosomal nucleolar organization

MCSI:

meiotic sex chromosome inactivation

Mre11:

meiotic recombination 11 protein

Nbs1:

Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1

ODF2:

Outer dense fiber 2

Plzf:

promyelocytic leukemia zinc-finger, a transcriptional repressor encoded by the Zfp145 gene

POK:

Poxviruses and zinc-finger (POZ) and Krüppel family of transcription repressors

POZ:

Poxviruses and zinc-finger

Rab:

member of the Ras superfamily of monomeric G proteins

Rad3:

a DNA helicase repair protein

Rad50:

Mre11-interacting protein with binding affinity to double stranded DNA.

RET:

protooncogene tyrosine kinase receptor that binds members of the GDNF family

Ssty 1 and Ssty 2:

Y-linked spermiogenesis specific transcript

Zfp145:

zinc finger protein 145 gene

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell Biology and AnatomyThe Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, The City University of New York Medical SchoolNew YorkUSA

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