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UPF2, a nonsense-mediated mRNA decay factor, is required for prepubertal Sertoli cell development and male fertility by ensuring fidelity of the transcriptome

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  • Jianqiang Bao
  • Chong Tang
  • Shuiqiao Yuan
  • Bo T Porse
  • Wei Yan
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Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) represents a highly conserved RNA surveillance mechanism through which mRNA transcripts bearing premature termination codons (PTCs) are selectively degraded to maintain transcriptomic fidelity in the cell. Numerous in vitro studies have demonstrated the importance of the NMD pathway; however, evidence supporting its physiological necessity has only just started to emerge. Here, we report that ablation of Upf2, which encodes a core NMD factor, in murine embryonic Sertoli cells (SCs) leads to severe testicular atrophy and male sterility owing to rapid depletion of both SCs and germ cells during prepubertal testicular development. RNA-Seq and bioinformatic analyses revealed impaired transcriptomic homeostasis in SC-specific Upf2 knockout testes, characterized by an accumulation of PTC-containing transcripts and the transcriptome-wide dysregulation of genes encoding splicing factors and key proteins essential for SC fate control. Our data demonstrate an essential role of UPF2-mediated NMD in prepubertal SC development and male fertility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopment
Volume142
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)352-62
Number of pages11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2015

ID: 44853232