Spermiogenesis deficiency in mice lacking the Trf2 gene
Zhang,Di; Penttila,Tarja-Leena; Morris,Patricia L.; Teichmann,Martin; Roeder,Robert G.
Science 292(5519): 1153-1155
Publication date: 2001
The discovery of TATA-binding protein-related factors (TRFs) has suggested alternative mechanisms for gene-specific transcriptionalregulation and raised interest in their biological functions.In contrast to recent observations of an embryonic lethal phenotypefor TRF2 inactivation in Caenorhabditis elegans and Xenopus laevis,we found that Trf2-deficient mice are viable. However, Trf2 mice are sterile because of a severe defect in spermiogenesis.Postmeiotic round spermatids advance at most to step 7 of differentiationbut fail to progress to the elongated form, and gene-specifictranscription deficiencies were identified. We speculate thatmammals may have evolved more specialized TRF2 functions in thetestis that involve transcriptional regulation of genes essentialfor spermiogenesis.