[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During spermiogenesis, round spermatids are converted into motile sperm in mammals. The mechanisms responsible for sperm morphogenesis are poorly understood. We have characterized a novel protein, RIM-BP3, with a specialized function in spermatid development in mice. The RIM-BP3 protein is associated with the manchette, a transient microtubular structure believed to be important for morphogenesis during spermiogenesis. Targeted deletion of the RIM-BP3 gene resulted in male infertility owing to abnormal sperm heads, which are characterized by a deformed nucleus and a detached acrosome. Consistent with its role in morphogenesis, the RIM-BP3 protein physically associates with Hook1, a known manchette-bound protein required for sperm head morphogenesis. Interestingly, RIM-BP3 does not interact with the truncated Hook1 protein characterized in azh (abnormal spermatozoon head) mutant mice. Moreover, RIM-BP3 and Hook1 mutant mice display several common abnormalities, in particular with regard to the ectopic positioning of the manchette within the spermatid, a presumed cause of sperm head deformities. These observations suggest an essential role for RIM-BP3 in manchette development and function through its interaction with Hook1. As the occurrence of deformed spermatids is one of the common abnormalities leading to malfunctional sperm, identification of RIM-BP3 might provide insight into the molecular cue underlying causes of male infertility in humans.
Development 02/2009; 136(3):373-82. DOI:10.1242/dev.030858 · 6.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA methylation plays an important role in gene silencing in mammals. Two de novo methyltransferases, Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b, are required for the establishment of genomic methylation patterns in development. However, little is known about their coordinate function in the silencing of genes critical for embryonic development and how their activity is regulated. Here we show that Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b are the major components of a native complex purified from embryonic stem cells. The two enzymes directly interact and mutually stimulate each other both in vitro and in vivo. The stimulatory effect is independent of the catalytic activity of the enzyme. In differentiating embryonic carcinoma or embryonic stem cells and mouse postimplantation embryos, they function synergistically to methylate the promoters of the Oct4 and Nanog genes. Inadequate methylation caused by ablating Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b is associated with dysregulated expression of Oct4 and Nanog during the differentiation of pluripotent cells and mouse embryonic development. These results suggest that Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b form a complex through direct contact in living cells and cooperate in the methylation of the promoters of Oct4 and Nanog during cell differentiation. The physical and functional interaction between Dnmt3a and Dnmt3b represents a novel regulatory mechanism to ensure the proper establishment of genomic methylation patterns for gene silencing in development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deficiency in DNA methyltransferase DNMT3B causes a recessive human disorder characterized by immunodeficiency, centromeric instability and facial anomalies (ICF) in association with defects in genomic methylation. The majority of ICF mutations are single amino acid substitutions in the conserved catalytic domain of DNMT3B, which are believed to impair its enzymatic activity directly. The establishment of intact genomic methylation patterns in development requires a fine regulation of the de novo methylation activity of the two related methyltransferases DNMT3A and DNMT3B by regulatory factors including DNMT3L which has a stimulatory effect. Here, we show that two DNMT3B mutant proteins with ICF-causing substitution (A766P and R840Q) displayed a methylation activity similar to the wild-type enzyme both in vitro and in vivo. However, their stimulation by DNMT3L was severely compromised due to deficient protein interaction. Our findings suggest that methylation defects in ICF syndrome may also result from impaired stimulation of DNMT3B activity by DNMT3L or other unknown regulatory factors as well as from a weakened basal catalytic activity of the mutant DNMT3B protein per se.
Human Molecular Genetics 06/2006; 15(9):1375-85. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddl059 · 6.68 Impact Factor