The Francis Crick Institute
journal.pone.0145398.PDF (14.84 MB)

Mouse Y-encoded transcription factor Zfy2 is essential for sperm head remodelling and sperm tail development

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-10-15, 08:29 authored by Nadege Vernet, Shantha K Mahadevaiah, Fanny Decarpentrie, Guy Longepied, Dirk G de Rooij, Paul S Burgoyne, Michael J Mitchell
A previous study indicated that genetic information encoded on the mouse Y chromosome short arm (Yp) is required for efficient completion of the second meiotic division (that generates haploid round spermatids), restructuring of the sperm head, and development of the sperm tail. Using mouse models lacking a Y chromosome but with varying Yp gene complements provided by Yp chromosomal derivatives or transgenes, we recently identified the Y-encoded zinc finger transcription factors Zfy1 and Zfy2 as the Yp genes promoting the second meiotic division. Using the same mouse models we here show that Zfy2 (but not Zfy1) contributes to the restructuring of the sperm head and is required for the development of the sperm tail. The preferential involvement of Zfy2 is consistent with the presence of an additional strong spermatid-specific promotor that has been acquired by this gene. This is further supported by the fact that promotion of sperm morphogenesis is also seen in one of the two markedly Yp gene deficient models in which a Yp deletion has created a Zfy2/1 fusion gene that is driven by the strong Zfy2 spermatid-specific promotor, but encodes a protein almost identical to that encoded by Zfy1. Our results point to there being further genetic information on Yp that also has a role in restructuring the sperm head.