Human-specific gene CT47 blocks PRMT5 degradation to lead to meiosis arrest.
Exploring the functions of human-specific genes (HSGs) is challenging due to the lack of a tractable genetic model system. Testosterone is essential for maintaining human spermatogenesis and fertility, but the underlying mechanism is unclear. Here, we identified Cancer/Testis Antigen gene family 47 (CT47) as an essential regulator of human-specific spermatogenesis by stabilizing arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5). A humanized mouse model revealed that CT47 functions to arrest spermatogenesis by interacting with and regulating CT47/PRMT5 accumulation in the nucleus during the leptotene/zygotene-to-pachytene transition of meiosis. We demonstrate that testosterone induces nuclear depletion of CT47/PRMT5 and rescues leptotene-arrested spermatocyte progression in humanized testes. Loss of CT47 in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) by CRISPR/Cas9 led to an increase in haploid cells but blocked the testosterone-induced increase in haploid cells when hESCs were differentiated into haploid spermatogenic cells. Moreover, CT47 levels were decreased in nonobstructive azoospermia. Together, these results established CT47 as a crucial regulator of human spermatogenesis by preventing meiosis initiation before the testosterone surge.
Funder: Funder: The Ministry of Science and Technology Grant Reference Number: 2018YFA0801100 Funder: The National Science Foundation of China Grant Reference Number: 31630091
Funder: Funder: The National Science Foundation of China Grant Reference Number:31871185