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Abstract

Volume 12, Issue 4 (July 2010) 12, 567–577; 10.1038/aja.2010.28

The role of Dby mRNA in early development of male mouse zygotes

Chen-Jiang Yao1, Wang-Jie Xu1, Xiu-Li Gong2, Ying Zhou1, Zhi-Qiang Yan1, Zi-Jue Zhu1, Zhao-Xia Wang1, Qiao-Li Li3, Xin-Bin Guo2, Lian-Yun Wang1, Duan Ma3 and Zhong-Dong Qiao1,2

1 Department of Biological Science and Technology, Key Laboratory of Developmental Genetics & Neuropsychiatric Diseases, Ministry of Education, School of Life Science & Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2 Shanghai Institute of Medical Genetics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
3 School of Medicine, Fudan University, Shanghai 200030, China

Correspondence: Prof. Zhong-Dong Qiao,zdqiao@sjtu.edu.cn

Received 27 January 2010; Revised 8 March 2010; Accepted 31 March 2010; Published online 14 June 2010.

Abstract

Ejaculated mammalian spermatozoa contain a complex yet specific population of mRNA. However, the possible roles that mRNA has in early zygotic and embryonic development remain unclear. We found that Dby mRNA is selectively retained in capacitated mouse spermatozoa, and is transferred into the oocyte during fertilization by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction even though no DBY protein expression is detected. The cellular location of Dby mRNA is seen in the post-acrosome region, and it comprises nearly half of the mouse spermatozoa in in situ hybridization. In contrast, transcripts of the control gene, Smcy, are not detected in capacitated mouse spermatozoa, although the H-Y antigen encoded by Smcy is expressed on the surface of the spermatozoa. In our microinjection experiment, the zygotic development rate of the as-Dby male pronucleus injection group was significantly lower than that of the as-Smcy male pronucleus injection group (35.9% vs. 95%, P = 0.001) and the as-Dby female pronucleus injection group (35.9% vs. 93.8%, P = 0.001). The rate of male-developed zygotes was also lower than that of the as-Smcy male pronucleus injection group (17.4% vs. 57.9%, P = 0.002) and the as-Dby female pronucleus injection group (17.4% vs. 54.1%, P = 0.002). Thus, we conclude that Dby mRNA is selectively retained in capacitated mouse spermatozoa, and it has an important role in the early zygotic development of male mouse zygotes. This might imply that spermatozoa mRNA is involved in early zygotic and embryonic stages of reproduction.

Keywords: Dby; early zygotic development; function; mRNA; spermatozoa

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