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INTRODUCTIONThe processes of development and transposon defense are distinct functions that have traditionally been studied separately. In this review, we discuss transcriptional regulators that have the surprising ability to function in both processes. We first discuss the known or putative developmental functions of these transcriptional regulators in male germ cells. We then discuss the evidence that these factors silence transposons, what classes of transposons they act on, and how their defense functions might be linked with their developmental functions.Germ cell development and spermatogenesisGerm cell development initiates during early embryogenesis when primordial germ cells (PGCs)—the common precursors of spermatozoa and oocytes—are first formed.1,2 These PGCs migrate to the gonadal ridge, whereupon they receive signals that initiate one of two distinct orchestrated programs ‐ oogenesis or spermatogenesis. At ∼E12.5 in mice, male PGCs convert into pro‐spermatogonia (ProSG; also called gonocytes), which undergo three successive stages – multiplying (M)‐ProSG, primary transitional (T1)‐ProSG, and secondary transitional (T2)‐ProSG. These three ProSG stages are distinguished by whether or not they undergo cell proliferation, as well as their epigenetic reprogramming status.3 At the perinatal stage in mice, T2‐ProSG gives rise to spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs), the cell type responsible for supporting spermatogenesis throughout adult life. Like
Andrology – Wiley
Published: Mar 9, 2023
Keywords: LINE1; germ cell; primordial germ cell; pro‐spermatogonia; spermatogonial stem cell; transcription factor; transposon
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