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The RNA-Binding Protein NANOS2 Is Required to Maintain Murine Spermatogonial Stem Cells

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Science  11 Sep 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5946, pp. 1394-1398
DOI: 10.1126/science.1172645

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Abstract

Stem cells give rise to differentiated cell types but also preserve their undifferentiated state through cell self-renewal. With the use of transgenic mice, we found that the RNA-binding protein NANOS2 is essential for maintaining spermatogonial stem cells. Lineage-tracing analyses revealed that undifferentiated spermatogonia expressing Nanos2 self-renew and generate the entire spermatogenic cell lineage. Conditional disruption of postnatal Nanos2 depleted spermatogonial stem cell reserves, whereas mouse testes in which Nanos2 had been overexpressed accumulated spermatogonia with undifferentiated, stem cell–like properties. Thus, NANOS2 is a key stem cell regulator that is expressed in self-renewing spermatogonial stem cells and maintains the stem cell state during murine spermatogenesis.

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