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Germline-Specific Regulator of Mitochondrial Fusion is Required for Maintenance and Differentiation of Germline Stem and Progenitor Cells

Zhang R, Tu YX, Ye D, Gu Z, Chen ZX, Sun Y
Adv Sci (Weinh). 2022 Oct 18:e2203631. doi: 10.1002/advs.202203631. Online ahead of print
Maintenance and differentiation of germline stem and progenitor cells (GSPCs) is important for sexual reproduction. Here, the authors identify zebrafish pld6 as a novel germline-specific gene by cross-analyzing different RNA sequencing results, and find that pld6 knockout mutants develop exclusively into infertile males. In pld6 mutants, GSPCs fail to differentiate and undergo apoptosis, leading to masculinization and infertility. Mitochondrial fusion in pld6-depleted GSPCs is severely impaired, and the mutants exhibit defects in piRNA biogenesis and transposon suppression. Overall, this work uncovers zebrafish Pld6 as a novel germline-specific regulator of mitochondrial fusion, and highlights its essential role in the maintenance and differentiation of GSPCs as well as gonadal development and gametogenesis.
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