Function of Nanos2 in the male germ cell lineage in mice

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2010 Nov;67(22):3815-22. doi: 10.1007/s00018-010-0456-x. Epub 2010 Jul 23.


Nanos is known as an evolutionarily conserved RNA-binding protein, the function of which is implicated in germ cell development. This includes the maintenance of both the primordial germ cells (PGCs) and germline stem cells. In mice, Nanos2 exhibits a unique feature in which its expression is induced only in the germ cells within the sexually determined male gonad. Nanos2 promotes male germ cell differentiation, while simultaneously suppressing a female program. In addition, Nanos2 is also expressed in the spermatogonial stem cells and functions as an intrinsic factor to maintain the stem cell population during spermatogenesis. Detailed cytological and biochemical analyses in embryonic male gonads in the mouse have revealed that Nanos2 localizes to the P-bodies, a center of RNA processing. It has also been shown that the Nanos2 interacts with protein components of the deadenylation complex involved in the initial step of the RNA degradation pathway.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / analysis
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Germ Cells / cytology*
  • Germ Cells / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice / embryology
  • Mice / growth & development
  • Mice / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Sex Differentiation
  • Spermatogenesis*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Nanos2 protein, mouse
  • RNA-Binding Proteins