Prmt5 is required for germ cell survival during spermatogenesis in mice

Sci Rep. 2015 Jun 15;5:11031. doi: 10.1038/srep11031.


During germ cell development, epigenetic modifications undergo extensive remodeling. Abnormal epigenetic modifications usually result in germ cell loss and reproductive defect. Prmt5 (Protein arginine methyltransferase 5) encodes a protein arginine methyltransferase which has been demonstrated to play important roles in germ cell development during embryonic stages. In the present study, we found that Prmt5 was also abundantly expressed in male germ cells after birth. Inactivation of this gene by crossing with Stra8-Cre transgenic mice resulted in germ cell loss during spermatogenesis. Further study revealed that the germ cell development was grossly normal before P10. However, most of the germ cells in Prmt5(Δ/f); Stra8-Cre mice were blocked at meiotic stage. The expression of meiosis associated genes was reduced in Prmt5(Δ/f); Stra8-Cre testes compared to control testes at P10. γH2AX was detected in sex body of control germ cells at P12, whereas multiple foci were observed in Prmt5-deficient germ cells. Further study revealed that H4R3me2s was virtually absent in germ cells after Prmt5 inactivation. The results of this study indicate that Prmt5 also plays important roles in germ cell development during spermatogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Survival / genetics
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Protein Methyltransferases / genetics*
  • Protein Methyltransferases / metabolism
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases
  • Spermatogenesis / genetics*
  • Spermatozoa / growth & development
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism*
  • Spermatozoa / pathology
  • Testis / growth & development
  • Testis / metabolism*
  • Testis / pathology


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Histones
  • Stra8 protein, mouse
  • gamma-H2AX protein, mouse
  • Protein Methyltransferases
  • Prmt5 protein, mouse
  • Protein-Arginine N-Methyltransferases
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases