Tissue development and homeostasis are dependent on highly regulated gene expression programs in which cell-specific combinations of regulatory factors determine which genes are expressed and the post-transcriptional fate of the resulting RNA transcripts. Post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression by RNA-binding proteins has critical roles in tissue development-allowing individual genes to generate multiple RNA and protein products, and the timing, location, and abundance of protein synthesis to be finely controlled. Extensive post-transcriptional regulation occurs during mammalian gametogenesis, including high levels of alternative mRNA expression, stage-specific expression of mRNA variants, broad translational repression, and stage-specific activation of mRNA translation. In this chapter, an overview of the roles of RNA-binding proteins and the importance of post-transcriptional regulation in male germ cell development in the mouse is presented.
Keywords: Alternative mRNA processing; Gametogenesis; Polyadenylation; Post-transcriptional regulation; RNA-binding proteins; Splicing; Translational control.