Myc plays critical roles in the self-renewal division of various stem cell types. In spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs), Myc controls SSC fate decisions because Myc overexpression induces enhanced self-renewal division, while depletion of Max, a Myc-binding partner, leads to meiotic induction. However, the mechanism by which Myc acts on SSC fate is unclear. Here we demonstrate a critical link between Myc/Mycn gene activity and glycolysis in SSC self-renewal. In SSCs, Myc/Mycn are regulated by Foxo1, whose deficiency impairs SSC self-renewal. Myc/Mycn-deficient SSCs not only undergo limited self-renewal division but also display diminished glycolytic activity. While inhibition of glycolysis decreased SSC activity, chemical stimulation of glycolysis or transfection of active Akt1 or Pdpk1 (phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 ) augmented self-renewal division, and long-term SSC cultures were derived from a nonpermissive strain that showed limited self-renewal division. These results suggested that Myc-mediated glycolysis is an important factor that increases the frequency of SSC self-renewal division.
Keywords: Myc; glycolysis; self-renewal; spermatogenesis; spermatogonial stem cells.
© 2016 Kanatsu-Shinohara et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.