The deubiquitinating gene Usp29 is dispensable for fertility in male mice
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The balanced actions between ubiquitination and deubiquitination precisely control the levels of various proteins vital for spermatogenesis. Ubiquitin-specific processing proteases (USPs) are the largest family of deubiquitinatingenzymes(DUBs), containing more than 50 members. So far, the functions of only a few USPs in male fertility have been studied, the roles of the majority are yet unknown. The present study aimed to explore the function of Usp29 (ubiquitin-specific protease 29) in male fertility. We found that Usp29 showed predominant expression in mouse testis, and its mRNA expression started to increase at 14 days postpartum (dpp), with a peak at 28 and 35 dpp. Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, we generated Usp29 knockout mice (Usp29-/-). Usp29-/- mice exhibited no overt developmental anomalies. Further examination revealed that Usp29-/- mice had normal fertility and showed no detectable difference in the testis/body weight ratio, testicular and epididymal histology as well as epididymal sperm count from the wild-type littermates. Moreover, Usp29 is not a pseudogene in mice. Taken together, our study first reported that though Usp29 is predominantly expressed in the testis, it is not essential for male fertility in mice.
KeywordsUsp29 mouse testis fertility
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We thank Prof. Cheng Deng from Nanjing Normal University and Prof. Zhuqing Shao from Nanjing University for comments. This work was supported by the National Key Research and Developmental Program of China (2018YFC1004700 and 2016YFC1000600), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB19000000), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31401953, 31630050, 31890780, 31871514 and 81571495) and Major Program of Development Foundation of Hefei Centre for Physical Science and Technology (2018ZYFX005).
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