Chromosomal positioning in spermatogenic cells is influenced by chromosomal factors associated with gene activity, bouquet formation and meiotic sex chromosome inactivation

M. Solé, J. Blanco, D. Gil, O. Valero, Pascual, B. Cárdenas, G. Fonseka, E. Anton, R. Frodsham, F. Vidal, Z. Sarrate*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Chromosome territoriality is not random along the cell cycle and it is mainly governed by intrinsic chromosome factors and gene expression patterns. Conversely, very few studies have explored the factors that determine chromosome territoriality and its influencing factors during meiosis. In this study, we analysed chromosome positioning in murine spermatogenic cells using three-dimensionally fluorescence in situ hybridization-based methodology, which allows the analysis of the entire karyotype. The main objective of the study was to decipher chromosome positioning in a radial axis (all analysed germ-cell nuclei) and longitudinal axis (only spermatozoa) and to identify the chromosomal factors that regulate such an arrangement. Results demonstrated that the radial positioning of chromosomes during spermatogenesis was cell-type specific and influenced by chromosomal factors associated to gene activity. Chromosomes with specific features that enhance transcription (high GC content, high gene density and high numbers of predicted expressed genes) were preferentially observed in the inner part of the nucleus in virtually all cell types. Moreover, the position of the sex chromosomes was influenced by their transcriptional status, from the periphery of the nucleus when its activity was repressed (pachytene) to a more internal position when it is partially activated (spermatid). At pachytene, chromosome positioning was also influenced by chromosome size due to the bouquet formation. Longitudinal chromosome positioning in the sperm nucleus was not random either, suggesting the importance of ordered longitudinal positioning for the release and activation of the paternal genome after fertilisation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalChromosoma
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted in press - 2021

Keywords

  • Chromosome territories
  • FISH
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Three-dimensional analysis

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