Developmental control of sumoylation pathway proteins in mouse male germ cells

Sophie La Salle, Fengyun Sun, Xiang Dong Zhang, Michael J. Matunis, Mary Ann Handel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Protein sumoylation regulates a variety of nuclear functions and has been postulated to be involved in meiotic chromosome dynamics as well as other processes of spermatogenesis. Here, the expression and distribution of sumoylation pathway genes and proteins were determined in mouse male germ cells, with a particular emphasis on prophase I of meiosis. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that SUMO1, SUMO2/3 and UBE2I (also known as UBC9) were localized to the XY body in pachytene and diplotene spermatocytes, while only SUMO2/3 and UBE2I were detected near centromeres in metaphase I spermatocytes. Quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting were used to examine the expression of sumoylation pathway genes and proteins in enriched preparations of leptotene/zygotene spermatocytes, prepubertal and adult pachytene spermatocytes, as well as round spermatids. Two general expression profiles emerged from these data. The first profile, where expression was more prominent during meiosis, identified sumoylation pathway participants that could be involved in meiotic chromosome dynamics. The second profile, elevated expression in post-meiotic spermatids, suggested proteins that could be involved in spermiogenesis-related sumoylation events. In addition to revealing differential expression of protein sumoylation mediators, which suggests differential functioning, these data demonstrate the dynamic nature of SUMO metabolism during spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-237
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008


  • Male germ cells
  • Meiosis
  • SUMO
  • SUMO ligases
  • SUMO proteases
  • Spermatocytes
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Sumoylation
  • UBE2I
  • XY body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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