A Developmental Stage-Specific Switch from DAZL to BOLL Occurs during Fetal Oogenesis in Humans, but Not Mice

Jing He, Kayleigh Stewart, Hazel L Kinnell, Richard A Anderson, Andrew J Childs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Deleted in Azoospermia gene family encodes three germ cell-specific RNA-binding proteins (DAZ, DAZL and BOLL) that are essential for gametogenesis in diverse species. Targeted disruption of Boll in mice causes male-specific spermiogenic defects, but females are apparently fertile. Overexpression of human BOLL promotes the derivation of germ cell-like cells from genetically female (XX), but not male (XY) human ES cells however, suggesting a functional role for BOLL in regulating female gametogenesis in humans. Whether BOLL is expressed during oogenesis in mammals also remains unclear. We have therefore investigated the expression of BOLL during fetal oogenesis in humans and mice. We demonstrate that BOLL protein is expressed in the germ cells of the human fetal ovary, at a later developmental stage than, and almost mutually-exclusive to, the expression of DAZL. Strikingly, BOLL is downregulated, and DAZL re-expressed, as primordial follicles form, revealing BOLL expression to be restricted to a narrow window during fetal oogenesis. By quantifying the extent of co-expression of DAZL and BOLL with markers of meiosis, we show that this window likely corresponds to the later stages of meiotic prophase I. Finally, we demonstrate that Boll is also transiently expressed during oogenesis in the fetal mouse ovary, but is simultaneously co-expressed within the same germ cells as Dazl. These data reveal significant similarities and differences between the expression of BOLL homologues during oogenesis in humans and mice, and raise questions as to the validity of the Boll(-/-) mouse as a model for understanding BOLL function during human oogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere73996
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2013

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A Developmental Stage-Specific Switch from DAZL to BOLL Occurs during Fetal Oogenesis in Humans, but Not Mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this