Disruption of Th2a and Th2b genes causes defects in spermatogenesis

Toshie Shinagawa, Linh My Huynh, Tsuyoshi Takagi, Daisuke Tsukamoto, Chinatsu Tomaru, Ho-Geun Kwak, Naoshi Dohmae, Junko Noguchi, Shunsuke Ishii

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The variant histones TH2A and TH2B are abundant in the testis, but their roles in spermatogenesis remain elusive. Here, we show that male mutant mice lacking both Th2a and Th2b genes were sterile, with few sperm in the epididymis. In the mutant testis, the lack of TH2B was compensated for by overexpression of H2B, whereas overexpression of H2A was not observed, indicating a decrease in the total histone level. Mutant mice exhibited two defects: incomplete release of cohesin at interkinesis after meiosis I and histone replacement during spermiogenesis. In the mutant testis, secondary spermatocytes at interkinesis accumulated and cohesin was not released normally, suggesting that the retained cohesion of sister chromatids delayed the subsequent entry into meiosis II. In addition, impaired chromatin incorporation of TNP2 and degenerated spermatids were observed in the mutant testis. These results suggest that a loss of TH2A and TH2B function in chromatin dynamics or a decrease in the total histone levels causes defects in both cohesin release and histone replacement during spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1287-92
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015


  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Chromatin
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Chromosomes, Mammalian
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Histones
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mutation
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Spermatids
  • Spermatocytes
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Testis
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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