JmjC domain-containing proteins are a class of enzymes responsible for histone demethylation. Previous studies revealed that the JmjC domain-containing protein KDM3A possesses intrinsic demethylase activity toward lysine 9 of histone H3 and plays essential roles in spermiogenesis. In contrast, the biological roles of JMJD1C, a KDM3A homolog in mice, are largely unknown. Here we present the crucial role of JMJD1C in male gametogenesis. Jmjd1c-deficient males became infertile due to the progressive reduction of germ cells after 3 mo of age. Importantly, Jmjd1c-deficient testes frequently contained abnormal tubules lacking developmentally immature germ cells. JMJD1C is most abundantly expressed in undifferentiated spermatogonia in mouse testis. The numbers of ZBTB16-positive spermatogonia and apoptotic germ cells in Jmjd1c-deficient testes decreased and increased in an age-dependent manner, respectively. Our studies demonstrated that JMJD1C contributes to the long-term maintenance of the male germ line.
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Vol. 89 • No. 4