The chromatoid body of male germ cells: similarity with processing bodies and presence of Dicer and microRNA pathway components

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Noora KotajaPaolo Sassone-Corsi

Abstract

The chromatoid body is a perinuclear, cytoplasmic cloud-like structure in male germ cells whose function has remained elusive. Here we show that the chromatoid body is related to the RNA-processing body of somatic cells. Dicer and components of microRNP complexes (including Ago proteins and microRNAs) are highly concentrated in chromatoid bodies. Furthermore, we show that Dicer interacts with a germ cell-specific chromatoid body component, the RNA helicase MVH (mouse VASA homolog). Thus, chromatoid bodies seem to operate as intracellular nerve centers of the microRNA pathway. Our findings underscore the importance of posttranscriptional gene regulation and of the microRNA pathway in the control of postmeiotic male germ cell differentiation.

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Related Concepts

Biochemical Pathway
PIWI Subfamily of Argonaute Proteins
Complex (molecular entity)
Protoplasm
Chromatoid Body
COS-7 Cells
Complement Component 2 Deficiency
RNA, Small Temporal
Piwil1 protein, mouse
Cell Differentiation Process

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