Spermatogenesis is a complex cellular-differentiation process that relies on the precise regulation of gene expression in spermatogonia, meiotic, and postmeiotic germ cells. The Ring 1 and YY1 binding protein (Rybp) is a member of the mammalian polycomb-group (PcG) protein family that plays multifunctional roles in development. Previous findings indicate that Rybp may function as an important regulator of meiosis. However, its expression in the testes and function in spermatogenesis have not been examined. In this study, we investigated Rybp expression in postnatal mouse testes using qRT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. We also examined the function of Rybp in spermatogenesis by using a conditional-knockout approach. Results showed that the relative expression of Rybp
mRNA was significantly upregulated in the testes of postnatal day (PD) 6 mice. Immunofluorescent staining revealed that Rybp was enriched in the spermatocytes. Surprisingly, a conditional deletion of Rybp
in fetal germ cells did not affect the fertility or normal development of spermatogenic cells. Further analysis revealed that Rybp
deletion resulted in a decreased expression of meiosis-related genes, but that meiosis progression was normal. Together, these findings suggest that Rybp expression was enriched in spermatocytes, but that it was not required for spermatogenesis.
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