Polyubiquitin gene Ubb is required for upregulation of Piwi protein level during mouse testis development

Bitnara Han, Byung Kwon Jung, So Hyun Park, Kyu Jin Song, Muhammad Ayaz Anwar, Kwon Yul Ryu, Kwang Pyo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Testis development, including early embryonic gonad formation and late postnatal spermatogenesis, is essential for the reproduction of higher metazoans to generate fertile gametes, called sperm. We have previously reported that the polyubiquitin gene Ubb is required for fertility in both male and female mice. In particular, the Ubb-null male mice showed an azoospermia phenotype due to arrest of spermatogenesis at the pachytene stage. Here, we analyzed the whole testis proteome at postnatal day 20 to define the molecular mediators of the male-infertility phenotype caused by Ubb knockout. From the identified proteome, 564 proteins were significantly and differentially expressed in Ubb-knockout testes and, among these, 36 downregulated proteins were involved at different stages of spermatogenesis. We also found that levels of piRNA metabolic process-related proteins, including Piwil2 and Tdrd1, were downregulated in Ubb-null testes through functional gene ontology analysis. Further, protein–protein interaction mapping revealed that 24 testis development-related proteins, including Hsp90aa1, Eef1a1, and Pabpc1, were directly influenced by the depletion of ubiquitin. In addition, the reduced mRNA levels of these proteins were observed in Ubb-knockout testes, which closely resembled the global downregulation of piRNA-metabolic gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Together with proteomic and transcriptional analyses, our data suggest that Ubb expression is essential for the maintenance of testicular RNA-binding regulators and piRNA-metabolic proteins to complete spermatogenesis in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number194
JournalCell Death Discovery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Polyubiquitin gene Ubb is required for upregulation of Piwi protein level during mouse testis development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this