MRNIP interacts with sex body chromatin to support meiotic progression, spermatogenesis, and male fertility in mice

Samina Kazi, Julio M. Castañeda, Audrey Savolainen, Yiding Xu, Ning Liu, Huanyu Qiao, Ramiro Ramirez-Solis, Kaori Nozawa, Zhifeng Yu, Martin M. Matzuk, Renata Prunskaite-Hyyryläinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Meiosis has a principal role in sexual reproduction to generate haploid gametes in both sexes. During meiosis, the cell nucleus hosts a dynamic environment where some genes are transcriptionally activated, and some are inactivated at the same time. This becomes possible through subnuclear compartmentalization. The sex body, sequestering X and Y chromosomes during male meiosis and creating an environment for the meiotic sex chromosome inactivation (MSCI) is one of the best known and studied subnuclear compartments. Herein, we show that MRNIP forms droplet-like accumulations that fuse together to create a distinct subnuclear compartment that partially overlaps with the sex body chromatin during diplotene. We demonstrate that Mrnip−/− spermatocytes have impaired DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair, they display reduced sex body formation and defective MSCI. We show that Mrnip−/− undergoes critical meiocyte loss at the diplotene stage. Furthermore, we determine that DNA DSBs (induced by SPO11) and synapsis initiation (facilitated by SYCP1) precede Mrnip expression in testes. Altogether, our findings indicate that in addition to an emerging role in DNA DSB repair, MRNIP has an essential function in spermatogenesis during meiosis I by forming drop-like accumulations interacting with the sex body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22479
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • XY body
  • diplotene
  • liquid–liquid phase separation
  • male infertility
  • pachytene
  • subnuclear

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


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