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DNA/RNA helicase DHX36 is required for late stages of spermatogenesis
Kejia Zhang2 , Tianxin Zhang2 , Yujie Zhang2 , Jinyu Yuan2 , Xinzhe Tang2 , Chaobao Zhang2 , Qianqian Yin2 , Yonglian Zhang2 , Ming-Han Tong1,2,*
1School of Life Science, Hangzhou Institute for Advanced Study, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hangzhou 310024, China
2State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Shanghai Key Laboratory of Molecular Andrology, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China
*Correspondence to:Ming-Han Tong ,
J Mol Cell Biol, Volume 14, Issue 11, November 2022, mjac069,
Keyword: Dhx36, meiosis, guanine-quadruplex (G4), Spo11, synapsis, meiotic recombination, crossover

Spermatogenesis is a highly complex developmental process that typically consists of mitosis, meiosis, and spermiogenesis. DNA/RNA helicase DHX36, a unique guanine-quadruplex (G4) resolvase, plays crucial roles in a variety of biological processes. We previously showed that DHX36 is highly expressed in male germ cells with the highest level in zygotene spermatocytes. Here, we deleted Dhx36 in advanced germ cells with Stra8-GFPCre and found that a Dhx36 deficiency in the differentiated spermatogonia leads to meiotic defects and abnormal spermiogenesis. These defects in late stages of spermatogenesis arise from dysregulated transcription of G4-harboring genes, which are required for meiosis. Thus, this study reveals that Dhx36 plays crucial roles in late stages of spermatogenesis.