Literature context: it; polyclonal 1:2000 1:2500 RRID:AB_297813
Spermatogenesis is sustained by a heterogeneous population of spermatogonia that includes the spermatogonial stem cells. However, the mechanisms underlying their establishment from gonocyte embryonic precursors and their maintenance thereafter remain largely unknown. In this study, we report that inactivation of the ubiquitin ligase Huwe1 in male germ cells in mice led to the degeneration of spermatogonia in neonates and resulted in a Sertoli cell-only phenotype in the adult. Huwe1 knockout gonocytes showed a decrease in mitotic re-entry, which inhibited their transition to spermatogonia. Inactivation of Huwe1 in primary spermatogonial culture or the C18-4 cell line resulted in cell degeneration. Degeneration of Huwe1 knockout spermatogonia was associated with an increased level of histone H2AX and an elevated DNA damage response that led to apparent mitotic catastrophe but not apoptosis or senescence. Blocking this increase in H2AX prevented the degeneration of Huwe1-depleted cells. Taken together, these results reveal a previously undefined role of Huwe1 in orchestrating the physiological DNA damage response in the male germline that contributes to the establishment and maintenance of spermatogonia.
Literature context: ab11174 (RRID:AB_297813)
Many lines of evidence have indicated that both genetic and non-genetic determinants can contribute to intra-tumor heterogeneity and influence cancer outcomes. Among the best described sub-population of cancer cells generated by non-genetic mechanisms are cells characterized by a CD44+/CD24- cell surface marker profile. Here, we report that human CD44+/CD24- cancer cells are genetically highly unstable because of intrinsic defects in their DNA-repair capabilities. In fact, in CD44+/CD24- cells, constitutive activation of the TGF-beta axis was both necessary and sufficient to reduce the expression of genes that are crucial in coordinating DNA damage repair mechanisms. Consequently, we observed that cancer cells that reside in a CD44+/CD24- state are characterized by increased accumulation of DNA copy number alterations, greater genetic diversity and improved adaptability to drug treatment. Together, these data suggest that the transition into a CD44+/CD24- cell state can promote intra-tumor genetic heterogeneity, spur tumor evolution and increase tumor fitness.