An Important Role of Pumilio 1 in Regulating the Development of the Mammalian Female Germline1

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Pumilio/FBF (PUF) proteins are a highly conserved family of translational regulators. The Drosophila PUF protein, Pumilio, is crucial for germline establishment and fertility. In mammals, primordial folliculogenesis is a key process that establishes the initial cohort of female mammalian germ cells prior to birth, and this primordial follicle pool is a prerequisite for female reproductive competence. We sought to understand whether PUF proteins have a conserved role in mammals during primordial folliculogenesis and female reproductive competency. In mammals, two homologs of Pumilio exist: Pumilio 1 (Pum1) and Pum2. Here, we report that PUMILIO (PUM) 1 plays an important role in the establishment of the primordial follicle pool, meiosis, and female reproductive competency, whereas PUM2 does not have a detectable function in these processes. Furthermore, we show that PUM1 facilitates the transition of the late meiotic prophase I oocyte from pachytene to diplotene stage by regulating SYCP1 protein. Our study reveals an important role of translational regulation in mammalian female germ cell development.

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