Proteomic Analysis of Pachytene Spermatocytes of Sterile Hybrid Male Mice1

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Incompatibilities in interspecific hybrids, such as reduced hybrid fertility and lethality, are common features resulting from reproductive isolation that lead to speciation. Subspecies crosses of house mice produce offspring in which one sex is infertile or absent, yet the molecular mechanisms of hybrid sterility are poorly understood. In this study, we observed extensive asynapsis of chromosomes and disturbance of the sex body in pachytene spermatocytes of sterile F1 males (PWK/Ph female × C57BL/6J male). We report the high-confidence identification of 4005 proteins in the pachytene spermatocytes of fertile F1 males (PWK/Ph male × C57BL/6J female) and sterile F1 males (PWK/Ph female × C57BL/6J male), of which 215 were upregulated and 381 were downregulated. Bioinformatics analysis of the proteome led to the identification of 43 and 59 proteins known to be essential for male meiosis and spermatogenesis in mice, respectively. Characterization of the proteome of pachytene spermatocytes associated with hybrid male sterility provides an inventory of proteins that is useful for understanding meiosis and the mechanisms of hybrid male infertility.

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