Transcriptional cascades during spermatogenesis: Pivotal role of CREM and ACT

Gian Maria Fimia, Aurore Morlon, Betina Macho, Dario De Cesare, Paolo Sassone-Corsi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The gene CREM plays key physiological and developmental roles within the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. We have previously shown that CREM is highly expressed in male postmeiotic cells. Spermiogenesis is a complex process by which postmeiotic male germ cells differentiate into mature spermatozoa. CREM regulates the expression of a number of post-meiotic genes involved in the process of spermiogenesis. Using homologous recombination we have generated CREM-mutant mice that display a complete block at the first step of spermiogenesis. The molecular mechanism by which CREM elicits its regulatory function involves ACT (Activator of CREM in Testis), a testis-specific coactivator constituted by a repeat of four and half LIM domains. ACT is coordinately expressed with CREM, associates with it and confers a powerful transcriptional activation function. It is able to bypass the classical requirement of CREM phosphorylation and recruiting of CBP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 20 2001


  • ACT
  • CREM
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Transcriptional cascades

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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