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.
- Transcriptional cascades
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism