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Histone methyltransferase DOT1L is essential for self-renewal of germline stem cells
Genes & Development  (IF12.89),  Pub Date : 2022-06-01, DOI: 10.1101/gad.349550.122
Huijuan Lin, Keren Cheng, Hiroshi Kubota, Yemin Lan, Simone S. Riedel, Kazue Kakiuchi, Kotaro Sasaki, Kathrin M. Bernt, Marisa S. Bartolomei, Mengcheng Luo, P. Jeremy Wang

Self-renewal of spermatogonial stem cells is vital to lifelong production of male gametes and thus fertility. However, the underlying mechanisms remain enigmatic. Here, we show that DOT1L, the sole H3K79 methyltransferase, is required for spermatogonial stem cell self-renewal. Mice lacking DOT1L fail to maintain spermatogonial stem cells, characterized by a sequential loss of germ cells from spermatogonia to spermatids and ultimately a Sertoli cell only syndrome. Inhibition of DOT1L reduces the stem cell activity after transplantation. DOT1L promotes expression of the fate-determining HoxC transcription factors in spermatogonial stem cells. Furthermore, H3K79me2 accumulates at HoxC9 and HoxC10 genes. Our findings identify an essential function for DOT1L in adult stem cells and provide an epigenetic paradigm for regulation of spermatogonial stem cells.