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Tang, X., Cao, J., Zhang, L., Huang, Y., Zhang, Q., Rong, Y.S. (2017). Maternal Haploid, a Metalloprotease Enriched at the Largest Satellite Repeat and Essential for Genome Integrity in Drosophila Embryos.  Genetics 206(4): 1829--1839.
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Research paper

The incorporation of the paternal genome into the zygote during fertilization requires chromatin remodeling. The maternal haploid (mh) mutation in Drosophila affects this process and leads to the formation of haploid embryos without the paternal genome. mh encodes the Drosophila homolog of SPRTN, a conserved protease essential for resolving DNA-protein cross-linked products. Here we characterize the role of MH in genome maintenance. It is not understood how MH protects the paternal genome during fertilization, particularly in light of our finding that MH is present in both parental pronuclei during zygote formation. We showed that maternal chromosomes in mh mutant embryos experience instabilities in the absence of the paternal genome, which suggests that MH is generally required for chromosome stability during embryogenesis. This is consistent with our finding that MH is abundantly present on chromatin throughout the cell cycle. Remarkably, MH is prominently enriched at the 359-bp satellite repeats during interphase, which becomes unstable without MH. This dynamic localization and specific enrichment of MH at the 359 repeats resemble that of Topoisomerase 2 (Top2), suggesting that MH regulates Top2, possibly as a protease for the resolution of Top2-DNA intermediates. We propose that maternal MH removes proteins specifically enriched on sperm chromatin. In the absence of that function, paternal chromosomes are precipitously lost. This mode of paternal chromatin remodeling is likely conserved and the unique phenotype of the Drosophila mh mutants represents a rare opportunity to gain insights into the process that has been difficult to study.

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PMC5560791 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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