Horisawa-Takada et al., Meiosis-specific ZFP541 repressor complex promotes developmental progression of meiotic prophase towards completion during spermatogenesis
During spermatogenesis, meiosis is accompanied by robust alteration in gene expression and chromatin status. However, it remained elusive how meiotic transcriptional program is established to ensure completion of meiotic prophase. Here, we identified a novel protein complex that consists of germ-cell-specific zinc-finger protein ZFP541 and its interactor KCTD19 as the key transcriptional regulator for meiotic prophase progression. Our genetic study showed that ZFP541 and KCTD19 are co-expressed from pachytene onward and play an essential role in the completion of meiotic prophase program in the testis. Furthermore, our ChIP-seq and transcriptome analyses revealed that ZFP541 binds to and suppresses a broad range of genes whose function is associated with biological processes of transcriptional regulation and covalent chromatin modification. The present study demonstrates that germ-cell specific complex that contains ZFP541-KCTD19 promotes the progression of meiotic prophase towards completion in males, and triggers the reconstruction of the transcription network and chromatin organization leading to post-meiotic development.