The Role of STK35 in Germ Cell Development and Fertility

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2018

JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2018, The Jackson Laboratory


The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of STK35 in germ cell development and fertility. Due to its high expression at the RNA level, in both ovaries and testes, it was hypothesized that an absence of STK35 will alter germ cell development and the phenotype of gonads and negatively impact male and female fertility. The expression of STK35 protein was investigated in gonads through western blot and immunostaining. To determine the role of STK35 in germ cells testicular and ovarian phenotype in mice lacking functional Stk35 gene was performed. For this project, phenotypic analysis was focused on Stk35 knockout males, and immunostaining of histological sections from PO and 1 month old mice was used to observe the numbers and development of germ cells in the testes. Sections of gonads confirmed a significant decrease in the number of germ cells in STK35 deficient males and females already at birth, indicating that the defects in germ cell development occur earlier during fetal development. However, the few germ cells present in the ovary and testis seem to progress normally through meiosis. Results show that the knockout of Stk35 yields a phenotype of decreased numbers of germ cells and that STK.35 may play a role during primordial germ cell proliferation and/or migration. This study contributes to our understanding of proteins involved in germ cell development, strengthening the ability to treat and diagnose human infertility in the future.

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