An intact Pms2 ATPase domain is not essential for male fertility

Jared M. Fischer, Sandra Dudley, Ashleigh J. Miller, Robert (Mike) Liskay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The DNA mismatch repair (MMR) machinery in mammals plays critical roles in both mutation avoidance and spermatogenesis. Meiotic analysis of knockout mice of two different MMR genes, Mlh1 and Mlh3, revealed both male and female infertility associated with a defect in meiotic crossing over. In contrast, another MMR gene knockout, Pms2 (Pms2ko/ko), which contained a deletion of a portion of the ATPase domain, produced animals that were male sterile but female fertile. However, the meiotic phenotype of Pms2ko/ko males was less clear-cut than for Mlh1- or Mlh3-deficient meiosis. More recently, we generated a different Pms2 mutant allele (Pms2cre), which results in deletion of the same portion of the ATPase domain. Surprisingly, Pms2cre/cre male mice were completely fertile, suggesting that the ATPase domain of Pms2 is not required for male fertility. To explore the difference in male fertility, we examined the Pms2 RNA and found that alternative splicing of the Pms2cre allele results in a predicted Pms2 containing the C-terminus, which contains the Mlh1-interaction domain, a possible candidate for stabilizing Mlh1 levels. To study further the basis of male fertility, we examined Mlh1 levels in testes and found that whereas Pms2 loss in Pms2ko/ko mice results in severely reduced levels of Mlh1 expression in the testes, Mlh1 levels in Pms2cre/cre testes were reduced to a lesser extent. Thus, we propose that a primary function of Pms2 during spermatogenesis is to stabilize Mlh1 levels prior to its critical crossing over function with Mlh3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalDNA Repair
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Male infertility
  • Mlh1 stability
  • Pms2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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