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Molecular Regulation of Germ Stem Cell Fate

Call for Papers

Infertility is a global problem that afflicts 10–15% of couples. Low quantity or quality of germ cells is involved in the occurrence of infertility. In mammals, primordial germ cells (PGCs) migrate in the developing embryo into the gonadal ridge and then proliferate and differentiate into gonocytes in male gonads and initiate meiosis in female gonads. After birth, germ stem cells (GSCs) derived from gonocytes are capable of renewing themselves or producing spermatogonia for further differentiation. GSCs balance self-renewal with differentiation, maintain germ cell number, and produce gametes. GSCs rely on a specialized somatic microenvironment among species with intricate regulatory networks. RNA binding proteins (RBPs), such as major spliceosome components, Vasa, Nanos, Pumilio, DAZL, PIWI, and Tudor, play important roles throughout germ cell development. Binding of these RBPs to their target RNAs regulates RNA stability, splicing, translation, and possibly transcription.

This special issue will focus on proliferation and differentiation control of germ stem cells at the molecular level, especially on the role of germline RBPs. Original research papers and reviews on this topic are welcomed for submission to this issue.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of germ stem cells
  • Function of RNA binding proteins in germ stem cells
  • Posttranslational modification networks of germ stem cells
  • Effects of aging, soma-germline interaction, and compounds on germ stem cells
  • Differences between in vivo and in vitro germ stem cells

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 23 March 2018
Publication DateAugust 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

Lead Guest Editor

  • Mingxi Liu, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China

Guest Editors

  • Yuanwei Zhang, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China
  • Zhibing Zhang, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, USA