SPEF2 functions in microtubule-mediated transport in elongating spermatids to ensure proper male germ cell differentiation
Lehti, Mari; Zhang, Fu-Ping; Kotaja, Noora; Sironen, Anu (2017)
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Company of biologists
Sperm differentiation requires specific protein transport for correct sperm tail formation and head shaping. A transient microtubular structure, the manchette, appears around the differentiating spermatid head and serves as a platform for protein transport to the growing tail. Sperm flagellar 2 (SPEF2) is known to be essential for sperm tail development. In this study we investigated the function of SPEF2 during spermatogenesis using a male germ cell-specific Spef2 knockout mouse model. In addition to defects in sperm tail development, we observed a duplication of the basal body and failure in manchette migration resulting in an abnormal head shape. We identified cytoplasmic dynein 1 and GOLGA3 as novel interaction partners for SPEF2. SPEF2 and dynein 1 colocalize in the manchette and the inhibition of dynein 1 disrupts the localization of SPEF2 to the manchette. Furthermore, the transport of a known SPEF2-binding protein, IFT20, from the Golgi complex to the manchette was delayed in the absence of SPEF2. These data indicate a possible novel role of SPEF2 as a linker protein for dynein 1-mediated cargo transport along microtubules.
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