MEIG1 is essential for spermiogenesis in mice

Zhang Zhibing, Shen Xuening, David R. Gude, Bonney M. Wilkinson, Monica J. Justice, Charles J. Flickinger, John C. Herr, Edward M. Eddy, Jerome F. Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations

Abstract

Spermatogenesis can be divided into three stages: spermatogonial mitosis, meiosis of spermatocytes, and spermiogenesis. During spermiogenesis, spermatids undergo dramatic morphological changes including formation of a flagellum and chromosomal packaging and condensation of the nucleus into the sperm head. The genes regulating the latter processes are largely unknown. We previously discovered that a bi-functional gene, Spag16, is essential for spermatogenesis. SPAG16S, the 35 kDa, testis-specific isoform derived from the Spag16 gene, was found to bind to meiosis expressed gene 1 product (MEIG1), a protein originally thought to play a role in meiosis. We inactivated the Meig1 gene and, unexpectedly, found that Meig1 mutant male mice had no obvious defect in meiosis, but were sterile as a result of impaired spermatogenesis at the stage of elongation and condensation. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the manchette, a microtubular organelle essential for sperm head and flagellar formation was disrupted in spermatids of MEIG1-deficient mice. We also found that MEIG1 associates with the Parkin co-regulated gene (PACRG) protein, and that testicular PACRG protein is reduced in MEIG1-deficient mice. PACRG is thought to play a key role in assembly of the axonemes/flagella and the reproductive phenotype of Pacrg-deficient mice mirrors that of the Meig1 mutant mice. Our findings reveal a critical role for the MEIG1/PARCG partnership in manchette structure and function and the control of spermiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17055-17060
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume106
Issue number40
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 6 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'MEIG1 is essential for spermiogenesis in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this