Expression of SPEF2 During Mouse Spermatogenesis and Identification of IFT20 as an Interacting Protein

Anu Sironen, Jeanette Hansen, Bo Thomsen, Magnus Andersson, Johanna Vilkki, Jorma Toppari, Noora Kotaja

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    SPEF2 is expressed in all ciliated cells and is essential for correct sperm tail development and male fertility. We have previously identified a mutation within the SPEF2 gene as the cause for infertility due to immotile and malformed sperm tails in pigs. This mutation in pigs alters the testis specific long SPEF2 isoform and affects exclusively the sperm tail development. In infertile boars, axonemal and all accessory structures of the sperm tail are affected, thus SPEF2 seems to participate in the organization of these structures. In this study, we have investigated the expression of SPEF2 during mouse spermatogenesis. SPEF2 mRNA and protein products appear to be localized both in germ cells and in Sertoli cells. In differentiating germ cells SPEF2 protein is localized in the Golgi complex, manchette, basal body, and midpiece of the sperm tail. In mature murine sperm SPEF2 is present in the distal part of the sperm tail midpiece. Using yeast two hybrid assay and co-immunoprecipitation experiments we identified an interaction between SPEF2 and the intra-flagellar transport protein IFT20 in the testis. Furthermore, these two proteins co-localize in differentiating male germ cells. These results support the crucial importance of SPEF2 in sperm differentiation and involvement of SPEF2 in structuring of the sperm tail
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBiology of Reproduction
    Pages (from-to)580-590
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • IFT20
    • SPEF2
    • spermsperm motility and transport
    • sperm tail
    • spermatid
    • spermatogenesis
    • testis


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