Calspermin and Ca(2+)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CaMKIV) are two proteins encoded by the Camk4 gene. CaMKIV is found in multiple tissues, including brain, thymus, and testis, while calspermin is restricted to the testis. In the mouse testis, both proteins are expressed within elongating spermatids. We have recently shown that deletion of CaMKIV has no effect on calspermin expression but does impair spermiogenesis by disrupting the exchange of sperm basic nuclear proteins. The function of calspermin within the testis is unclear, although it has been speculated to play a role in binding and sequestering calmodulin during the development of the germ cell. To investigate the contribution of calspermin to spermatogenesis, we have used Cre/lox technology to specifically delete calspermin, while leaving kinase expression intact. We unexpectedly found that calspermin is not required for male fertility. We further demonstrate that CaMKIV expression and localization are unaffected by the absence of calspermin and that calspermin does not colocalize to the nuclear matrix with CaMKIV.
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