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MEIG1 is essential for spermiogenesis in mice.

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.

Pubmed ID: 19805151


  • Zhang Z
  • Shen X
  • Gude DR
  • Wilkinson BM
  • Justice MJ
  • Flickinger CJ
  • Herr JC
  • Eddy EM
  • Strauss JF


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Publication Data

October 6, 2009

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: 1F31HD0G2314-01
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: 5P30NS047463
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: CA115503
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: HD 045783
  • Agency: NICHD NIH HHS, Id: HD37416
  • Agency: Intramural NIH HHS, Id:

Mesh Terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cercopithecus aethiops
  • Genes, Essential
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Protein Transport
  • Proteins
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spermatids
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Testis
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques