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27 March 2013 Three Testis-Specific Paralogous Serine Proteases Play Different Roles in Murine Spermatogenesis and Are Involved in Germ Cell Survival During Meiosis
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Abstract

Spermatogenesis is a complex process that generates spermatozoa; its molecular mechanisms are not completely understood. Here we focused on the functions of three testis-specific serine proteases: Prss42/Tessp-2, Prss43/Tessp-3, and Prss44/Tessp-4. These protease genes, which constitute a gene cluster on chromosome 9F2-F3, were presumed to be paralogs and were expressed only in the testis. By investigating their mRNA distribution, we found that all three genes were expressed in primary and secondary spermatocytes. However, interestingly, the translated proteins were produced at different locations. Prss42/Tessp-2 was found in the membranes and cytoplasm of secondary spermatocytes and spermatids, whereas Prss43/Tessp-3 was present only in the membranes of spermatocytes and spermatids. Prss44/Tessp-4 was detected in the cytoplasm of spermatocytes and spermatids. To assess the roles of these proteases in spermatogenesis, we used organ culture of mouse testis fragments. Adding antibodies against Prss42/Tessp-2 and Prss43/Tessp-3 resulted in meiotic arrest at the stage when each protease was beginning to be translated. Furthermore, the number of apoptotic cells dramatically increased after the addition of these antibodies. These results strongly suggest that the three paralogous Prss/Tessp proteases play different roles in spermatogenesis and that Prss42/Tessp-2 and Prss43/Tessp-3 are required for germ cell survival during meiosis.

Ryoma Yoneda, Takayuki Takahashi, Hitoshi Matsui, Naoharu Takano, Yuko Hasebe, Katsueki Ogiwara, and Atsushi P. Kimura "Three Testis-Specific Paralogous Serine Proteases Play Different Roles in Murine Spermatogenesis and Are Involved in Germ Cell Survival During Meiosis," Biology of Reproduction 88(5), (27 March 2013). https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.112.106328
Received: 14 November 2012; Accepted: 1 March 2013; Published: 27 March 2013
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