The lipid kinase phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase (PIP5K) produces a versatile signaling phospholipid, phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. Three PIP5K isozymes, PIP5K1A, PIP5K1B, and PIP5K1C, have been identified in mammals so far. Although the functions of these three PIP5K isozymes have been extensively studied in vitro, the in vivo physiological roles of these PIP5K isozymes remain largely unknown. In this study, we examined the functions of PIP5K1A and PIP5K1B in spermatogenesis, using Pip5k1a-knockout (KO), Pip5k1b-KO, and Pip5k1a/Pip5k1b double (D)-KO mice. Pip5k1a-KO and D-KO males were subfertile and completely sterile, respectively. F-actin in the seminiferous epithelium was disorganized in the D-KO mice, although F-actin bundles at the apical ectoplasmic specialization was not affected. D-KO seminiferous tubules contained a greatly decreased number of elongated spermatids. Flagella of sperm from Pip5k1a-KO and D-KO mice remarkably underwent morphological change, whereas Pip5k1b-KO sperm were morphologically normal. Notably, the flagellar shape of D-KO sperm was more severely impaired than that of Pip5k1a-KO sperm. These results suggest that PIP5K1A and PIP5K1B may coordinately and/or redundantly function in the maintenance of sperm number and morphology during spermatogenesis.
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Vol. 86 • No. 5