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.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 88 • No. 5