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28 August 2017 Deletion of Spata2 by CRISPR/Cas9n causes increased inhibin alpha expression and attenuated fertility in male mice
Jie Zhao, Jianjun Zhao, Guojin Xu, Zhijuan Wang, Jie Gao, Sheng Cui, Jiali Liu
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Abstract

As somatic cells in the testis seminiferous tubule, Sertoli cells provide the medium for spermatogenesis. One of the important functions of Sertoli cells is synthesizing and secreting cell factors to affect the production of sperm; however, much of those molecular regulation mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we confirm the localization of protein SPATA2 (spermatogenesis-associated protein 2), which had previously been shown to be highly expressed in Sertoli cells of the adult mouse testis. To further conduct a functional study, we generated SPATA2 global knockout mice via use of the CRISPR/Cas9n gene editing technology. The 120-day-old knockout mice testes showed almost a 40% decrease in size and weight and variations in the histomorphology of the seminiferous epithelium, with a 40% decrease in sperm count. Further examination revealed that the proliferation of germ cells in the seminiferous tubules was attenuated by 28%. In addition, we found that SPATA2 deletion led to an approximately 70% increase in the inhibin alpha-subunitmRNA and protein level in the testes compared to that of wild-type mice. Our data revealed the impact of SPATA2 on male fertility and suggested that SPATA2 ensures the normal secretory function of Sertoli cells.

Summary Sentence

The deficiency of spermatogenesis-associated protein 2, a protein which is highly expressed in Sertoli cells, causes attenuated reproduction ability inmales and increased inhibin alpha expression in testis.

© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
Jie Zhao, Jianjun Zhao, Guojin Xu, Zhijuan Wang, Jie Gao, Sheng Cui, and Jiali Liu "Deletion of Spata2 by CRISPR/Cas9n causes increased inhibin alpha expression and attenuated fertility in male mice," Biology of Reproduction 97(3), 497-513, (28 August 2017). https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/iox093
Received: 10 December 2016; Accepted: 25 August 2017; Published: 28 August 2017
KEYWORDS
gene knockout
inhibin-α
male fertility
Sertoli cell
spermatogenesis associated protein 2
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