Spetex-1, which has been isolated by differential display as a haploid spermatidspecific gene, encodes a protein with two coiled-coil motifs located in the middle piece of flagella in rodent spermatozoa. The middle piece of flagella is composed of axoneme and peri-axonemal elements including outer dense fibers (ODFs) and satellite fibrils. Pre-embedding immunoelectron microscopy clearly demonstrated that Spetex-1 is located at satellite fibrils associated with ODFs in the middle piece of flagella of rat spermatozoa. Extraction of Spetex-1 from spermatozoa by SDS or urea required dithiothreitol, suggesting crosslinking by disulfide bond is involved in the assembly of satellite fibrils containing Spetex-1. We identified putative Spetex-1 orthologs in many animal species, and both cysteine residues and coiled-coil motifs were well conserved in mammalian orthologs of Spetex-1. When Spetex-1 was co-transfected into COS-7 cells with myc-tagged Tektin4, another filamentous protein associated with ODFs, the two molecules were co-localized in various sizes of aggregates in the cells. These data suggested that Spetex-1, a new component of satellite fibrils, might be involved in the structural stability of the sperm flagellar middle piece and functions in co-operation with Tektin4.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology