Stable intercellular bridges are a conserved feature of gametogenesis in multicellular animals observed more than 100 years ago, but their function was unknown. Many of the components necessary for this structure have been identified through the study of cytokinesis in Drosophila; however, mammalian intercellular bridges have distinct properties from those of insects. Mammalian germ cell intercellular bridges are composed of general cytokinesis components with additional germ cell-specific factors including TEX14. TEX14 is an inactive kinase essential for the maintenance of stable intercellular bridges in gametes of both sexes but whose loss specifically impairs male meiosis. TEX14 acts to impede the terminal steps of abscission by competing for essential component CEP55, blocking its interaction in nongerm cells with ALIX and TSG101. Additionally, TEX14-interacting protein RBM44, whose localization in stabile intercellular bridges is limited to pachytene and secondary spermatocytes, may participate in processes such as RNA transport but is nonessential to the maintenance of intercellular bridge stability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)