Intercellular bridges (ICBs) connecting germ cells are essential for spermatogenesis, and their deletion causes male infertility. However, the functions and component factors of ICBs are still unknown. We previously identified novel ICB-associated proteins by proteomics analysis using ICB enrichment. Here, we performed immunoprecipitation-proteomics analyses using antibodies specific to known ICB proteins MKLP1, RBM44, and ectoplasmic specialization-associated protein KIAA1210 and predicted protein complexes in the ICB cores. KIAA1210, its binding protein topoisomerase2B (TOP2B), and tight junction protein ZO1 were identified as novel ICB proteins. On the other hand, as well as KIAA1210 and TOP2B, MKLP1 and RBM44, but not TEX14, were localized at the XY body of spermatocytes, suggesting that there is a relationship between ICB proteins and meiotic chromosomes. Moreover, small RNAs interacted with an ICB protein complex that included KIAA1210, RBM44, and MKLP1. These results indicate dynamic movements of ICB proteins and suggest that ICB proteins could be involved not only in the communication between germ cells but also in their epigenetic regulation. Our results provide a novel perspective on the function of ICBs and could be helpful in revealing the biological function of the ICB.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Cell Biology