To identify upregulated genes during the development of spermatozoa, we performed PCR-selected subtraction analysis of testes RNA samples from 10-day-old and 12-week-old shrews. A transcript, highly homologous to two mouse transcripts, Ms4a13-1 and Ms4a13-2, was differentially regulated. Ms4a13-2, but not Ms4a13-1, was shown to be primarily expressed in mouse testes in an age-dependent manner. Ms4a13-2 cDNA contains an open-reading frame of 522 nucleotides, encoding a protein of 174 amino acids, with predicted molecular mass, 19,345 Da. MS4A13-2 protein was expressed along the periphery of nuclei of round and elongated spermatids (steps 3–16) in adult mouse testes, and in the equatorial region of the heads of fresh mature mouse spermatozoa. In addition, MS4A13-2 was found to localize to the outer acrosomal membrane in the equatorial region of heads in fresh spermatozoa. In acrosome-reacted spermatozoa, the MS4A13-2 expression extended to the entire sperm head including the postacrosomal region and acrosomal cap. MS4A family proteins are known to facilitate intracellular protein–protein interactions as ion channel/adaptor proteins by oligomerization, and have important regulatory roles in cellular growth, survival and activation. We report that the MS4A family member, MS4A13-2, may form oligomers in sperm membranes, which may be involved in an interaction with the zona pellucida or cumulus during fertilization.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Cell Biology