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Coiled-coil domain containing 42 (Ccdc42) is necessary for proper sperm development and male fertility in the mouse

Pasek, Raymond C., Malarkey, Erik, Berbari, Nicolas F., Sharma, Neeraj, Kesterson, Robert A., Tres, Laura L., Kierszenbaum, Abraham L., Yoder, Bradley K.
Developmental biology 2016 v.412 pp. 208-218
abnormal development, alleles, brain, centrioles, cilia, decapitation, flagellum, head, homozygosity, humans, loss-of-function mutation, male fertility, males, mice, mutants, phenotype, screening, sperm motility, spermatids, spermatozoa, spermiogenesis, testes
Spermiogenesis is the differentiation of spermatids into motile sperm consisting of a head and a tail. The head harbors a condensed elongated nucleus partially covered by the acrosome-acroplaxome complex. Defects in the acrosome-acroplaxome complex are associated with abnormalities in sperm head shaping. The head-tail coupling apparatus (HTCA), a complex structure consisting of two cylindrical microtubule-based centrioles and associated components, connects the tail or flagellum to the sperm head. Defects in the development of the HTCA cause sperm decapitation and disrupt sperm motility, two major contributors to male infertility. Here, we provide data indicating that mutations in the gene Coiled-coil domain containing 42 (Ccdc42) is associated with malformation of the mouse sperm flagella. In contrast to many other flagella and motile cilia genes, Ccdc42 expression is only observed in the brain and developing sperm. Male mice homozygous for a loss-of-function Ccdc42 allele (Ccdc42KO) display defects in the number and location of the HTCA, lack flagellated sperm, and are sterile. The testes enriched expression of Ccdc42 and lack of other phenotypes in mutant mice make it an ideal candidate for screening cases of azoospermia in humans.