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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The microtubule plus-end-tracking protein CLIP-170 associates with the spermatid manchette and is essential for spermatogenesis.

CLIP-170 is a microtubule "plus-end-tracking protein" implicated in the control of microtubule dynamics, dynactin localization, and the linking of endosomes to microtubules. To investigate the function of mouse CLIP-170, we generated CLIP-170 knockout and GFP-CLIP-170 knock-in alleles. Residual CLIP-170 is detected in lungs and embryos of homozygous CLIP-170 knockout mice, but not in other tissues and cell types, indicating that we have generated a hypomorphic mutant. Homozygous CLIP-170 knockout mice are viable and appear normal. However, male knockout mice are subfertile and produce sperm with abnormal heads. Using the knock-in mice, we followed GFP-CLIP-170 expression and behavior in dissected, live testis tubules. We detect plus-end-tracking GFP-CLIP-170 in spermatogonia. As spermatogenesis proceeds, GFP-CLIP-170 expression increases and the fusion protein strongly marks syncytia of differentiated spermatogonia and early prophase spermatocytes. Subsequently GFP-CLIP-170 levels drop, but during spermiogenesis (post-meiotic development), GFP-CLIP-170 accumulates again and is present on spermatid manchettes and centrosomes. Bleaching studies show that, as spermatogenesis progresses, GFP-CLIP-170 converts from a mobile plus-end-tracking protein to a relatively immobile protein. We propose that CLIP-170 has a structural function in the male germline, in particular in spermatid differentiation and sperm head shaping.[1]


  1. The microtubule plus-end-tracking protein CLIP-170 associates with the spermatid manchette and is essential for spermatogenesis. Akhmanova, A., Mausset-Bonnefont, A.L., van Cappellen, W., Keijzer, N., Hoogenraad, C.C., Stepanova, T., Drabek, K., van der Wees, J., Mommaas, M., Onderwater, J., van der Meulen, H., Tanenbaum, M.E., Medema, R.H., Hoogerbrugge, J., Vreeburg, J., Uringa, E.J., Grootegoed, J.A., Grosveld, F., Galjart, N. Genes Dev. (2005) [Pubmed]
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