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

Spermiogenesis is impaired in mice bearing a targeted mutation in the protein phosphatase 1cgamma gene.

Type 1 protein phosphatases (PP1) are involved in diverse cellular activities, ranging from glycogen metabolism to chromatin structure modification, mitosis, and meiosis. The holoenzymes are composed of two or more subunits, including a catalytic subunit (PP1c) and one or more regulatory subunits. Many eukaryotes possess several catalytic subunit genes which encode highly conserved isoforms. In rodents, one of these isoforms, PP1cgamma2, appears to be expressed predominantly in testes. Whether PP1cgamma2 performs a testis-specific function is unclear. To address this and other questions, the PP1cgamma gene was disrupted by targeted insertion in murine embryonic stem cells. Mice derived from these cells were viable, and homozygous females were fertile. However, males homozygous for the targeted insertion were infertile. Histological examination revealed severe impairment of spermiogenesis beginning at the round spermatid stage. In addition, defects in meiosis were inferred from the presence of polyploid spermatids. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of PP1calpha protein on condensing spermatids in both wild-type and mutant testes, suggesting that this closely related isoform is unable to compensate for the loss of PP1cgamma. These defects are discussed in the light of known functions of protein phosphatase 1.[1]


  1. Spermiogenesis is impaired in mice bearing a targeted mutation in the protein phosphatase 1cgamma gene. Varmuza, S., Jurisicova, A., Okano, K., Hudson, J., Boekelheide, K., Shipp, E.B. Dev. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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