Merck

HIPK4 is essential for murine spermiogenesis.

eLife (2020-03-13)
J Aaron Crapster, Paul G Rack, Zane J Hellmann, Austen D Le, Christopher M Adams, Ryan D Leib, Joshua E Elias, John Perrino, Barry Behr, Yanfeng Li, Jennifer Lin, Hong Zeng, James K Chen
ABSTRACT

Mammalian spermiogenesis is a remarkable cellular transformation, during which round spermatids elongate into chromatin-condensed spermatozoa. The signaling pathways that coordinate this process are not well understood, and we demonstrate here that homeodomain-interacting protein kinase 4 (HIPK4) is essential for spermiogenesis and male fertility in mice. HIPK4 is predominantly expressed in round and early elongating spermatids, and Hipk4 knockout males are sterile, exhibiting phenotypes consistent with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia. Hipk4 mutant sperm have reduced oocyte binding and are incompetent for in vitro fertilization, but they can still produce viable offspring via intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Optical and electron microscopy of HIPK4-null male germ cells reveals defects in the filamentous actin (F-actin)-scaffolded acroplaxome during spermatid elongation and abnormal head morphologies in mature spermatozoa. We further observe that HIPK4 overexpression induces branched F-actin structures in cultured fibroblasts and that HIPK4 deficiency alters the subcellular distribution of an F-actin capping protein in the testis, supporting a role for this kinase in cytoskeleton remodeling. Our findings establish HIPK4 as an essential regulator of sperm head shaping and potential target for male contraception.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
M2 medium, With HEPES, without penicillin and streptomycin, liquid, sterile-filtered, suitable for mouse embryo cell culture
Sigma-Aldrich
Anti-KPNB1 antibody produced in rabbit, Prestige Antibodies® Powered by Atlas Antibodies, affinity isolated antibody, buffered aqueous glycerol solution