The nuclear form of glutathione peroxidase 4 colocalizes and directly interacts with protamines in the nuclear matrix during mouse sperm chromatin assembly.

PMID 25225625


The testis-specific nuclear form of Phospholipid Hydroperoxide Glutathione Peroxidase (nGPx4) is associated with the nuclear matrix during spermiogenesis and is implicated in sperm chromatin condensation. In this study, we have addressed the question whether nGPx4 directly interacts with protamines by transiently sharing a nuclear matrix localization. We first expressed tagged protamine 1-myc and protamine 2-V5 in HeLa and COS-1 cells and showed by both confocal microscopy and immunoblotting analyses that protamines were produced in vitro and colocalized correctly to the nucleus. Co-transfection experiments demonstrated that protamine 1 was physically associated with flag-nGPx4 specifically at the level of nuclear matrix. The peculiar presence of protamines together with nGPx4 in this subnuclear compartment was also confirmed in mouse elongated spermatids by immunofluorescence, suggesting that nGPx4 is a physiological component of a novel protein complex relevant to chromatin assembly in condensing haploid cells. Also, in epididymal sperm, nGPx4 and protamine 1 co-immunoprecipitated, indicating that nGPx4, although localized to a subnuclear compartment different from that of protamines, represents a constant link between nuclear matrix and chromatin in mammalian male gamete.

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