Aberrant expression of TAR DNA binding protein-43 is associated with spermatogenic disorders in men

Divya Saro Varghese, Uma Chandran, Ambili Soumya, Sathy M. Pillai, Krishnapillai Jayakrishnan, Prabhakara P. Reddi, Pradeep G. Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Loss of function of TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) has been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders in both humans and animal models. TDP-43 has also been shown to be cis-acting transcriptional repressor of the acrosome vesicle (Acrv) gene in mice. In the present study, we investigated the expression of the TDP-43 transcript (TARDBP) and protein in germ cells from 11 fertile and 98 subfertile men to verify its potential association with poor seminograms. The expression profile of TDP-43 was characterised in immature germ cells and spermatozoa from semen from fertile and subfertile men using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, western blotting and immunofluorescence. Although germ cells from subfertile men tested negative for TARDBP, the full-length message of the same was detected in fertile men. TDP-43 was detected in spermatozoa from fertile men using western blot analysis and immunofluorescence. The expression of this protein was negligible in spermatozoa from men with primary spermatogenic dysfunction. We conclude that a deficiency in the TDP-43 expression is associated with defective spermatogenesis and male infertility. We propose that TDP-43 could be used as a marker of male factor infertility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-722
Number of pages10
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • TDP-43
  • infertility
  • semen analysis
  • spermatogenesis
  • testis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Developmental Biology


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