Abnormal fertility, acrosome formation, IFT20 expression and localization in conditional Gmap210 knockout mice

Zhenyu Wang, Yuqin Shi, Suheng Ma, Qian Huang, Yi Tian Yap, Lin Shi, Shiyang Zhang, Ting Zhou, Wei Li, Bo Hu, Ling Zhang, Stephen A. Krawetz, Gregory J. Pazour, Rex A. Hess, Zhibing Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GMAP210 (TRIP11) is a cis-Golgi network-associated protein and a Golgi membrane receptor for IFT20, an intraflagellar transport component essential for male fertility and spermiogenesis in mice. To investigate the role of GMAP210 in male fertility and spermatogenesis, floxed Gmap210 mice were bred with Stra8-iCre mice so that the Gmap210 gene is disrupted in spermatocytes and spermatids in this study. The Gmap210flox/flox: Stra8-iCre mutant mice showed no gross abnormalities and survived to adulthood. In adult males, testis and body weights showed no difference between controls and mutant mice. Low-magnification histological examination of the testes revealed normal seminiferous tubule structure, but sperm counts and fertility were significantly reduced in mutant mice compared with controls. Higher resolution examination of the mutant seminiferous epithelium showed that nearly all sperm had more oblong, abnormally shaped heads, while the sperm tails appeared to have normal morphology. Electron microscopy also revealed abnormally shaped sperm heads but normal axoneme core structure; some sperm showed membrane defects in the midpiece. In mutant mice, expression levels of IFT20 and other selective acrosomal proteins were significantly reduced, and their localization was also affected. Peanut-lectin, an acrosome maker, was almost absent in the spermatids and epididymal sperm. Mitochondrion staining was highly concentrated in the heads of sperm, suggesting that the midpieces were coiling around or aggregating near the heads. Defects in acrosome biogenesis were further confirmed by electron microscopy. Collectively, our findings suggest that GMAP210 is essential for acrosome biogenesis, normal mitochondrial sheath formation, and male fertility, and it determines expression levels and acrosomal localization of IFT20 and other acrosomal proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C174-C190
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020


  • Acrosome formation
  • GMAP210
  • IFT20
  • Male fertility
  • Trip11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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