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Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Apr;20(8):2865-73.

Defects in nuclear and cytoskeletal morphology and mitochondrial localization in spermatozoa of mice lacking nectin-2, a component of cell-cell adherens junctions.

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  • 1Departments of Microbiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Nectin-2 is a cell adhesion molecule encoded by a member of the poliovirus receptor gene family. This family consists of human, monkey, rat, and murine genes that are members of the immunoglobulin gene superfamily. Nectin-2 is a component of cell-cell adherens junctions and interacts with l-afadin, an F-actin-binding protein. Disruption of both alleles of the murine nectin-2 gene resulted in morphologically aberrant spermatozoa with defects in nuclear and cytoskeletal morphology and mitochondrial localization. Homozygous null males are sterile, while homozygous null females, as well as heterozygous males and females, are fertile. The production by nectin-2(-/-) mice of normal numbers of spermatozoa containing wild-type levels of DNA suggests that Nectin-2 functions at a late stage of germ cell development. Consistent with such a role, Nectin-2 is expressed in the testes only during the later stages of spermatogenesis. The structural defects observed in spermatozoa of nectin-2(-/-) mice suggest a role for this protein in organization and reorganization of the cytoskeleton during spermiogenesis.

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