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Genetics. 2002 Sep;162(1):307-20.

Mutation of a novel gene results in abnormal development of spermatid flagella, loss of intermale aggression and reduced body fat in mice.

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Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


ROSA22 male mice are sterile due to a recessive gene-trap mutation that affects development of the spermatid flagellum. The defect involves the flagellar axoneme, which becomes unstable around the time of its assembly. Despite a subsequent complete failure in flagellar assembly, development of the spermatid head appears normal and the spermatid head is released at the correct stage in spermatogenesis. The mutation is pleiotropic. Although ROSA22 homozygote males have normal levels of circulating testosterone and display normal mating behavior, they do not exhibit intermale aggressive behavior and have reduced body fat. The mutated gene (Gtrgeo22) maps to mouse chromosome 10 and is closely flanked by two known genes, Madcam1 and Cdc34. Ribonuclease protection analysis indicates that expression of the flanking genes is unaffected by the mutation. Gtrgeo22 is expressed at low levels in epithelial cells in several tissues, as well as in testis and brain. Analysis of the peptide coding sequence suggests that Gtrgeo22 encodes a novel transmembrane protein, which contains dileucine and tyrosine-based motifs involved in intracellular sorting of transmembrane proteins. Analysis of the Gtrgeo22 gene product should provide novel insight into the molecular basis for intermale aggression and sperm flagellar development.

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