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Exp Cell Res. 2006 Apr 1;312(6):817-30. Epub 2006 Jan 10.

Coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) is expressed in male germ cells and forms a complex with the differentiation factor JAM-C in mouse testis.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Stockholm Branch, Karolinska Institute, PO box 240, SE-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.


The coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) is a transmembrane protein important for viral binding to target cells. Using RT-PCR, Western analysis, GST pull-down assay and indirect immunofluorescence, it was shown that CAR is expressed in male germ cells from mice, rats, and humans. CAR was detected in round spermatids in the testis as well as in purified, mature spermatozoa. The two membrane-bound isoforms of CAR occupied different subcellular sites in the acrosomal region of the spermatozoa. CAR was exposed on the surface of acrosome-reacted, but not acrosome-intact cells. Two CAR-binding proteins belonging to the ligand-of-numb protein-X (LNX) family also occupied distinct regions in spermatozoa. Finally, co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated an interaction between CAR and JAM-C, a protein required for spermatid differentiation. Together, these findings imply a function for CAR in male fertility. The results also suggest that CAR in spermatozoa is inaccessible to adenovirus-based gene therapy vectors, and that the risk of germ line infection therefore is low.

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