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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2013 Sep 5;377(1-2):44-55. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2013.06.030. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

KIF3A is essential for sperm tail formation and manchette function.

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Agrifood Research Finland, Biotechnology and Food Research, Animal Genomics, FIN-31600 Jokioinen, Finland.


KIF3A motor protein is responsible for intraflagellar transport, which is required for protein delivery during axoneme formation in ciliated cells. The function of KIF3A during spermatogenesis is not known. In this study, we show that depletion of KIF3A causes severe impairments in sperm tail formation and interestingly, it also affects manchette organization and the shaping of sperm heads. Our results demonstrate the analogy between the mechanisms governing the formation of cilia in somatic cells and the formation of spermatozoa-specific flagella. Furthermore, this study reveals KIF3A as an important regulator of spermatogenesis and emphasizes the crucial role of KIF3A in maintaining male fertility. We also identified several novel interacting partners for KIF3A, including meiosis-specific nuclear structural protein 1 (MNS1) that colocalizes with KIF3A in the manchette and principal piece of the sperm tail. This study highlights the essential role of KIF3A-mediated microtubular transport in the development of spermatozoa and male fertility.


Co-IP; Co-immunoprecipitation; FS; IFT; Intraflagellar transport; KBP; KIF3A; Kif1-binding protein; MNS1; MS; Manchette; ODF; PND; Spermatogenesis; fibrous sheath; intraflagellar transport; meiosis-specific nuclear structural protein 1; mitochondrial sheath; outer dense fiber; postnatal day

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