Expression and localization of alpha-tubulin N-acetyltransferase 1 in the reproductive system of male mice

Rin Yanai, Yudai Yamashita, Kohei Umezu, Yuuki Hiradate, Kenshiro Hara, Kentaro Tanemura

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    The structure of microtubules is essential for the fertilizing ability of spermatozoa. Acetylation of α-tubulin plays an important role in flagellar elongation and spermatozoa motility. Previous reports have suggested that alpha-tubulin N-acetyltransferase 1 (ATAT1) is the main acetyltransferase involved in the acetylation of α-tubulin. Although ATAT1 is reported to express in the testis, no information is available regarding its expression in elongated spermatids, epididymis, and mature spermatozoa. Hence, it remains unclear whether ATAT1 is involved in spermatozoa maturation and capacitation. Therefore, we evaluated the expression of ATAT1 in the mouse male reproductive system using immunostaining and western blotting. Our results showed that ATAT1 was expressed in spermatids during spermiogenesis in mouse testes, but its expression varied according to the seminiferous tubule stage. We observed ATAT1 in the cytoplasm of round spermatids, the flagella of elongated spermatids, and in the cytoplasm of step 16 spermatids, just before its release into the lumen. In addition, ATAT1 was expressed in epithelial cells of the epididymis. In spermatozoa of the cauda epididymis, ATAT1 expression was primarily observed in the midpiece of the spermatozoa. The localization of ATAT1 protein in the male germline was observed during spermiogenesis as well as during spermatozoa maturation. Our results suggest that ATAT1 may be involved in the formation of flagella and in the acetylation process, which has attracted attention in recent years regarding male infertility.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-66
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Reproduction and Development
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Alpha-tubulin N-acetyltransferase 1 (ATAT1)
    • Epididymis
    • Spermatogenesis
    • Spermatozoa

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Animal Science and Zoology


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