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  • Author: Jerome F Strauss III x
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To study antifertility properties of microbial toxins, exoenterotoxin and endotoxin from Vibrio cholerae were injected intravenously into mice at different times during pregnancy. The two substances induced termination of pregnancy, but the patterns of abortifacient activity were different. Exotoxin terminated pregnancy in mice when administered between Days 4 and 10 of gestation, but abortifacient activity was reduced in animals more than 10 days pregnant; exogenous progesterone did not protect the pregnancies. Endotoxin was most effective in terminating pregnancy when injected after mid-gestation and the active principle was heat-stable; exogenous progesterone was not able to prevent the effects of endotoxin. Animals treated with endotoxin on Day 17 often gave birth to live young prematurely; indomethacin reduced the incidence of premature littering. The results demonstrate that exo- and endotoxins have antifertility properties and both appear to act on intrauterine targets rather than inducing progestin deficiency.

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Yunhao Liu, Ling Zhang, Wei Li, Qian Huang, Shuo Yuan, Yuhong Li, Junpin Liu, Shiyang Zhang, Guanglun Pin, Shizhen Song, Pierre F Ray, Christophe Arnoult, Chunghee Cho, Balbina Garcia-Reyes, Uwe Knippschild, Jerome F Strauss III and Zhibing Zhang

Mammalian SPAG6, the orthologue of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii PF16, is a component of the central apparatus of the ‘9 + 2’ axoneme that controls ciliary/flagellar motility, including sperm motility. Recent studies revealed that SPAG6 has functions beyond its role in the central apparatus. Hence, we reexamined the role of SPAG6 in male fertility. In wild-type mice, SPAG6 was present in cytoplasmic vesicles in spermatocytes, the acrosome of round and elongating spermatids and the manchette of elongating spermatids. Spag6-deficient testes showed abnormal spermatogenesis, with abnormalities in male germ cell morphology consistent with the multi-compartment pattern of SPAG6 localization. The armadillo repeat domain of mouse SPAG6 was used as a bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen, and several proteins with diverse functions appeared multiple times, including Snapin, SPINK2 and COPS5. Snapin has a similar localization to SPAG6 in male germ cells, and SPINK2, a key protein in acrosome biogenesis, was dramatically reduced in Spag6-deficient mice which have defective acrosomes. SPAG16L, another SPAG6-binding partner, lost its localization to the manchette in Spag6-deficient mice. Our findings demonstrate that SPAG6 is a multi-functional protein that not only regulates sperm motility, but also plays roles in spermatogenesis in multiple cellular compartments involving multiple protein partners.