Expression of katanin p80 in human spermatogenesis

KATNB1 is expressed in type B spermatogonia, pachytene spermatocytes, and early round spermatids. The results indicate an involvement of KATNB1 in the formation of the meiotic spindle apparatus and microtubule- based structures.

Volume 106, Issue 7, Pages 1683-1690


Christiane Pleuger, M.Sc., Daniela Fietz, D.V.M., Katja Hartmann, D.V.M., Wolfgang Weidner, M.D., Sabine Kliesch, M.D., Moira K. O'Bryan, Ph.D., Adriaan Dorresteijn, Ph.D., Martin Bergmann, Ph.D.



To define the stage-by-stage expression of KATNB1 during human spermatogenesis.


Gene expression analysis, histologic and immunohistochemical evaluation.


University research laboratories and andrological clinic.


Eighty human testicular biopsy samples: 43 showing normal spermatogenesis, 9 with maturation arrest at level of spermatocytes, 8 with maturation arrest at level of spermatogonia, and 20 with a Sertoli cell only syndrome.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

Evaluation of katanin p80 expression in normal as well as impaired spermatogenesis on mRNA (RT-PCR, RT-qPCR, and in situ hybridization) and protein level (immunohistochemistry/immunofluorescence).


KATNB1 messenger RNA is exclusively expressed in germ cells, and quantitatively reduced in maturation arrests at the level of spermatogonia. The KATNB1 protein was detected in type B spermatogonia entering meiosis and in the Golgi complex of pachytene spermatocytes. Immediately before the first meiotic division, it is colocalized with the cleaving centriole. It was also detected in early round spermatids in the dictyosome.


The expression and localization of KATNB1 support a role in spindle formation. The localization of KATNB1 in early round spermatids suggests an involvement in the formation of microtubule-based structures during spermiogenesis (manchette and flagellum). These data are consistent with the demonstrated role of KATNB1 in mouse meiosis, nuclear shaping, and flagellum formation of sperm and suggest the strong conservation of function even between distantly related species.

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