Cytokinesis in somatic cells concludes with the formation of a midbody, which is abscised to form individual daughter cells. In contrast, germ cell cytokinesis results in a permanent intercellular bridge connecting the daughter cells through a large cytoplasmic channel. During spermatogenesis, proposed roles for the intercellular bridge include germ cell communication, synchronization, and chromosome dosage compensation in haploid cells. Although several essential components of the midbody have recently been identified, essential components of the vertebrate germ cell intercellular bridge have until now not been described. Herein, we show that testis-expressed gene 14 (TEX14) is a novel protein that localizes to germ cell intercellular bridges. In the absence of TEX14, intercellular bridges are not observed by using electron microscopy and other markers. Spermatogenesis in Tex14-/- mice progresses through the transit amplification of diploid spermatogonia and the expression of early meiotic markers but halts before the completion of the first meiotic division. Thus, TEX14 is required for intercellular bridges in vertebrate germ cells, and these studies provide evidence that the intercellular bridge is essential for spermatogenesis and fertility.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2006 Mar 28|
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