1. Developmental Biology
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Essential role for SUN5 in anchoring sperm head to the tail

  1. Yongliang Shang
  2. Fuxi Zhu
  3. Lina Wang
  4. Ying-Chun Ouyang
  5. Ming-Zhe Dong
  6. Chao Liu
  7. Haichao Zhao
  8. Xiuhong Cui
  9. Dongyuan Ma
  10. Zhiguo Zhang
  11. Xiaoyu Yang
  12. Yueshuai Guo
  13. Feng Liu
  14. Li Yuan
  15. Fei Gao
  16. Xuejiang Guo
  17. Qing-Yuan Sun
  18. Yunxia Cao  Is a corresponding author
  19. Wei Li  Is a corresponding author
  1. Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  2. The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, China
  3. Nanjing Medical University, China
  4. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Research Article
  • Cited 49
  • Views 2,740
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e28199 doi: 10.7554/eLife.28199

Abstract

SUN (Sad1 and UNC84 domain containing)-domain proteins are reported to reside on the nuclear membrane playing distinct roles in nuclear dynamics. SUN5 is a new member of the SUN family, with little knowledge regarding its function. Here, we generated Sun5-/- mice and found that male mice were infertile. Most Sun5-null spermatozoa displayed a globozoospermia-like phenotype but they were actually acephalic spermatozoa. Additional studies revealed that SUN5 was located in the neck of the spermatozoa, anchoring sperm head to the tail, and without functional SUN5 the sperm head to tail coupling apparatus was detached from nucleus during spermatid elongation. Finally, we found that healthy heterozygous offspring could be obtained via intracytoplasmic injection of Sun5-mutated sperm heads for both male mice and patients. Our studies reveal the essential role of SUN5 in anchoring sperm head to the tail and provide a promising way to treat this kind of acephalic spermatozoa-associated male infertility.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Yongliang Shang

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Fuxi Zhu

    Reproductive Medicine Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Lina Wang

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Ying-Chun Ouyang

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Ming-Zhe Dong

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Chao Liu

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Haichao Zhao

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Xiuhong Cui

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Dongyuan Ma

    State Key Laboratory of Membrane Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Zhiguo Zhang

    Reproductive Medicine Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  11. Xiaoyu Yang

    Center of Clinical Reproductive Medicine, First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  12. Yueshuai Guo

    State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  13. Feng Liu

    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-3228-0943
  14. Li Yuan

    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  15. Fei Gao

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  16. Xuejiang Guo

    State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  17. Qing-Yuan Sun

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  18. Yunxia Cao

    Reproductive Medicine Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China
    For correspondence
    caoyunxia6@126.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  19. Wei Li

    State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    For correspondence
    leways@ioz.ac.cn
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-6235-0749

Funding

National Natural Science Foundation of China (31471277)

  • Wei Li

National Natural Science Foundation of China (91649202)

  • Wei Li

National Key R & D program of China (2016YFA0500901)

  • Wei Li

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All of the animal experiments were performed according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (#08-133) of the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. All surgery was performed under sodium pentobarbital anesthesia, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.

Human subjects: Consent authorisation for publication has been obtained from the two couples involved in the research.Written informed consent was provided by the couples who decided to undergo intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) at our reproductive medicine center. All the research on human subject has got ethical approval given by Biomedical Research Ethics Committee of Anhui Medical University (Reference number: 20140183)

Reviewing Editor

  1. Fiona M Watt, King's College London, United Kingdom

Publication history

  1. Received: April 28, 2017
  2. Accepted: September 25, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 25, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 10, 2017 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2017, Shang et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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