Requirement of seminolipid in spermatogenesis revealed by UDP-galactose: Ceramide galactosyltransferase-deficient mice

J Biol Chem. 2000 Jul 28;275(30):22623-6. doi: 10.1074/jbc.C000200200.


Although seminolipid has long been suspected to play an essential role in spermatogenesis because of its uniquely abundant and temporally regulated expression in the spermatocytes, direct experimental evidence has been lacking. We have tested the hypothesis by examining the testis of the UDP-galactose:ceramide galactosyltransferase-deficient mouse, which is incapable of synthesizing seminolipid. Spermatogenesis in homozygous affected males is arrested at the late pachytene stage and the spermatogenic cells degenerate through the apoptotic process. This stage closely follows the phase of rapid seminolipid synthesis in the wild-type mouse. These observations not only provide the first experimental evidence that seminolipid is indeed essential for normal spermatogenesis but also support the broader concept that cell surface glycolipids are important in cellular differentiation and cell-to-cell interaction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Galactosyltransferases / genetics*
  • Galactosyltransferases / metabolism
  • Ganglioside Galactosyltransferase
  • Glycolipids / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology*
  • Testis / enzymology


  • DNA Primers
  • Glycolipids
  • seminolipid
  • Galactosyltransferases
  • Ganglioside Galactosyltransferase