Axonemal dyneins are large motor protein complexes generating the force for the movement of eukaryotic cilia and flagella. Disruption of axonemal dynein function leads to loss of ciliary motility and can result in male infertility or lateralization defects. Here, we report the molecular analysis of a murine gene encoding the dynein axonemal light intermediate chain Dnali1. The Dnali1 gene is localized on chromosome 4 and consists of six exons. It is predominantly expressed within the testis but at a lower level Dnali1 transcripts were also observed in different murine tissues, which exhibit cilia. Two transcript variants were detected, generated by the usage of two alternative polyadenylation signals within exon 6. Antibodies were raised against a GST-Dnali1 fusion protein and used to localize Dnali1 within differentiating male germ cells. Dnali1 is strongly expressed in spermatids but was also detected in spermatocytes. Moreover, the Dnali1 protein was localized in cilia of the trachea as well as in flagella of mature sperm supporting its function as an axonemal dynein. To identify putative Dnali1 interacting polypeptides, a yeast two-hybrid approach was performed using a murine testicular cDNA library. By this assay, the C-terminal part of the cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain 1 was identified as a putative interacting polypeptide of Dnali1. The interaction between the axonemal and the cytoplasmic dynein fragments was proven by co-immuno and co-localization experiments.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.