A newly discovered mutation in PICK1 in a human with globozoospermia

Asian J Androl. 2010 Jul;12(4):556-60. doi: 10.1038/aja.2010.47. Epub 2010 Jun 21.


Globozoospermia is a human infertility syndrome caused by spermatogenesis defects (OMIM 102530). Acrosome plays an important role at the site of sperm-zonapellucida binding during the fertilization process. Thus, malformation of the acrosome is the most prominent feature seen in globozoospermia. Disruption of several mouse genes, including Gopc (Golgi-associated PDZ and coiled-coil motif containing protein), Hrb (HIV-1 Rev binding protein), Csnk2a2 (casein kinase 2, alpha prime polypeptide) and Pick1 (protein interacting with C kinase 1), results in a phenotype similar to globozoospermia in humans, which suggests their potential role in the disease. However, no mutations with a clear link to globozoospermia have been identified in these genes in humans. In this study, we screened the candidate genes mentioned above in three globozoospermia type I patients and discovered a homozygous missense mutation (G198A) in exon 13 of the PICK1 gene in a Chinese family. The family member affected by this homozygous missense mutation showed a complete lack of acrosome. Using the candidate gene screening strategy, our study is the first to identify an autosomal recessive genetic mutation in PICK1 that was responsible for globozoospermia in humans.

MeSH terms

  • Acrosome / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Consanguinity
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male / genetics*
  • Male
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics*
  • Pedigree
  • Spermatozoa / abnormalities*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • PICk1 protein, human