Nemo-like kinase promotes etoposide-induced apoptosis of male germ cell-derived GC-1 cells in vitro

FEBS Lett. 2012 May 21;586(10):1497-503. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.04.005. Epub 2012 Apr 18.


Spermatogenesis is an extremely intricate process that is tightly regulated and orchestrated by a series of well-coordinated gene expression programmes. Nemo-like kinase (NLK) is an evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine kinase that functions in a wide variety of developmental events. Nevertheless, the function of NLK in spermatogenesis has not been investigated. In this study, we found that the distribution of NLK in mice exhibited a dynamic change during testicular development and gradually became concentrated in the acrosomes of elongated spermatids. NLK overexpression promoted etoposide-induced apoptosis of male germ cell-derived GC-1 cells, while knockdown of NLK by RNA interference (RNAi) attenuated etoposide-induced apoptosis. Our findings suggest that NLK plays an important role in etoposide-induced germ cell apoptosis and may be associated with spermatogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Line
  • Etoposide / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases


  • Etoposide
  • Nlk protein, mouse
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases