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.
Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.