Characterization of membrane occupation and recognition nexus repeat containing 3, meiosis expressed gene 1 binding partner, in mouse male germ cells

Asian J Androl. Jan-Feb 2015;17(1):86-93. doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.138186.


Mammalian spermatogenesis is a well-organized process of cell development and differentiation. Meiosis expressed gene 1 (MEIG1) plays an essential role in the regulation of spermiogenesis. To explore potential mechanisms of MEIG1's action, a yeast two-hybrid screen was conducted, and several potential binding partners were identified; one of them was membrane occupation and recognition nexus repeat containing 3 (MORN3). MORN3 mRNA is only abundant in mouse testis. In the testis, Morn3 mRNA is highly expressed in the spermiogenesis stage. Specific anti-MORN3 polyclonal antibody was generated against N-terminus of the full-length MORN3 protein, and MORN3 expression and localization was examined in vitro and in vivo. In transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells, the antibody specifically crossed-reacted the full-length MORN3 protein, and immunofluorescence staining revealed that MORN3 was localized throughout the cytoplasm. Among multiple mouse tissues, about 25 kDa protein, was identified only in the testis. The protein was highly expressed after day 20 of birth. Immunofluorescence staining on mixed testicular cells isolated from adult wild-type mice demonstrated that MORN3 was expressed in the acrosome in germ cells throughout spermiogenesis. The protein was also present in the manchette of elongating spermatids. The total MORN3 expression and acrosome localization were not changed in the Meig 1-deficient mice. However, its expression in manchette was dramatically reduced in the mutant mice. Our studies suggest that MORN3 is another regulator for spermatogenesis, probably together with MEIG1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acrosome / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / deficiency
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Infertility, Male / metabolism
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Nuclear Proteins / deficiency
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / deficiency
  • Phosphoproteins / genetics
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Spermatids / metabolism*
  • Spermatogenesis / genetics
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology*
  • Testis / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • MORN3 protein, mouse
  • Meig1 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger