Spata19 is critical for sperm mitochondrial function and male fertility

Mol Reprod Dev. 2015 Nov;82(11):907-13. doi: 10.1002/mrd.22536. Epub 2015 Aug 24.


Haploid round spermatids undergo differentiation and morphogenesis during spermiogenesis, resulting in mature spermatozoa. The molecular details underlying this transformation, however, remain poorly understood. In this study, we generated and analyzed germ cell-specific Spata19 knockout mice (Spata19(flox/flox) ; Stra8-Cre; hereafter termed "Spata19 cKO") to assess the model that SPATA19 contributes to mitochondrial function in differentiating spermatids. Spata19-cKO males were infertile, as their sperm exhibited disorganized mitochondrial structure; furthermore, their sperm-abundance of mitochondrial proteins, activities of mitochondrial respiratory chain complex IV, and ATP levels were significantly reduced. Yet, the infertility of Spata19-cKO males was rescued by intracytoplasmic sperm injection, so the sperm are capable of initiating development. Collectively, our findings suggest that SPATA19 plays an important role in sperm motility by regulating the organization and function of the mitochondria.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Fertility / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / genetics
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sperm Motility / physiology
  • Spermatids / cytology
  • Spermatids / metabolism*


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Seminal Plasma Proteins