WDR62 is involved in spindle assembly by interacting with CEP170 in spermatogenesis

Development. 2019 Oct 21;146(20):dev174128. doi: 10.1242/dev.174128.


WDR62 is the second most common genetic alteration associated with microcephaly. It has been shown that Wdr62 is required for germ cell meiosis initiation in mice, and the majority of male germ cells are lost in the meiotic defect of first wave spermatogenesis in Wdr62 mutants. Strikingly, in this study, we found that the initiation of meiosis following spermatogenesis was not affected and the germ cells were gradually repopulated at later developmental stages. However, most germ cells were arrested at metaphase of meiosis I and no mature sperm were detected in epididymides. Further, this study demonstrated that metaphase I arrest of Wdr62-deficient spermatocytes was caused by asymmetric distribution of the centrosome and aberrant spindle assembly. Also, mechanistic studies demonstrated that WDR62 interacts with centrosome-associated protein CEP170, and deletion of Wdr62 causes downregulation of the CEP170 protein, which in turn leads to the aberrant spindle assembly. In summary, this study indicates that the meiosis of first wave spermatogenesis and the following spermatogenesis started from spermatogonium is probably regulated by different mechanisms. We also demonstrated a new function of WDR62 in germ cell meiosis, through its interaction with CEP170.

Keywords: CEP170; Metaphase arrest; Mouse; Spermatogenesis; Spindle; WDR62.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Centrosome / metabolism
  • Male
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Meiosis / physiology
  • Metaphase / genetics
  • Metaphase / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Spermatocytes / cytology
  • Spermatocytes / metabolism
  • Spermatogenesis / genetics
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cep170 protein, mouse
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • WDR62 protein, mouse