Testis-enriched Kinesin KIF9 Is Important for Progressive Motility in Mouse Spermatozoa

FASEB J. 2020 Apr;34(4):5389-5400. doi: 10.1096/fj.201902755R. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

Abstract

Kinesin is a molecular motor that moves along microtubules. Kinesin family member 9 (KIF9) is evolutionarily conserved and expressed strongly in mouse testis. In the unicellular flagellate Chlamydomonas, KLP1 (ortholog of KIF9) is localized to the central pair microtubules of the axoneme and regulates flagellar motility. In contrast, the function of KIF9 remains unclear in mammals. Here, we mutated KIF9 in mice using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Kif9 mutated mice exhibit impaired sperm motility and subfertility. Further analysis reveals that the flagella lacking KIF9 showed an asymmetric waveform pattern, which leads to a circular motion of spermatozoa. In spermatozoa that lack the central pair protein HYDIN, KIF9 was not detected by immunofluorescence and immunoblot analysis. These results suggest that KIF9 is associated with the central pair microtubules and regulates flagellar motility in mice.

Keywords: fertilization; male fertility; sperm motility.