CFAP43-mediated intra-manchette transport is required for sperm head shaping and flagella formation

Zygote. 2021 Feb;29(1):75-81. doi: 10.1017/S0967199420000556. Epub 2020 Oct 13.


Mutation in CFAP43 leads to severe asthenozoospermia and multiple morphological abnormalities of the sperm flagellum (MMAF) in both human and mouse. Previous studies have shown that disruption of intra-manchette transport (IMT) caused failure of flagellum assembly and sperm head shaping. In a previous study, therefore, we postulated that disruption of IMT may contribute to the failure of sperm flagellum formation and result in MMAF, however the mechanisms underlying these defects are still poorly understood. Cfap43-deficient mice were studied here to reveal the cellular mechanisms of abnormal sperm head morphology and MMAF. Depletion of Cfap43 led to abnormal spermiogenesis and caused MMAF, sperm head abnormality and oligozoospermia. Furthermore, both abnormal manchette and disorganized ectoplasmic specialization (ES) could be observed at the elongated spermatids in Cfap43-deficient mice. Therefore, our findings demonstrated that, in mice, CFAP43-mediated IMT is essential for sperm head shaping and sperm flagellum formation.

Keywords: Cfap43; Flagella formation; IMT; MMAF; Manchette.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Flagella / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Sperm Head
  • Sperm Tail / physiology*
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Spermatozoa


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins