Infertility afflicts up to 15% of couples globally each year with men a contributing factor in 50% of these cases. Globozoospermia is a rare condition found in infertile men, which is characterized by defective acrosome biogenesis leading to the production of round-headed sperm. Here, we report that family with sequence similarity 209 (Fam209) is required for acrosome biogenesis in mouse sperm. FAM209 is a small transmembrane protein conserved among mammals. Loss of Fam209 results in fertility defects that are secondary to abnormalities in acrosome biogenesis during spermiogenesis, reminiscent of globozoospermia. Analysis of the FAM209 proteome identified DPY19L2, whose human orthologue is involved in the majority of globozoospermia cases. Although mutations in human and mouse Dpy19l2 have been shown to cause globozoospermia, no in vivo interacting partners of DPY19L2 have been identified until now. FAM209 colocalizes with DPY19L2 at the inner nuclear membrane to maintain the developing acrosome. Here, we identified FAM209 as the first interacting partner of DPY19L2, and the second protein that is essential for acrosome biogenesis that localizes to the inner nuclear membrane.
Keywords: Acrosome; Dpy19l2; Fam209; Spermiogenesis.
© 2021. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.