The reversible lipid modification, S-palmitoylation, plays regulatory roles in various physiological processes, e.g., neuronal plasticity and organs development; however, the roles of palmitoylation engaged in testis have yet remained unexplored. Here, we used combined approaches of palm-proteomics, informatics and quantitative PCR to systematically analyze the expression of key enzymes related to protein palmitoylation and identify proteome-wide palmitoylated proteins during the processes of spermatogenesis. Specifically, different timepoints were chosen to collect samples to cover the initiation of meiosis (postnatal, P12), the appearance of the first batch of sperm (P36) and fully fertile status (P60) in mouse. Interestingly, our results showed that only a few enzymes related to protein palmitoylation are highly expressed at later stages (from P36 to P60), rather than in the earlier phase of testis development (P12). To focus on the molecular event of spermatogenesis, we examined the palm-proteomics of testes in P36 and P60 mouse. In total, we identified 4,883 palmitoylated proteins, among which 3,310 proteins match the published palmitoyl-proteome datasets and 1,573 proteins were firstly identified as palmitoylated proteins in this study. Informatics analysis suggested that palmitoylation is involved in events of protein transport, metabolic process, protein folding and cell adhesion, etc. Importantly, further analysis revealed that several networks of palmitoylated proteins are closely associated with sperm morphology and motility. Together, our study laid a solid ground for understanding the roles of protein palmitoylation in spermatogenesis for future studies.
Keywords: APTs; Mouse testis; S-palmitoylation; Spermatogenesis; ZDHHCs.
© 2022. Society for Reproductive Investigation.