The WD40-protein CFAP52/WDR16 is a centrosome/basal body protein and localizes to the manchette and the flagellum in male germ cells
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Development of spermatozoa requires remodelling and formation of particular structures. In elongating spermatids, the transient microtubular manchette contributes to the formation of the head–tail coupling apparatus (HTCA) and the sperm tail. The HTCA derives from the centrosome in that the proximal centriole inserts into the nuclear indentation and the distal centriole gives rise to the sperm flagellum. Although impairments in the formation of HTCA and sperm tail cause male infertility their molecular constituents are only partially known. The WD40-protein CFAP52 is implicated in motile cilia, but its relevance for male germ cell differentiation is not known. Here we show that CFAP52 is widespread expressed and localizes to a subset of microtubular structures. In male germ cells, CFAP52 is a component of the transient manchette and the sperm tail. However, expression of Cfap52 is not restricted to motile cilia-bearing cells. In NIH3T3 cells, CFAP52 localizes to the centrosome, the basal body, and the mitotic spindle poles, but not to the primary cilium. Our results demonstrate that CFAP52 is not restricted to motile cilia but instead most likely functions in constituting the centrosome/basal body matrix and the sperm tail.
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