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Clues To Impaired Male Fertility In Knockout Mouse At Jackson Lab

Date:
June 25, 1997
Source:
The Jackson Laboratory
Summary:
A unique mouse model developed by Jackson Laboratory and Canadian researchers exhibits significantly reduced male fertility, suggesting a critical role in reproduction and early embryonic development for the knocked-out gene product known as PC4.
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BAR HARBOR -- A unique mouse model developed by Jackson Laboratory and Canadian researchers exhibits significantly reduced male fertility, suggesting a critical role in reproduction and early embryonic development for the knocked-out gene product known as PC4 (proprotein convertase 4).


The results are reported in the June 24, 1997, issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by Majambu Mbikay of the Clinical Research Institute of Montreal at the University of Montreal, Elizabeth M. Simpson of The Jackson Laboratory, and their colleagues. Title of the report is "Impaired Fertility in Mice Deficient for the Testicular Germ-Cell Protease PC4."


PC4 is a member of the proprotein convertase family of serine proteases that function in mammals to mature a variety of precursor proteins -- including prohormones, proneuropeptides, cell surface receptors, and viral surface glycoproteins -- into peptides and bioactive proteins that modulate cell growth and differentiation in development.


Although some of the seven known proprotein convertases have been found to be ubiquitously expressed in the tissues of rodents and mice, PC4 has only been detected in testicular germ cells. That limited expression made PC4 a logical candidate for developing the first mouse mutant with a deficiency in a proprotein convertase. The researchers disrupted the PC4 locus (Pcsk4) by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells to produce mice carrying the mutation.


The results reported in PNAS suggest that PC4 in the male may be important for achieving fertilization and for supporting early embryonic development in mice. Several precursor proteins, or glycoproteins, are produced in spermatocytes and spermatids, and one theory is that possible failure by PC4-deficient testicular germ cells to properly process those proteins may render them incompetent for fertilization.


Co-authors of the PNAS report include Haidy Tadros, Andrew Chen, Nabil G. Seidah, and Michel Chretien, Clinical Research Institute of Montreal, University of Montreal; Norito Ishida, Eve de Lamirande, and Claude Gagnon, Urology Research Laboratory, McGill University, Montreal; Mohamed El-Alfy and Yves Clermont, Department of Anatomy, McGill University; and Charlie P. Lerner, The Jackson Laboratory.


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The above story is based on materials provided by The Jackson Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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The Jackson Laboratory. "Clues To Impaired Male Fertility In Knockout Mouse At Jackson Lab." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/06/970625092710.htm>.
The Jackson Laboratory. (1997, June 25). Clues To Impaired Male Fertility In Knockout Mouse At Jackson Lab. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/06/970625092710.htm
The Jackson Laboratory. "Clues To Impaired Male Fertility In Knockout Mouse At Jackson Lab." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/06/970625092710.htm (accessed May 24, 2015).

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