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Lack of Acrosome Formation in Hrb-Deficient Mice

Science  16 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5546, pp. 1531-1533
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063665

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Abstract

The sperm acrosome is essential for sperm-egg fusion and is often defective in men with nonobstructive infertility. Here we report that male mice with a null mutation in Hrb are infertile and display round-headed spermatozoa that lack an acrosome. In wild-type spermatids, Hrb is associated with the cytosolic surface of proacrosomic transport vesicles that fuse to create a single large acrosomic vesicle at step 3 of spermiogenesis. Although proacrosomic vesicles form in spermatids that lack Hrb, the vesicles are unable to fuse, blocking acrosome development at step 2. We conclude that Hrb is required for docking and/or fusion of proacrosomic vesicles during acrosome biogenesis.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: vandeursen.jan{at}mayo.edu

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