The SEPT12 complex is required for the establishment of a functional sperm head-tail junction

Yi Ru Shen, Han Yu Wang, Yung Chieh Tsai, Yung Che Kuo, Shang Rung Wu, Chia Yih Wang, Pao Lin Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The connecting pieces of the sperm neck link the flagellum and the sperm head, and they are important for initiating flagellar beating. The connecting pieces are important building blocks for the sperm neck; however, the mechanism of connecting piece assembly is poorly understood. In the present study, we explored the role of septins in sperm motility and found that Sept12D197N knock-in (KI) mice produce acephalic and immotile spermatozoa. Electron microscopy analysis showed defective connecting pieces in sperm from KI mice, indicating that SEPT12 is required for the establishment of connecting pieces. We also found that SEPT12 formed a complex with SEPT1, SEPT2, SEPT10 and SEPT11 at the sperm neck and that the D197N mutation disrupted the complex, suggesting that the SEPT12 complex is involved in the assembly of connecting pieces. Additionally, we found that SEPT12 interacted and colocalized with γ-tubulin in elongating spermatids, implying that SEPT12 and pericentriolar materials jointly contribute to the formation of connecting pieces. Collectively, our findings suggest that SEPT12 is required for the formation of striated columns, and the capitulum and for maintaining the stability of the sperm head-tail junction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-412
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2020


  • septin / SEPT12 / acephalic sperm / connecting pieces / capitulum / striated columns / male fertility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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