WAVE1, an A-kinase anchoring protein, during mammalian spermatogenesis

Vanesa Y. Rawe*, João Ramalho-Santos, Christopher Payne, Hector E. Chemes, Gerald Schatten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Proper compartmentalization of signalling cascades is paramount to many intracellular activities during spermatogenesis and sperm function. In the present study we focus on the A-kinase-anchoring protein (AKAP) WAVE1, a member of the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WASP) family of adaptor proteins, to study its localization throughout mammalian spermatogenesis. Methods: Using transmission electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry and western blotting, we examined the distribution of WAVE1 and putative partners during mammalian spermatogenesis. The localization and association of PKA RII, the regulatory subunit II of protein kinase A, tyrosine kinase Abl, and small GTPase RAC1 were also explored. Results: WAVE1 localization in spermatocytes and round spermatids coincided with Golgi apparatus distribution, whereas in elongated spermatids and testicular sperm WAVE1 localized to the mitochondrial sheath. Following epididymal passage, WAVE1 was found exclusively on the mitochondrial sheath, suggesting that the protein may function in this region. WAVE1 and PKA RII co-localized along the mitochondrial sheath, PKA RII concentrates in the mid-piece, and RAC1 associated with the post-acrosomal region and the connecting piece. The distribution of WAVE1, PKA RII and RAC1 is conserved in mature mouse, bull, baboon and human sperm. Conclusions: The data support the possibility of a functional signalling unit established by WAVE1 and its associated proteins in the mid-piece of maturing sperm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2594-2604
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • AKAP
  • Golgi
  • Mitochondrial sheath
  • Sperm
  • WAVE1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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