SOX30 is required for male fertility in mice

Chun Wei Allen Feng, Cassy Spiller, Donna J. Merriner, Moira K. O'Bryan, Josephine Bowles, Peter Koopman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Male infertility is a major and growing problem and, in most cases, the specific root cause is unknown. Here we show that the transcription factor SOX30 plays a critical role in mouse spermatogenesis. Sox30-null mice are healthy and females are fertile, but males are sterile. In the absence of Sox30 meiosis initiates normally in both sexes but, in males, germ cell development arrests during the post-meiotic round spermatid period. In the mutant testis, acrosome and axoneme development are aberrant, multinucleated germ cells (symplasts) form and round spermatids unable to process beyond step 3 of spermiogenesis. No elongated spermatids nor spermatozoa are produced. Thus, Sox30 represents a rare example of a gene for which loss of function results in a complete arrest of spermatogenesis at the onset of spermiogenesis. Our results suggest that SOX30 mutations may underlie some instances of unexplained non-obstructive azoospermia in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17619
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Cite this