The katanin A-subunits KATNA1 and KATNAL1 act co-operatively in mammalian meiosis and spermiogenesis to achieve male fertility

Jessica E.M. Dunleavy, Maddison Graffeo, Kathryn Wozniak, Anne E. O'Connor, D. Jo Merriner, Joseph Nguyen, Ralf B. Schittenhelm, Brendan J. Houston, Moira K. O'Bryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Katanins, a class of microtubule-severing enzymes, are potent M-phase regulators in oocytes and somatic cells. How the complex and evolutionarily crucial, male mammalian meiotic spindle is sculpted remains unknown. Here, using multiple single and double gene knockout mice, we reveal that the canonical katanin A-subunit KATNA1 and its close paralogue KATNAL1 together execute multiple aspects of meiosis. We show KATNA1 and KATNAL1 collectively regulate the male meiotic spindle, cytokinesis and midbody abscission, in addition to diverse spermatid remodelling events, including Golgi organisation, and acrosome and manchette formation. We also define KATNAL1-specific roles in sperm flagellum development, manchette regulation and sperm-epithelial disengagement. Finally, using proteomic approaches, we define the KATNA1, KATNAL1 and KATNB1 mammalian testis interactome, which includes a network of cytoskeletal and vesicle trafficking proteins. Collectively, we reveal that the presence of multiple katanin A-subunit paralogs in mammalian spermatogenesis allows for 'customised cutting' via neofunctionalisation and protective buffering via gene redundancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdev201956
Number of pages17
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Acrosome
  • Axoneme
  • Head-to-tail coupling apparatus
  • Katanin
  • Manchette
  • Meiotic spindle
  • Microtubule severing
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Spermiation
  • Vesicle transport

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