Caenorhabditis elegans sperm membrane protein interactome

Matthew R. Marcello, Marina Druzhinina, Andrew Singson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The interaction and organization of proteins in the sperm membrane are important for all aspects of sperm function. We have determined the interactions between 12 known mutationally defined and cloned sperm membrane proteins in a model system for reproduction, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Identification of the interactions between sperm membrane proteins will improve our understanding of and ability to characterize defects in sperm function. To identify interacting proteins, we conducted a split-ubiquitin membrane yeast two-hybrid analysis of gene products identified through genetic screens that are necessary for sperm function and predicted to encode transmembrane proteins. Our analysis revealed novel interactions between sperm membrane proteins known to have roles in spermatogenesis, spermiogenesis, and fertilization. For example, we found that a protein known to play a role in sperm function during fertilization, SPE-38 (a predicted four pass transmembrane protein), interacts with proteins necessary for spermiogenesis and spermatogenesis and could serve as a central organizing protein in the plasma membrane. These novel interaction pairings will provide the foundation for investigating previously unrealized membrane protein interactions during spermatogenesis, spermiogenesis, and sperm function during fertilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)776-783
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


  • Gamete biology
  • Gametogenesis
  • Sperm
  • Sperm maturation
  • Spermatid
  • Spermatocyte


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