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Vol 56(2022) N 4 p. 543-550; DOI 10.1134/S002689332204015X Full Text

Y. Xiao1, Z.Z. Wen2, B. Wu1, H.X. Zhu1, A.Z. Zhang1*, J.Y. Li3, J.G. Gao1,2**

Deletion of Aldh4a1 Leads to Impaired Sperm Maturation in Mice

1School of Life Science and Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Experimental Teratology, Shandong University, Jinan, 250100 P.R. China
2Medical Science and Technology Innovation Center, Shandong First Medical University, Jinan, 250117 P.R. China
3Key Laboratory of Male Reproductive Health, Institute of Science and Technology, National Health Commission, Beijing, 100081 P.R. China

*aizhenzhang@126.com
**jggao@sdu.edu.cn
Received - 2021-10-09; Revised - 2022-02-09; Accepted - 2022-02-15

ALDH4A1, a member of the aldehyde dehydrogenase superfamily, is a key enzyme in the mitochondrial proline metabolism pathway. Recent studies have shown that mutations in aldh4a1 lead to reduced fertility and reproductive premature aging of male nematodes. However, the effect of ALDH4A1 on fertility of male mice has not been studied. In this study, we used CRISPR-Cas9 technology to construct a knockout mouse model of Aldh4a1 for the first time to explore the effect of this gene on the reproduction of male mice. The results showed that compared with WT male mice, Aldh4a1-/- male mice were fertile, had normal spermatogenesis but defect in sperm maturation in the epididymis documented by impaired motility, increased morphological abnormalities and increased spontaneous acrosome reaction. In addition, transmission electron microscopy showed vacuoles in the sperm mitochondria, and fracture in the neck of sperms and vacuoles in these mice. These results revealed that ALDH4A1 plays a vital role in the structure of sperm flagellum and the process of sperm maturation in mice.

ALDH4A1, sperm maturation, CRISPR-Cas9, mitochondria, mouse model



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