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Microtubule-associated epithelial protein E-MAP-115 is localized in the spermatid manchette


 Jorma Paranko, Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Department of Biology, 20014 University of Turku, Finland. E-mail:


A microtubule-associated protein E-MAP-115 has been originally isolated and characterized from HeLa cells. Because of its predominant expression in cultured cells of epithelial origin, it has been suggested to be involved in the regulation of cell polarization. The present immunocytochemical, Northern blot and in situ hybridization analysis of E-MAP-115 in the mouse and rat seminiferous epithelium indicates its distinct association with the spermatid manchette, a unique microtubular structure which appears in the cytoplasm of spermatids at step 8 when nuclear polarization and elongation starts. At steps 15–16 when manchette has been disassembled, immunoreactivity for E-MAP-115 disappeared. At immunoelectron microscopical level, E-MAP-15 was associated with the microtubules of the manchette. In the Western and Northern blot analysis, a distinct stage-dependent expression of a single E-MAP-115 polypeptide and two mRNA species (3.4 and 2.4 kb) could be identified. MTEST 60, a spermatid-specific transcript, showed a 100% homology over region of 68–193 bp of E-MAP-115 sequence. The reported specific localization of E-MAP-115 to the spermatid manchette strongly supports its role as a regulator of cell polarization. This, in turn, supports the hypotheses concerning the dynamic function of the manchette during spermiogenesis.