TMF/ARA160 is known to be a TATA element Modulatory Factor (TMF). It was initially identified as a DNA-binding factor and a coactivator of the Androgen receptor. It was also characterized as a Golgi-associated protein, which is essential for acrosome formation during functional sperm development. However, the molecular roles of TMF in this intricate process have not been revealed. Here, we show that during spermiogenesis, TMF undergoes a dynamic change of localization throughout the Golgi apparatus. Specifically, TMF translocates from the cis-Golgi to the trans-Golgi network and to the emerging vesicles surface, as the round spermatids develop. Notably, lack of TMF led to an abnormal spatial orientation of the Golgi and to the deviation of the trans-Golgi surface away from the nucleus of the developing round spermatids. Concomitantly, pro-acrosomal vesicles derived from the TMF-/- Golgi lacked targeting properties and did not tether to the spermatid nuclear membrane thereby failing to form the acrosome anchoring scaffold, the acroplaxome, around the cellnucleus. Absence of TMF also perturbed the positioning of microtubules, which normally lie in proximity to the Golgi and are important for maintaining Golgi spatial orientation and dynamics and for chromatoid body formation, which is impaired in TMF-/- spermatids. In-silico evaluation combined with molecular and electron microscopic analyses revealed the presence of a microtubule interacting domain (MIT) in TMF, and confirmed the association of TMF with microtubules in spermatogenic cells. Furthermore, the MIT domain in TMF, along with microtubules integrity, are required for stable association of TMF with the Golgi apparatus. Collectively, we show here for the first time that a Golgi and microtubules associated protein is crucial for maintaining proper Golgi orientation during a cell developmental process.
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This work was supported by a grant from the Ihel Foundation.
© 2015 Elkis et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.