Multiple morphological abnormalities of the sperm flagella (MMAF) are the most severe form of asthenozoospermia due to impaired axoneme structure in sperm flagella. Dynein arms are necessary components of the sperm flagellar axoneme. In this study, we recruited 3 unrelated consanguineous Pakistani families with multiple MMAF-affected individuals, who had no overt ciliary symptoms. Whole-exome sequencing and Sanger sequencing identified 2 cilia and flagella associated protein 57 (CFAP57) loss-of-function mutations (c.2872C>T, p. R958*; and c.2737C>T, p. R913*) recessively segregating with male infertility. A mouse model mimicking the mutation (c.2872C>T) was generated and recapitulated the typical MMAF phenotype of CFAP57-mutated individuals. Both CFAP57 mutations caused loss of the long transcript-encoded CFAP57 protein in spermatozoa from MMAF-affected individuals or from the Cfap57-mutant mouse model while the short transcript was not affected. Subsequent examinations of the spermatozoa from Cfap57-mutant mice revealed that CFAP57 deficiency disrupted the inner dynein arm (IDA) assembly in sperm flagella and that single-headed IDAs were more likely to be affected. Thus, our study identified 2 pathogenic mutations in CFAP57 in MMAF-affected individuals and reported a conserved and pivotal role for the long transcript-encoded CFAP57 in IDAs’ assembly and male fertility.
Ao Ma, Jianteng Zhou, Haider Ali, Tanveer Abbas, Imtiaz Ali, Zubair Muhammad, Sobia Dil, Jing Chen, Xiongheng Huang, Hui Ma, Daren Zhao, Beibei Zhang, Yuanwei Zhang, Wasim Shah, Basit Shah, Ghulam Murtaza, Furhan Iqbal, Muzammil Ahmad Khan, Asad Khan, Qing Li, Bo Xu, Limin Wu, Huan Zhang, Qinghua Shi