Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Scientific Reports




Article number: 16506

DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

April 2016


Mammalian Spag6 is the orthologue of Chlamydomonas PF16, which encodes a protein localized in the axoneme central apparatus, and regulates flagella/cilia motility. Most Spag6-deficient mice are smaller in size than their littermates. Because SPAG6 decorates microtubules, we hypothesized that SPAG6 has other roles related to microtubule function besides regulating flagellar/cilia motility. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) were isolated from Spag6-deficient and wild-type embryos for these studies. Both primary and immortalizedSpag6-deficient MEFs proliferated at a much slower rate than the wild-type MEFs, and they had a larger surface area. Re-expression of SPAG6 in the Spag6-deficient MEFs rescued the abnormal cell morphology. Spag6-deficient MEFs were less motile than wild-type MEFs, as shown by both chemotactic analysis and wound-healing assays. Spag6-deficient MEFs also showed reduced adhesion associated with a non-polarized F-actin distribution. Multiple centrosomes were observed in theSpag6-deficient MEF cultures. The percentage of cells with primary cilia was significantly reduced compared to the wild-type MEFs, and some Spag6-deficient MEFs developed multiple cilia. Furthermore, SPAG6 selectively increased expression of acetylated tubulin, a microtubule stability marker. The Spag6-deficient MEFs were more sensitive to paclitaxel, a microtubule stabilizer. Our studies reveal new roles for SPAG6 in modulation of cell morphology, proliferation, migration, and ciliogenesis.


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Is Part Of

VCU Obstetrics and Gynecology Publications

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