Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology

Ubiquitin-specific protease activity of USP9Y, a male infertility gene on the Y chromosome

Kyung Ho Lee A , Gyun Jee Song B , Inn Soo Kang B , Soo Woong Kim C , Jae-Seung Paick C , Chin Ha Chung A and Kunsoo Rhee A D

A School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.

B Samsung Cheil Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine, Seoul 100-380, Korea.

C Department of Urology, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 110-799, Korea.

D To whom correspondence should be addressed. email:

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 15(2) 129-133
Submitted: 6 January 2003  Accepted: 7 April 2003   Published: 7 April 2003


Deletions of USP9Y have been observed among infertile males with defective spermatogenesis. Therefore, the gene has been designated as a male infertility gene on the Y chromosome. However, it remains to be determined how male infertility results from deletions of this gene. In order to initiate an investigation into the cellular functions of USP9Y in male germ cell development, in the present study we characterized the enzymatic specificity of USP9Y. Our results show that both USP9Y and Fam, the mouse infertility protein Usp9x, possess a protease activity specific to ubiquitin. These results suggest that, through de-ubiquitination, USP9Y may stabilize a specific target protein that is important for male germ cell development.

Extra keywords Fam


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