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Transmission ratio distortion in the mouse is caused by several t-complex distorters (Tcds) acting in trans on the t-complex responder (Tcr). Tcds additively affect the flagellar movement of all spermatozoa derived from t/+ males; sperm carrying Tcr are rescued, resulting in an advantage for t sperm in fertilization. Here we show that Tagap1, a GTPase-activating protein, can act as a distorter. Tagap1 maps to the Tcd1 interval and has four t loci, which encode altered proteins including a C-terminally truncated form. Overexpression of wild-type Tagap1 in sperm cells phenocopied Tcd function, whereas a loss-of-function Tagap1 allele reduced the transmission rate of the t6 haplotype. The combined data strongly suggest that the t loci of Tagap1 produce Tcd1a. Our results unravel the molecular nature of a Tcd and demonstrate the importance of small G proteins in transmission ratio distortion in the mouse.


Hermann Bauer, Jürgen Willert, Birgit Koschorz, Bernhard G Herrmann. The t complex-encoded GTPase-activating protein Tagap1 acts as a transmission ratio distorter in mice. Nature genetics. 2005 Sep;37(9):969-73

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PMID: 16116428

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