Nemo-like kinase promotes etoposide-induced apoptosis of male germ cell-derived GC-1 cells in vitro.
1State Key Laboratory of Medical Molecular Biology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
Spermatogenesis is an extremely intricate process that is tightly regulated and orchestrated by a series of well-coordinated gene expression programmes. Nemo-like kinase (NLK) is an evolutionarily conserved serine/threonine kinase that functions in a wide variety of developmental events. Nevertheless, the function of NLK in spermatogenesis has not been investigated. In this study, we found that the distribution of NLK in mice exhibited a dynamic change during testicular development and gradually became concentrated in the acrosomes of elongated spermatids. NLK overexpression promoted etoposide-induced apoptosis of male germ cell-derived GC-1 cells, while knockdown of NLK by RNA interference (RNAi) attenuated etoposide-induced apoptosis. Our findings suggest that NLK plays an important role in etoposide-induced germ cell apoptosis and may be associated with spermatogenesis.