CFAP58 is a testis-enriched gene that plays an important role in the sperm flagellogenesis of humans and mice. However, the effect of CFAP58 on bull semen quality and the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in spermatogenesis remain unknown. Here, we identified two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs110610797, A>G and rs133760846, G>T) and one indel (g.-1811_ g.-1810 ins147bp) in the promoter of CFAP58 that were significantly associated with semen quality of bulls, including sperm deformity rate and ejaculate volume. Moreover, by generating gene knockout mice, we found for the first time that the loss of Cfap58 not only causes severe defects in the sperm tail, but also affects the manchette structure, resulting in abnormal sperm head shaping. Cfap58 deficiency causes an increase in spermatozoa apoptosis. Further experiments confirmed that CFAP58 interacts with IFT88 and CCDC42. Moreover, it may be a transported cargo protein that plays a role in stabilizing other cargo proteins, such as CCDC42, in the intra-manchette transport/intra-flagellar transport pathway. Collectively, our findings reveal that CFAP58 is required for spermatogenesis and provide genetic markers for evaluating semen quality in cattle.

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