Ann O. Sperry, Ph.D.

Ann O. Sperry


office: Brody 7N-59A
phone: 252-744-2841

B.S., Texas A&M University
Ph.D., Rice University
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Studies in our laboratory are focused on how the cell’s cytoskeleton changes during growth and differentiation. We utilize mammalian spermatogenesis as a model system to understand how molecular motors and regulatory proteins participate in the dramatic morphological changes that occur as the round male germ cell precursor cell transforms into the highly polar sperm.

During spermatogenesis, the microtubule cytoskeleton rearranges to form the mitotic and meiotic spindles as well as a forming a microtubule structure that is unique to the male germ cell, the manchette. The manchette is a remarkable structure that participates in sperm head shaping and redistribution of spermatid cytoplasm through the proposed action of molecular motor proteins. We have identified a potential regulatory protein that is associated with the spermatid nucleus and centrosome during spermatid development. We are currently testing our hypothesis that this newly identified protein is involved in biogenesis of the flagellum in male germ cells and in cilia in other cell types.

Selected Publications

Sperry, A.O., and L.-P.Zhao. 1996. Kinesin-related proteins in the mammalian testes: candidate motors for meiosis and morphogenesis. Mol. Biol. Cell 7: 289-305.

Navolanic, P.M. and A.O. Sperry. 2000. Identification of isoforms of a mitotic motor in mammalian spermatogenesis. Biol. Reprod. 62: 1360-1369.

Zou, Y., C.F. Millette, and A.O. Sperry. 2002. KRP3A and KRP3B: candidate motors for spermatid maturation in the seminiferous epithelium. Biol. Reprod. 66: 843-855.

Yang, W.-X., and A.O. Sperry. 2003. C-Terminal kinesin motor KIFC1 participates in acrosome biogenesis and vesicle transport. Biol. Reprod. 69:1719-1729.

Zhang, Y. and A.O. Sperry. 2004. Comparative analysis of two C-terminal kinesin motor proteins: KIFC1 and KIFC5A. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 58:213-230.

Yang, W.-X., H. Jefferson, and A.O. Sperry. 2006. The molecular motor KIFC1 associates with a complex containing nucleoporin NUP62 that is regulated during development and by the small GTPase RAN. Biol. Reprod. 74: 684-690.

Nath, S., E. Bananis, S. Sarkar, J.W. Murray, R.J. Stockert, A.O. Sperry, and A.W. Wolkoff. 2007. Kif5B and Kifc1 interact and are required for motility and fission of early endocytic vesicles in mouse liver. Mol. Biol. Cell 18: 1839–1849.

Sickles, D.W., A.O. Sperry, A. Testino, and M. Friedman. 2007. Acrylamide effects on kinesin-related proteins of the mitotic/meiotic spindle. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 22: 111–121.

Wang, R., and A.O. Sperry. 2008. Identification of a novel leucine-rich repeat protein and candidate PP1 regulatory subunit expressed in developing spermatids. BMC Cell Biol. 9:9.

Wang, R., A. Kaul, and A.O. Sperry. 2010. TLRR (lrrc67) interacts with PP1 and is associated with a cytoskeletal complex in the testis. Biol. Cell. 102:173–189.

Wang, R. and A.O. Sperry. 2011. PP1 forms an active complex with TLRR (lrrc67), a putative PP1 regulatory subunit, during the early stages of spermiogenesis in mice. PLoS ONE 6:e21767.

Sperry, A.O. 2012. The dynamic cytoskeleton of the developing male germ cell. Biol. Cell 104: 297-305.

DeVaul, N. R. Wang, and A.O. Sperry. 2013. PPP1R42, a PP1 binding protein, regulates centrosome dynamics in ARPE-19 cells. Biol Cell. 105:359-71.

View PubMed Publications for further listings

Current Funding

"Protein Phosphatase-1: A Molecular Switch for Centrosome Fate in Spermatogenesis"; Ann O. Sperry, Principal Investigator; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; 5/10/2014-4/30/2017.

Staff and Students

Location: 7N-59 and 7N-90

Name Title Phone Email
Katerina Koloustroubis Undergraduate Student 252-744-2861
Rong Wang Research Technician 252-744-2861

Former Students and Post-Doctoral Fellows

Name Title Location
Nicole Devaul, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD
Kristjan Thompson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Medicine, Mercer University, Savannah, GA
Wan-Xi Yang, Ph.D. Associate Professor College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hanzhou, China
Yuguo Zhang, Ph.D.   Raleigh, NC