Tag Content
UniProt Accession
Theoretical PI
Molecular Weight
14945 Da  
Genbank Nucleotide ID
Genbank Protein ID
Gene Name
Gene Synonyms/Alias
Mcs, Mcsp 
Protein Name
Sperm mitochondrial-associated cysteine-rich protein 
Protein Synonyms/Alias
Mus musculus (Mouse) 
NCBI Taxonomy ID
Chromosome Location
View in Ensembl genome browser  
Function in Stage
Function in Cell Type
Probability (GAS) of Function in Spermatogenesis
The probability was calculated by GAS algorithm, ranging from 0 to 1. The closer it is to 1, the more possibly it functions in spermatogenesis.
Temporarily unavailable 
Abstract of related literatures
1. We have characterized cDNA clones encoding the selenium-containing polypeptide of the keratinous mitochondrial capsule in mouse sperm. The longest open reading frame encodes a polypeptide 143 amino acids long which contains 21% cysteine and 27% proline and closely resembles the size and amino acid composition of bull mitochondrial capsule seleno-protein (V. Pallini, B. Baccetti, and A. G. Burrini, 1979, in "The Spermatozoon," D. W. Fawcett and J. M. Bedford, Eds., pp. 141-151, Urban & Schwartzenberg, Baltimore/Munich). The reading frame encoding the mitochondrial capsule seleno-protein ends with an amber stop codon suggesting that selenium is not incorporated cotranslationally into the protein by an opal suppressor selenocysteyl-tRNA as has been found for several eukaryotic and bacterial proteins. Northern blots using RNA extracted from purified spermatogenic cells and staged prepuberal mice suggest that the mitochondrial capsule seleno-protein mRNA is first transcribed in late meiotic cells and that the levels of the mRNA increase after meiosis in early haploid cells. Southern blots demonstrate that there is one copy of the gene in the mouse genome. The identification of this cDNA clone, in combination with previous work (K. C. Kleene, 1989, Development 106, 367-373) demonstrates that the mRNA for the mitochondrial capsule seleno-protein is translationally repressed with long homogenous poly(A) tracts in round spermatids and translationally active with shortened heterogenous poly(A) tracts in elongating spermatids. PMID: [2303168] 

2. The mitochondrial selenoprotein is a major structural protein of the keratinous mitochondrial capsule in mammalian sperm, a structure that functions in shaping mitochondria into the helical sheath surrounding the flagellum. A cDNA clone (Kleene et al., 1990) was isolated previously encoding a protein whose predicted size and amino acid content of > 20% cysteine and proline closely resembled a selenoprotein in the bull mitochondrial capsule. The sequences of additional cDNAs and genomic DNA reported here reveal that the mouse mitochondrial capsule selenoprotein reading frame begins 54 codons further upstream than previously reported. Significantly, these 54 codons contain three in-phase UGA codons, which normally signify stop but encode selenocysteine in bacterial and mammalian selenoproteins. The coding region of the mitochondrial capsule selenoprotein gene is interrupted by a single intron. S1 mapping and primer extension demonstrate that the vast majority of MCS mRNAs are spliced using consensus 5' and 3' slice junctions in mammalian cells. However, two cDNAs have been identified that apparently represent rare mRNA variants produced by use of cryptic splice sites. PMID: [1418626] 

3. This study describes comprehensive polling of transcription start and termination sites and analysis of previously unidentified full-length complementary DNAs derived from the mouse genome. We identify the 5' and 3' boundaries of 181,047 transcripts with extensive variation in transcripts arising from alternative promoter usage, splicing, and polyadenylation. There are 16,247 new mouse protein-coding transcripts, including 5154 encoding previously unidentified proteins. Genomic mapping of the transcriptome reveals transcriptional forests, with overlapping transcription on both strands, separated by deserts in which few transcripts are observed. The data provide a comprehensive platform for the comparative analysis of mammalian transcriptional regulation in differentiation and development. PMID: [16141072] 

4. The National Institutes of Health's Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) project was designed to generate and sequence a publicly accessible cDNA resource containing a complete open reading frame (ORF) for every human and mouse gene. The project initially used a random strategy to select clones from a large number of cDNA libraries from diverse tissues. Candidate clones were chosen based on 5'-EST sequences, and then fully sequenced to high accuracy and analyzed by algorithms developed for this project. Currently, more than 11,000 human and 10,000 mouse genes are represented in MGC by at least one clone with a full ORF. The random selection approach is now reaching a saturation point, and a transition to protocols targeted at the missing transcripts is now required to complete the mouse and human collections. Comparison of the sequence of the MGC clones to reference genome sequences reveals that most cDNA clones are of very high sequence quality, although it is likely that some cDNAs may carry missense variants as a consequence of experimental artifact, such as PCR, cloning, or reverse transcriptase errors. Recently, a rat cDNA component was added to the project, and ongoing frog (Xenopus) and zebrafish (Danio) cDNA projects were expanded to take advantage of the high-throughput MGC pipeline. PMID: [15489334] 

5. The outer membranes of mitochondria of mammalian sperm are encased in a keratinous structure known as the mitochondrial capsule. The experiments in the present study were designed to resolve a controversy surrounding the intracellular localization, developmental expression, and selenium-content of a cysteine-rich 17-20 kD protein that has been reported to constitute the major structural protein in the mitochondrial capsule of mammals. An antibody to a synthetic oligopeptide based on the predicted sequence of mouse cysteinerich protein recognizes a 24 kD protein in epididymal sperm tails of mice. The 24 kD protein does not appear to be a selenoprotein because: (1) it is not labeled with 75Se-selenite in seminiferous tubule culture; (2) cleavage with cyanogen bromide and translation of T7 RNA polymerase transcripts in vitro indicate that the translation start site is located downstream of potential UGA selenocysteine codons in the mouse cysteine-rich mRNA; (3) the reading frame encoding the cysteine-rich protein in rat lacks inphase UGA selenocysteine codons. Light and electron microscopy immunocytochemistry detects the cysteine-rich protein first during step 11 of spermiogenesis in the mouse demonstrating that the cysteine-rich protein mRNA is under temporal translational control. Electron microscope immunocytochemistry reveals that the cysteine-rich protein is evenly distributed in the cytoplasm in spermatids in steps 11 through early step 16 in mouse, and that it is associated with the outer mitochondrial membranes of spermatids in late step 16 and epididymal spermatozoa. PMID: [8916043] 

6. Mitochondrial capsule selenoprotein (MCS) has been known as a structural protein of the mitochondrial sheath in spermatozoa. In this study, to determine the expression pattern of MCS mRNA in the mouse testis after puberty, in situ hybridization using digoxigenin-labeled RNA probes for MCS was performed in the testes of 8- and 20-week-old ICR mice. In the testes of both ages, MCS mRNA first appeared in step 3 round spermatids, gradually increased during early spermiogenesis, and persisted a high level until step 14 spermatids. After the step 14 spermatids, the signal began to decline and was weakly detected in steps 15-16 spermatids. On the other hand, compared with that in the testes of 8-week-old mice, MCS mRNA level in the testes of 20-week-old mice increased over 2-fold at stages VI-III, while it slightly increased at stages IV-V. These findings suggest that MCS gene transcription may be up-regulated after puberty in the mouse testis. PMID: [9409512] 

7. The sperm mitochondria-associated cysteine-rich protein (SMCP) is a cysteine- and proline-rich structural protein that is closely associated with the keratinous capsules of sperm mitochondria in the mitochondrial sheath surrounding the outer dense fibers and axoneme. To investigate the function of SMCP, we generated mice with a targeted disruption of the gene Smcp by homologous recombination. Homozygous mutant males on a mixed genetic background (C57BL/6J x 129/Sv) are fully fertile, while they are infertile on the 129/Sv background, although spermatogenesis and mating are normal. Homozygous Smcp(-/-) female mice are fertile on both genetic backgrounds. Electron microscopical examination demonstrated normal structures of sperm head, mitochondria, and tail. In vivo experiments with sperm of Smcp(-/-) 129/Sv mice revealed that the migration of spermatozoa from the uterus into the oviduct is reduced. This result is supported by the observation that sperm motility as determined by the computer-assisted semen analysis system (CASA) is significantly affected as compared to wild-type spermatozoa. In vitro fertilization assays showed that Smcp-deficient spermatozoa are able to bind to the oocyte but that the number of fertilized eggs is reduced by more than threefold relative to the wild-type control. However, removal of the zona pellucida resulted in an unaffected sperm-egg fusion which was monitored by the presence of pronuclei and generation of blastocyts. These results indicate that the infertility of the male Smcp(-/-) mice on the 129/Sv background is due to reduced motility of the spermatozoa and decreased capability of the spermatozoa to penetrate oocytes. PMID: [11940662] 

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Involved in sperm motility. Its absence is associatedwith genetic background dependent male infertility. Infertilitymay be due to reduced sperm motility in the female reproductivetract and inability to penetrate the oocyte zona pellucida. 
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Subcellular Location
Cytoplasm. Mitochondrion membrane;Peripheral membrane protein; Cytoplasmic side (Potential).Note=Becomes associated with the spermatid mitochondrion capsuleat step 16 of spermatogenesis. 
Tissue Specificity
Testis. Is selectively expressed in thespermatids of seminiferous tubules. 
Gene Ontology
GO IDGO termEvidence
GO:0005741 C:mitochondrial outer membrane TAS:MGI.
GO:0007339 P:binding of sperm to zona pellucida IGI:MGI.
GO:0007341 P:penetration of zona pellucida IMP:MGI.
GO:0030317 P:sperm motility IDA:UniProtKB.
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Created Date
Record Type
GAS predicted 
Sequence Annotation
CHAIN         1    143       Sperm mitochondrial-associated cysteine-
                             rich protein.
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Nucleotide Sequence
Length: 848 bp   Go to nucleotide: FASTA
Protein Sequence
Length: 143 bp   Go to amino acid: FASTA
The verified Protein-Protein interaction information
Gene Symbol Ref Databases
Other Protein-Protein interaction resources
String database  
View Microarray data