Small glutamine-rich tetratricopeptide repeat-containing protein α (SGTA) has been implicated as a co-chaperone and regulator of androgen and growth hormone receptor (AR, GHR) signalling. We investigated the functional consequences of partial and full Sgta ablation in vivo using Cre-lox Sgta-null mice. Sgta+/- breeders generated viable Sgta-/- offspring, but at less than Mendelian expectancy. Sgta-/- breeders were subfertile with small litters and higher neonatal death (P < 0.02). Body size was significantly and proportionately smaller in male and female Sgta-/- (vs WT, Sgta+/- P < 0.001) from d19. Serum IGF-1 levels were genotype- and sex-dependent. Food intake, muscle and bone mass and adiposity were unchanged in Sgta-/-. Vital and sex organs had normal relative weight, morphology and histology, although certain androgen-sensitive measures such as penis and preputial size, and testis descent, were greater in Sgta-/-. Expression of AR and its targets remained largely unchanged, although AR localisation was genotype- and tissue-dependent. Generally expression of other TPR-containing proteins was unchanged. In conclusion, this thorough investigation of SGTA-null mutation reports a mild phenotype of reduced body size. The model's full potential likely will be realised by genetic crosses with other models to interrogate the role of SGTA in the many diseases in which it has been implicated.
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