[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PIASx belongs to the PIAS protein family, the members of which modulate activities of several transcription factors and act as E3 ligases in the sumoylation pathway. The PIASx gene is highly expressed in testis, suggesting a role in spermatogenesis. To investigate the function of PIASx in vivo, we have disrupted the PIASx gene in mice. Interestingly, the knockout mice were viable and fertile. Despite the normal fertility, the testis weight of the mutant animals was reduced and their number of apoptotic testicular cells was increased. Also, the sperm count of mutant mice tended to be reduced, but the quality of their sperm cells was normal. No significant changes were observed in the serum levels of LH and FSH or in the intratesticular testosterone concentration between the knockout animals and their wild-type littermates. Compensatory increases in other PIAS protein mRNAs were not observed in the knockout mice. These results imply that PIASx is required quantitatively rather than qualitatively for normal spermatogenesis.