- ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
The large number of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) now available in databases has enabled the analysis of gene expression profiles in silico. We searched public databases for uncharacterized transcripts specifically expressed in germ cells, in an attempt to identify genes involved in gametogenesis. We found a transcript that is expressed in unfertilized eggs, ovaries, and testes of the mouse. It has an open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 167-amino acid protein belonging to the UPF0224 (unknown protein family 0224) family. We called the novel gene Cue110. We examined the Pfam database for other members of the UPF0224 family, and found a conserved N-terminal portion among members of various species. To study the cellular localization of the Cue110 transcript and protein, we performed in situ hybridization and immunohistochemical analysis of the adult mouse ovary and testis. In the testis, specific hybridization signals were observed weakly in preleptotene spermatocytes but maximally in late round spermatids. Immunostaining showed that Cue110 protein was present predominantly in the cytoplasm of pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids. In the ovary, weak hybridization signals were observed in primary oocytes in the primordial, primary, and secondary follicles, but Cue110 protein was not detected in oocytes by immunostaining. We next examined the developmental expression pattern of the Cue110 gene using RT-PCR and western blotting, and found its increasing expression coincided with the appearance of spermatocytes. Thus, the Cue110 gene is expressed predominantly in male germ cells at stages from the pachytene spermatocytes to round spermatids. (C) 2007 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.
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