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Development 1995 Feb 01;1212:561-8.
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Identification of a germ-cell-specific transcriptional repressor in the promoter of Tctex-1.

O'Neill MJ , Artzt K .

The Tctex-1 gene family maps to the t complex of the mouse and consists of four copies on chromosome 17 in both wild-type and t-haplotypes. Tctex-1 mRNA is eightfold overexpressed in male and female germ cells in t-haplotype compound heterozygotes (tx/ty). In order to determine the cause of this aberrant expression and the role of this gene family in spermatogenesis and oogenesis it was subjected to extensive molecular analysis. We find that Tctex-1 protein is present in sperm tails and oocytes and that it is present at equal levels in wild-type and t-haplotype testis. Surprisingly, the excess message in t-haplotypes is not translated. Sequence analysis of the gene family reveals that one copy in t-haplotypes has a mutated start codon. This same copy is deleted for a protein-binding motif in its promoter. This motif, GIM (Germ cell Inhibitory Motif) has strong homology to the Xenopus AP-2-binding site but does not appear to be a binding site for mammalian AP-2. A factor(s) present in testis and ovary, but absent in other mouse tissues binds specifically to this site. Transfection assays using Tctex-1 promoter constructs suggest that GIM functions as a transcriptional repressor. The possible role of Tctex-1 in t complex transmission ratio distortion and sterility is discussed.

PubMed ID: 7768192

Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: dynlt1 tfap2a