SF-1/Ad4BP is a transcriptional factor that was originally found to be a mammalian homologue of the Drosophila Ftz-F1 (fushi tarazu factor 1) (Morohashi et al., 1992), and transcribed from a gene designated the Ftz-F1 gene (Nomura et al., 1995). Ftz-F1 gene-deficient mice lack adrenal glands and gonads. Besides mammals, however, the SF-1/Ad4BP cDNA has only been isolated to date in fish and birds. To understand its role(s) for adrenal and gonadal development in vertebrates, cloning of this gene in animals other than mammals is required. In this study, we succeeded to isolate frog (Rana rugosa) SF-1/Ad4BP cDNA from a testis λgt10 cDNA library. It encoded a protein of 468 amino acids, and its open reading frame (ORF) shared 70% similarity with that of chicken OR2.1 (a SF-1/Ad4BP homologue) and 62% with bovine SF-1/Ad4BP. SF-1/Ad4BP mRNA was expressed in the testes, brains, adrenals/kidneys and spleens, but not ovaries, of adult frogs. In addition, we also cloned the 5'-untranslated region (4.6 kb) of the SF-1/Ad4BP gene with exons I and II. Genomic structure analysis revealed that frog SF- 1/Ad4BP was also transcribed from the same gene as that of mammals. However, many Ftz-F1-related proteins have been reported so far. The Ftz-F1 gene does not encode all of those Ftz-F1-related proteins. Thus, the name of Ftz-F1 is not adequate for the gene coding SF-1/Ad4BP. Here, we propose the use of SF- 1/Ad4BP instead of Ftz-F1 for the gene that encodes SF-1/Ad4BP in vertebrates.
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