We used differential display in combination with complementary DNA (cDNA) cloning approach to isolate a novel rat gene designated as spetex-1, which had an open reading frame of 1,668-length nucleotides encoding a protein of 556 amino acids. Spetex-1 mRNA was highly expressed in testis, and weekly expressed in lung, intestine, and spleen. Spetex-1 expression in the rat testes was detected first at 3 weeks in postnatal development and continued to be detected up to adulthood. A search in the databases showed that the amino acid sequence of spetex-1 was 82% identical to that of its mouse homologue found in the databases. Both rat spetex-1 and the mouse homologue contained Ser-X (X = His, Arg, or Asn) repeats in the middle portion of the proteins. In situ hybridization revealed that spetex-1 mRNA was expressed in haploid spermatids of step 7-18 within the seminiferous epithelium. Immunohistochemical analysis with confocal laser-scanning microscopy demonstrated that spetex-1 protein was not expressed in spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and round spermatids in adult rat testis, but was specifically detected in the residual cytoplasm of elongate spermat́ids of step 15-18 as well as in residual bodies engulfed by Sertoli cells. We interpreted these data as a potential role of spetex-1 in spermatogenesis, especially in cell differentiation from late elongate spermatids to mature spermatozoa.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology