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Int J Urol. 2001 Jun;8(6):308-14.

Expression of Apg-1, a member of the Hsp110 family, in the human testis and sperm.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Apg-1 encodes a heat shock protein belonging to the Hsp110 family and is inducible by a 32 degrees C to 39 degrees C heat shock in somatic cells. In mouse testicular germ cells Apg-1 mRNA is constitutively expressed depending on the developmental stage. As human Apg-1 has recently been identified, the expression of Apg-1 in the human testis and sperm was investigated.

METHODS:

Expression and heat-inducibility of Apg-1 in the human testicular germ cell tumor cell line, NEC8, was analyzed. Using an antimouse Apg-1 antibody, expression of Apg-1 in the human testis and sperm was examined by western blotting after confirmation of the specificity of the antibody. The cells expressing Apg-1 in the testis were further determined by immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS:

Slight induction of Apg-1 mRNA was detected in NEC8 cells after 32 degrees C to 39 degrees C temperature shift. In the human testis, the antibody specifically recognized Apg-1, which was absent in the testis without germ cells (Sertoli-cell-only syndrome) or arrested at spermatogonia. Spermatocytes and spermatids, but not testicular somatic cells, were positively stained with the anti-Apg-1 antibody. By western blot analysis, Apg-1 was detected in the preparation enriched for sperm from normal volunteers and infertile patients, but not from azoospermia patients.

CONCLUSION:

Apg-1 is developmentally expressed in human testicular germ cells and sperm, suggesting its role in spermatogenesis and fertilization. Identification of substrates for Apg-1 chaperone activity will help elucidate its function.

PMID:
11389747
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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