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Mol Reprod Dev. 2004 Mar;67(3):295-302.

Tektin3 encodes an evolutionarily conserved putative testicular microtubules-related protein expressed preferentially in male germ cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Tektins are microtubule-associated cytoskeletal proteins that are expressed primarily in the male germ cell-lineage in centrioles and basal bodies and within ciliary and flagellar doublet microtubules. They are proposed to be important for axonemal architecture and microtubule stability in the sperm tail and in other ciliated and flagellar structures. Using an in silico (electronic database) subtractive approach to identify germ cell-specific genes in vertebrates, we isolated a new member of the Tektin gene family from mice, Tektin3. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Northern blot analyses confirm that Tektin3 encodes a 1.7 kb transcript detectable preferentially in the testes of adult mice. In situ hybridization analysis in the testes revealed Tektin3 mRNA expression exclusively in late pachytene spermatocytes and early round spermatids. The putative TEKTIN3 protein shares 83.5% overall sequence identity with the human ortholog and includes a fully conserved carboxy terminal nonapeptide signature sequence present in all TEKTIN family members. In addition, using database mining, highly conserved TEKTIN3 orthologs were identified in puffer fish (Fugu rubripes) and rats (Rattus norvegicus) which shared 60.9 and 91.4% identity, respectively, with mouse TEKTIN3. The Tekt3 gene maps to murine chromosome 11 in a region that is syntenic to the human 17p12 chromosomal region containing the human TEKTIN3 gene. Our studies demonstrate that TEKTIN3 is a novel evolutionarily conserved male germ cell-enriched protein and suggest that it might perform important roles in male reproductive development and physiology.

Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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