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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2007 May 30;270(1-2):1-7. Epub 2007 Mar 12.

SP1 transcription factors in male germ cell development and differentiation.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30310-1495, United States. kethomas@msm.edu


Transcription factor SP1 is a zinc finger protein that has been implicated in regulating the expression of several genes involved in cellular differentiation and embryonic development. The zinc finger region of SP1 transcription factors binds to GC or GT-box elements present in the promoters of a number of male germ cell target genes that are developmentally expressed during spermatogenesis. The glutamine and serine/threonine-rich regions of the SP1 proteins recruit co-regulatory factors to the multi-protein preinitiation complex that are important for mediating transcriptional activation in male germ cells. Studies in our laboratory have identified several alternatively spliced transcripts encoding SP1 isoforms that display stage and cell-type-specific expression profiles in differentiating germ cells in the seminiferous epithelium of the testis. This review summarizes the expression patterns and functional significance of these SP1 transcription factor variants during spermatogenesis.

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