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Genesis. 2000 Jul;27(3):124-35.

A subtractive gene expression screen suggests a role for vanin-1 in testis development in mice.

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Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


The molecular pathways leading from indifferent mammalian gonad to either testis or ovary are not well understood. A number of genes, including the Y-linked sex determining gene SRY, have been shown to play roles in sex determination or differentiation, but there are clearly many missing elements to be found. We used suppression-subtractive hybridization to construct normalized cDNA libraries enriched for male-specific or female-specific transcripts in mouse fetal gonads. We describe the strategy used to efficiently screen these libraries for candidate sex-determination and gonadogenesis genes. One gene arising from these screens is vanin-1, which encodes a protein implicated in the induction of cell migration into the thymus. We find that vanin-1 is expressed male-specifically in Sertoli cells of the developing testis and may be involved in inducing cell migration from the adjacent mesonephros, a process known to be critical for testis development. This screening approach is likely to be applicable to the isolation and study of genes involved in a variety of developmental systems.

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