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Int J Dev Biol. 2000;44(6):599-608.

The role of stem cell factor and of alternative c-kit gene products in the establishment, maintenance and function of germ cells.

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1
Dipartimento di Sanita' Pubblica e Biologia Cellulare, Sezione di Anatomia, Universita' di Roma Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

The c-kit gene plays a fundamental role during the establishment, the maintenance and the function of germ cells. In the embryonal gonad the c-kit tyrosine kinase receptor and its ligand Stem Cell Factor (SCF) are required for the survival and proliferation of primordial germ cells. In the postnatal animal, c-kit/SCF are required for the production of the mature gametes in response to gonadotropic hormones, i.e. for the survival and/or proliferation of the only proliferating germ cells of the testis, the spermatogonia, and for the growth and maturation of the oocytes. Finally, a truncated c-kit product, tr-kit, specifically expressed in post-meiotic stages of spermatogenesis and present in mature spermatozoa, causes parthenogenetic activation when microinjected into mouse eggs, suggesting that it might play a role in the final function of the gametes, fertilization.

PMID:
11061423
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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