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Mol Reprod Dev. 2001 Dec;60(4):439-45.

Proteome analysis of rat spermatogonia: reinvestigation of stathmin spatio-temporal expression within the testis.

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GERM-INSERM U.435, Campus de Beaulieu, Université de Rennes I, 35042 Rennes Cedex, Bretagne, France.


Stathmin is a protein known to be involved in various cell processes including cell proliferation and differentiation. It has already been described in the testis but its recent identification using a proteomic approach in mitotic spermatogenetic stem cells named spermatogonia (Guillaume et al., 2000) has lead us to reinvestigate its expression within the testis. Stathmin and its mRNAs were studied in isolated cells by Western and Northern blots and in situ using immunohistochemistry. We demonstrated that stathmin is indeed expressed in spermatogonia, and that it is also intensively expressed in the meiotic spermatocytes and in the first generations of spermatids. Furthermore, we showed aggregations of the protein in the cytoplasm of the later generations of spermatids preceding its elimination at the time of spermiation. Our Northern blots reveal the presence of two stathmin transcripts of 1.1 and 3.2 kb within the testis from the fetal stage onwards, in spermatogonia, spermatocytes, and spermatids. However, the 3.2 kb RNA transcript was barely detectable in the spermatids. Stathmin expression is known to be associated with microtubule dynamics. Therefore, its expression in the germ line is most probably related to the extremely complex structural cellular rearrangements occurring in germ cells during spermatogenesis. However, the exact role of stathmin and the reason of the existence of two transcripts in the male germ lineage awaits further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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