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Mech Dev. 2002 Feb;111(1-2):167-71.

Two isoforms of vasa homologs in a teleost fish: their differential expression during germ cell differentiation.

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Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Department of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, 444-8585, Okazaki, Japan.


Two isoforms of vasa mRNA and protein are present in a teleost fish, tilapia. One (vas-s) lacks a part of the N-terminal region found in the other isoform (vas). Both isoforms are expressed in oocytes through the embryonic stage when primordial germ cells (PGCs) localize in the lateral plate mesoderm. After PGC localization in the gonadal anlagen, vas-s expression increased and vas expression became undetectable. Expression of both isoforms was observed again after morphological gonadal sex differentiation, irrespective of genotypic sex. In ovary, compared with vas expression vas-s expression predominated throughout oogenesis. In testis, vas expression was predominant compared with vas-s during spermatogenesis. These results indicate that relative expression of two vasa isoforms is dependent upon germ cell differentiation and sex.

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