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Reprod Fertil Dev. 2003;15(1-2):129-33.

Ubiquitin-specific protease activity of USP9Y, a male infertility gene on the Y chromosome.

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School of Biological Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea.


Deletions of USP9Y have been observed among infertile males with defective spermatogenesis. Therefore, the gene has been designated as a male infertility gene on the Y chromosome. However, it remains to be determined how male infertility results from deletions of this gene. In order to initiate an investigation into the cellular functions of USP9Y in male germ cell development, in the present study we characterized the enzymatic specificity of USP9Y. Our results show that both USP9Y and Fam, the mouse infertility protein Usp9x, possess a protease activity specific to ubiquitin. These results suggest that, through de-ubiquitination, USP9Y may stabilize a specific target protein that is important for male germ cell development.

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