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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2003;101(3-4):261-5.

Dppa3 is a marker of pluripotency and has a human homologue that is expressed in germ cell tumours.

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Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


We identified a transcript named 11M2 on the basis of its strong male-specific expression pattern in the developing mouse gonad. 11M2 was found to be expressed by gonad primordial germ cells (PGCs) of both sexes and down-regulated in female PGCs as they enter prophase I of the first meiotic division, similar to the expression of OCT4. Mouse EST analysis revealed expression only in early-stage embryos, embryonic stem cells and pre-meiotic germ cells. 11M2 corresponds to a recently reported gene variously known as PGC7, STELLA or DPPA3. We have identified the human orthologue of DPPA3 and find by human EST analysis that it is expressed in human testicular germ cell tumours but not in normal human somatic tissues. The expression patterns of mouse and human DPPA3, in undifferentiated embryonic cells, embryonic germ cells and adult germ cell tumours, together suggest a role for this gene in maintaining cell pluripotentiality.

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