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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 May 13;330(3):950-7.

Gene structure, multiple alternative splicing, and expression in gonads of zebrafish Dmrt1.

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Department of Genetics and Center for Developmental Biology, College of Life Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, PR China.


Many basic cellular processes are shared across vast phylogenetic distances, whereas sex-determining mechanisms are highly variable between phyla although the existence of two sexes is nearly universal in the animal kingdom. The only molecular similarity in sex determination found so far between phyla is among the fly doublesex, worm mab-3, and vertebrate Dmrt1/DMY, which contain a zinc-finger-like DNA-binding motif, DM domain. Here we report that three isoforms of the zebrafish Dmrt1 were generated in gonads by multiple alternative splicing, which encoded predicted proteins with 267, 246, and 132 amino acids, respectively. By cDNA cloning and genomic structure analysis, we found that there were seven exons of Dmrt1, which were alternatively spliced to generate the Dmrt1 isoforms. Northern blotting analysis revealed that expression of zebrafish Dmrt1 was higher in testis than ovary. Real time fluorescent quantitative RT-PCR indicated that expression of isoform a of Dmrt1 was dominantly higher than those of Dmrt1 b and c. Furthermore, in situ hybridization to gonads sections showed that Dmrt1 was expressed in developing germ cells of both testis and ovary, suggesting that the Dmrt1 gene is not only associated with testis development, but also, may be important in ovary differentiation of zebrafish.

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