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Dev Biol. 1990 Nov;142(1):147-54.

A new rat gene RT7 is specifically expressed during spermatogenesis.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Calgary Health Sciences Centre, Alberta, Canada.


We report the isolation of a new rat male germ cell-specific gene, RT7, by differential cDNA cloning procedures. The RT7 cDNA nucleotide sequence is not homologous to any sequences present in the GenBank library. RT7 RNA is expressed at very high levels in rat early spermatids, while its expression is not detectable in any other organ or tissue examined. Mapping of the RT7 transcription start site by two independent procedures demonstrated that RT7 has two major and a number of upstream minor start sites for transcription. RT7 encodes a putative 90-amino acid protein, of which the N-terminus is predicted to fold as an amphipathic alpha helix with features resembling the leucine zipper structure found in a family of transcription factors. However, unlike the leucine zipper proteins the RT7 alpha helix is not preceded by a basic region. Analysis of the RT7 promoter sequence indicates that it contains a putative testis-specific regulatory sequence found in protamine P1 and P2 promoters, as well as binding sites for several other transcription factors.

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