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Nature. 1991 Dec 12;354(6353):486-9.

A candidate spermatogenesis gene on the mouse Y chromosome is homologous to ubiquitin-activating enzyme E1.

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Section of Comparative Biology, MRC Clinical Research Centre, Harrow, UK.


The human X-linked gene A1S9 complements a temperature-sensitive cell-cycle mutation in mouse L cells, and encodes the ubiquitin-activating enzyme E1. The gene has been reported to escape X-chromosome inactivation, but there is some conflicting evidence. We have isolated part of the mouse A1s9 gene, mapped it to the proximal portion of the X chromosome and shown that it undergoes normal X-inactivation. We also detected two copies of the gene on the short arm of the mouse Y chromosome (A1s9Y-1 and A1s9Y-2). The functional A1s9Y gene (A1s9Y-1) is expressed in testis and is lost in the deletion mutant Sxrb. Therefore A1s9Y-1 is a candidate for the spermatogenesis gene, Spy, which maps to this region. A1s9X is similar to the Zfx gene in undergoing X-inactivation, yet having homologous sequences on the short arm of the Y chromosome, which are expressed in the testis. These Y-linked genes may form part of a coregulated group of genes which function during spermatogenesis.

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