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Horm Metab Res. 2007 May;39(5):322-35.

ApoA-I-binding protein (AI-BP) and its homologues hYjeF_N2 and hYjeF_N3 comprise the YjeF_N domain protein family in humans with a role in spermiogenesis and oogenesis.

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Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Regensburg University Medical Center, Regensburg, Germany.


The screening for additional human YjeF_N domain containing proteins beside the apolipoprotein A-I interacting protein (AI-BP), identified two other genes designated hYjeF_N2-15q23 (formerly human homologue of yeast edc3) and hYjeF_N3-19p13.11 comprising the human YjeF_N family. AI-BP is ubiquitously expressed, with a predominance of these tissues where the homologues were found to be restricted including brain, mammary gland, testes and ovaries. Immunohistochemistry of human testes and ovaries showed an expression of hYjeF_N3-19p13.11 only in Leydig cells and theca cells, respectively, indicating a role in steroid hormone metabolism. Interestingly, the protein was also strongly expressed in Leydig cell tumors and in thecofibromas. The identification of hYjeF_N2-15q23 in theca cells and granulosa cells in ovaries, in human spermatids of meiotic division part II and the apical membrane of Sertoli cells in testes suggest similar functions in oogenesis and sperm maturation which is strengthened by the identification of the spermatogenesis regulator HMGA1 as a conserved transcription factor. However, in contrast to AI-BP, both homologous proteins are unable to bind apoA-I. These results relate the human YjeF_N domain containing protein family to cholesterol processing and steroid hormone metabolism in spermiogenesis and oogenesis, and AI-BP may link this function to the HDL pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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