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J Androl. 2010 Jan-Feb;31(1):86-94. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.109.008367. Epub 2009 Oct 29.

LDHC: the ultimate testis-specific gene.

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Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.


Lactate dehydrogenase C (LDHC) was, to the best of our knowledge, the first testis-specific isozyme discovered in male germ cells. In fact, this was accomplished shortly before "isozymes or isoenzymes" became a field of study. LDHC was detected initially in human spermatozoa and spermatogenic cells of the testes by gel electrophoresis. Immunohistochemistry was used to localize LDHC first in early-pachytene primary spermatocytes, with an apparent increase in quantity after meiosis, to its final localization in and on the principal piece of the sperm tail. After several decades of biologic, biochemical, and genetic investigations, we now know that the lactate dehydrogenase isozymes are ubiquitous in vertebrates, developmentally regulated, tissue and cell specific, and multifunctional. Here, we will review the history of LDHC and the work that demonstrates clearly that it is required for sperm to accomplish their ultimate goal, fertilization.

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