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Syst Biol Reprod Med. 2011 Feb;57(1-2):27-34. doi: 10.3109/19396368.2010.499157. Epub 2011 Jan 5.

Role of the Y-located putative gonadoblastoma gene in human spermatogenesis.

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Division of Cell and Developmental Genetics, Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.


The gonadoblastoma locus on the human Y chromosome (GBY) is postulated to serve normal functions in spermatogenesis, but could exert oncogenic properties in predisposing susceptible germ cells to tumorigenesis in incompatible niches such as streaked gonads in XY sex reversed patients or dysfunctional testis in males. The testis-specific protein Y-linked (TSPY) repeat gene has recently been demonstrated to be the putative gene for GBY, based on its location on the GBY critical region, expression patterns in early and late stages of gonadoblastoma and ability to induce gonadoblastoma-like structures in the ovaries of transgenic female mice. Over-expression of TSPY accelerates G(2)/M progression in the cell cycle by enhancing the mitotic cyclin B-CDK1 kinase activities. Currently the normal functions of TSPY in spermatogenesis are uncertain. Expression studies of TSPY, and its X-homologue, TSPX, in normal human testis suggest that TSPY is co-expressed with cyclin B1 in spermatogonia and various stages of spermatocytes while TSPX is principally expressed in Sertoli cells in the human testis. The co-expression pattern of TSPY and cyclin B1 in spermatogonia and spermatocytes suggest respectively that 1) TSPY is important for male spermatogonial cell replication and renewal in the testis; and 2) TSPY could be a catalyst/meiotic factor essential for augmenting the activities of cyclin B-cyclin dependent kinases, important for the differentiation of the spermatocytes in prophase I and in preparation for consecutive rounds of meiotic divisions without an intermediate interphase during spermatogenesis.

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