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Cell Prolif. 2013 Aug;46(4):457-68. doi: 10.1111/cpr.12048.

Promyelocytic leukaemia zinc finger maintains self-renewal of male germline stem cells (mGSCs) and its expression pattern in dairy goat testis.

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  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Shaanxi Centre of Stem Cells Engineering & Technology, Key Lab for Animal Biotechnology of Agriculture Ministry of China, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, China.



Previous studies have shown that promyelocytic leukaemia zinc finger (PLZF) is a spermatogonia-specific transcription factor in the testis, required to regulate self-renewal and maintenance of the spermatogonia stem cell. Up to now, expression and function of PLZF in the goat testis has not been known. The objectives of this study were to investigate PLZF expression pattern in the dairy goat and its effect on male goat germline stem cell (mGSC) self-renewal and differentiation.


Testis development and expression patterns of PLZF in the dairy goat were analysed by haematoxylin and eosin staining, immunohistochemistry and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Furthermore, effects of PLZF overexpression on mGSC self-renewal and differentiation were evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR (QRT-PCR), immunofluorescence and BrdU incorporation assay.


Promyelocytic leukaemia zinc finger was essential for dairy goat testis development and expression of several proliferation and pluripotency-associated proteins including OCT4, C-MYC were upregulated by PLZF overexpression. The study demonstrated that PLZF played a key role in maintaining self-renewal of mGSCs and its overexpression enhanced expression of proliferation-associated genes.


Promyelocytic leukaemia zinc finger could function in the dairy goat as well as in other species in maintaining self-renewal of germline stem cells and this study provides a model to study the mechanism on self-renewal and differentiation of mGSCs in livestock.

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