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J Exp Zool A Ecol Genet Physiol. 2015 Oct;323(8):516-26. doi: 10.1002/jez.1938. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

Molecular cloning and characterization of oocyte-specific Pat1a in Rana rugosa frogs.

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Department of Science Education, Faculty of Education, Ehime University, Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan.
Department of Biology, Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences, Waseda University, Wakamatsu-cho, Tokyo, Japan.
Laboratory of Animal Genetics, Department of Applied Molecular Biosciences, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Nagoya, Japan.


The Pat1 gene is expressed in the immature oocytes of Xenopus, and is reportedly involved in regulating the translation of maternal mRNAs required for oocyte-maturation. However, it is still unknown when Pat1a first appears in the differentiating ovary of amphibians. To address this issue, we isolated the full-length Pat1a cDNA from the frog Rana rugosa and examined its expression in the differentiating ovary of this frog. Among eight different tissues examined, the Pat1a mRNA was detectable in only the ovary. When frozen sections from the ovaries of tadpoles at various stages of development were immunostained for Vasa-a germ cell-specific protein-and Pat1a, Vasa-immunopositive signals were observed in all of the germ cells, whereas Pat1a signals were confined to the growing oocytes (50-200 μm in diameter), and absent from small germ cells (<50 μm in diameter). Forty days after testosterone injection into tadpoles to induce female-to-male sex-reversal, Pat1a-immunoreactive oocytes had disappeared completely from the sex-reversed gonad, but Vasa-positive small germ cells persisted. Thus, Pat1a would be a good marker for identifying the sexual status of the sex-reversing gonad in amphibians. In addition, fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed Pat1a to have an autosomal locus, suggesting that Pat1a transcription is probably regulated by a tissue-specific transcription factor in R. rugosa.

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