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Reprod Fertil Dev. 1989;1(4):369-82.

Stage-specific expression of nucleoprotein mRNAs during rat and mouse spermiogenesis.

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Department of Anatomy, University of Turku, Finland.


The expression of mRNAs for a transition protein (TP1) and two variants of protamines (P1 and P2) during rat and mouse spermiogenesis was investigated using cDNA hybridization techniques. Slot-blot analyses from 1-mm segments of seminiferous tubules and in situ hybridization from testis sections showed that the levels of mRNA for TP1 increased in step-7 round spermatids at substage VIIb of the seminiferous epithelial cycle, earlier than that of P1 and P2 at substage VIIc. The mRNA levels of all transcripts remained high during steps 8-13 in both species. In the rat, the mRNA of TP1 disappeared during step 14 between substages XIVa and XIVb. The P1 mRNA levels decreased during steps 15-16 (stages I-III) and the P2 mRNA during step 15 (stage I). In the mouse, TP1 mRNA disappeared during step 13 (stage I). The P1 mRNA level decreased before P2 in step 14 (stage II), whereas P2 was detected up to step 15 (stage V). Northern-blot analyses with all three cDNA probes revealed two sizes of mRNA and their stage-specific expression. The shorter transcripts appeared later than the longer ones, at the steps of spermiogenesis where translation is known to begin. The results suggest that transcription of TP1, P1, and P2 mRNAs starts at specifically defined times during spermiogenesis and that the temporal translational regulation of these mRNAs is different.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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