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Genomics. 1998 Jul 1;51(1):114-23.

Nucleotide sequence of the ring3 gene in the class II region of the mouse MHC and its abundant expression in testicular germ cells.

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Department of Molecular Life Science, Tokai University School of Medicine, Bohseidai, Isehara, Kanagawa, 259-11, Japan.


The RING3 (NAT) gene is the first and only locus with no obvious function associated with the immune system in the class II region of the human major histocompatibility complex. This gene is a homologue of the Drosophila homeotic gene female sterile homeotic (fsh) and encodes a nuclear serine-threonine kinase. To study more about the physiological function of the RING3 gene, we isolated a mouse homologue from a genomic library, determined its gene structure, and investigated its expression profile. The mouse Ring3 gene spans approximately 8 kb and consists of 12 exons encoding a 798-amino-acid protein, sharing as high as 96% amino acid identity with the human RING3 protein. Northern hybridization revealed that the Ring3 gene abundantly produced 3.8- and 3.0-kb transcripts in the testis but was weakly expressed with 4.6- and 3.8-kb transcripts in somatic tissues. It appears that testis-specific 3.0-kb transcript gives rise to a smaller size Ring3 protein resulting from the usage of the second ATG codon for translational initiation compared to the almost ubiquitous 4.6-kb transcript. In RNAs isolated from fractionated testicular germ cells, the two testicular mRNAs were detected exclusively in the fractions containing a large population of round spermatids and pachytene spermatocytes. Furthermore, in situ hybridization on cross sections of seminiferous tubules in the testis showed that the expression of the Ring3 gene was initiated at the pachytene spermatocyte stage during meiosis and persisted throughout the round spermatid stage during spermiogenesis. These results suggest that the Ring3 gene plays an important role in spermatogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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