International Mammalian Genome Society

The 16th International Mouse Genome Conference (2002)


POSTER 47 - POG, GEMS AND URF FORM A NOVEL INTERACTING PROTEIN COMPLEX WITH A ROLE IN GAMETE DEVELOPMENT

B Lu
Baylor College of Medicine

1) Truong C, 1) Agoulnik A, 1),2) Bishop C
1) Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2) Dept. of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine

The Germ Cell Deficient (gcd) mutation is a recessive, transgenic insertional mutation leading to a deficiency of primordial germ cells (PGC) and consequent adult male and female sterility. Here we show that the PGC deficiency is caused by impaired PGC proliferation rather than abnormal migration. In addition, we show that the deletion of a single gene, Pog (proliferation of germ cells) underlies the gcd phenotype. Pog is necessary for normal proliferation of PGCs but not spermatogonia, since in gcd/gcd and Pog-/- mice the few stem cells produced are capable of eventually repopulating the seminiferous tubules.POG is also expressed in the adult testis and ovary, and interacts with a novel germ cell specific gene Gems (germ cell specific with multiple splicing). In the testis it was expressed specifically in the meiotic stages of spermatogenesis. Gems has more than 10 different splice variants giving rise to three proteins, GEMS1, GEMS2 and GEMS3. GEMS1 was localized to the nuclear membrane, GEMS2 to the cytoplasm and GEMS3 to the nucleus/nucleolus. GEMS1 and GEMS2 interacted with another novel cytoplasmic protein URF, (USP4/15 related factor). The expression of Urf in the adult testis was confined to late patchytene spermatocyte to round spermatid, similar to that of Gems Our working hypothesis is that this novel interacting network of proteins is involved in the meiosis of germ cells.


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