The Drosophila melanogaster staufen gene encodes an RNA binding protein (Dm Stau) required for the localization and translational repression of mRNAs within the Drosophila oocyte. In mammals translational repression is important for normal spermatogenesis in males and storage of mRNAs in the oocytes of females. In the present study we identified two mouse cDNA expressed sequence tags (ESTs), encoding proteins with significant homology to Dm Stau and used these firstly to screen a mouse kidney cDNA library and secondly to determine whether staufen mRNAs are expressed in the ovaries and testes of mice and rats. Sequence analysis of the cDNAs revealed that they originated from two different genes. Using Northern blots of RNAs from kidneys, ovaries and testes, both cDNAs hybridized to mRNA species of approximately 3 kb in all three tissues. On sections of mouse ovaries, staufen mRNA was localized specifically to oocytes. On sections of mouse testes, staufen mRNA was expressed in spermatocytes found in seminiferous tubules at stages VI-XII of the spermatogenic cycle. In conclusion, we have shown that the mammalian homologues of Dm stau are expressed in germ cells in both male and female mice, consistent with a role for these RNA binding proteins in mammalian gametogenesis.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Molecular Human Reproduction|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|