Sexually dimorphic expression of a chicken sex chromosome gene (VCP) reflects differences in gonadal development between males and females

Xiao Lin, Yanfeng Fan, Debiao Zhao, Jason Ioannidis, Daoqing Gong, Long Liu, Mike Clinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The chicken has a Z-W sex chromosome system, in which the males are the homogametic sex (ZZ) and the females the heterogametic sex (ZW). The smaller W chromosome is generally considered to be a highly degraded copy of the Z chromosome that retains around 28-30 homologous protein-coding genes' These Z-W homologues are thought to have important, but undefined, roles in development, and here we explore the role of one of these genes, VCP (Valosin Containing Protein) in gonadogenesis. We established RNA expression levels of both Z and W VCP homologues, the levels of VCP protein, and the cellular localization of VCP protein in male and female embryonic gonads during development. We also assessed the effects of female-to-male sex-reversal on VCP expression in developing gonads. The results showed that both VCP RNA and protein are expressed at higher levels in female than male gonads, and the expression levels of VCP protein and VCP-Z transcript, but not VCP-W transcript, are decreased in female-to-male sex reversed gonads. In addition, the spatial expression of VCP protein differs between male and female embryonic gonads: in testes, VCP protein is mainly confined to the medullary sex cords, while in ovaries, VCP protein is expressed throughout the medulla and at higher levels in the cortex. The results suggest that sexually dimorphic expression of chicken VCP reflects differences in gonadal morphology between sexes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Volume582
Early online date16 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Oct 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Sexually dimorphic expression of a chicken sex chromosome gene (VCP) reflects differences in gonadal development between males and females'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this