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1 August 2000 Spermatid-Specific Expression of the Novel X-Linked Gene Product SPAN-X Localized to the Nucleus of Human Spermatozoa
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Formation of mature spermatozoa involves a series of dramatic molecular and morphological changes in the male germ cell lineage. These changes result from the temporally regulated transcription and translation of several testis-specific gene products. Here, we describe a novel, testis-specific protein designated SPAN-X for sperm protein associated with the nucleus on the X chromosome. SPAN-X sequences showed no significant similarity with known cDNA or peptide sequences. The SPAN-X peptide sequences contained three overlapping consensus nuclear localization signals, a high percentage (33%–37%) of charged amino acid residues, and a relatively acidic isoelectric point (pI; 4.88–6.05). Northern analysis of mRNA from multiple human tissues identified a SPAN-X transcript exclusively in the testis. In situ hybridization of human testes sections showed SPAN-X mRNA expression in haploid, round, and elongating spermatids. The SPANX gene was mapped to chromosome Xq27.1 by fluorescence in situ hybridization and by Southern blot analysis of human/mouse somatic cell hybrids. On Western blots of human sperm proteins, antirecombinant SPAN-X antibodies reacted with broad bands migrating between 15–20 kDa. Immunofluorescent labeling of human spermatozoa demonstrated SPAN-X localization to nuclear craters and cytoplasmic droplets. Expression of SPAN-X, an X-linked gene product, exclusively in haploid spermatids leads to interesting questions regarding the transcription of sex-linked genes during spermiogenesis.

V. Anne Westbrook, Alan B. Diekman, Ken L. Klotz, Vrinda V. Khole, Chris von Kap-Herr, Wendy L. Golden, Roger L. Eddy, Thomas B. Shows, Mark H. Stoler, Chi-Yu G. Lee, Charles J. Flickinger, and John C. Herr "Spermatid-Specific Expression of the Novel X-Linked Gene Product SPAN-X Localized to the Nucleus of Human Spermatozoa," Biology of Reproduction 63(2), 469-481, (1 August 2000).<0469:SSEOTN>2.0.CO;2
Received: 17 November 1999; Accepted: 20 March 2000; Published: 1 August 2000

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