We have isolated a cDNA clone encoding a mouse haploid germ cell-specific protein from a subtracted cDNA library. Sequence analysis of the cDNA revealed high homology with pig and human heart succinyl CoA:3-oxo acid CoA transferase (EC 220.127.116.11), which is a key enzyme for energy metabolism of ketone bodies. The deduced protein consists of 520 amino acid residues, including glutamate 344, known to be the catalytic residue in the active site of pig heart CoA transferase and the expected mitochondrial targeting sequence enriched with Arg, Leu, and Ser in the N-terminal region. Thus, we termed this gene scot-t (testis-specific succinyl CoA:3-oxo acid CoA transferase). Northern blot analysis, in situ hybridization, and Western blot analysis demonstrated a unique expression pattern of the mRNA with rapid translation exclusively in late spermatids. The scot-t protein was detected first in elongated spermatids at step 8 or 9 as faint signals and gradually accumulated during spermiogenesis. It was also detected in the midpiece of spermatozoa by immunohistochemistry. The results suggest that the scot-t protein plays important roles in the energy metabolism of spermatozoa.
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