Histone H1-like protein in spermatids 1 (Hils1) is a testis- specific histone H1-like protein exclusively expressed in haploid spermatids and should be involved in chromatin remodeling during mouse spermatogenesis. Spatial and temporal regulation of the hils1 gene expression would be critical for the formation of functional sperm, controlled at both transcriptional and translational levels. Previously, we reported that transcripts of the hils1 gene are exclusively expressed in mouse testis from 23 days of age whereas the Hils1 protein is not detected until 28 days of age, suggesting that hils1 is a member of a class of translationally regulated genes. By analyzing transgenic mice, we could demonstrate that 318-base pair (bp) 5′-proximal region corresponding to the first 70-bp proximal TATA-less promoter, and 248 bp of 5′-untranslated region is sufficient to confer testis- and spermatid-specific transcription as well as posttranscriptional control of the mouse hils1 gene in vivo.
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