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1 September 2005 Molecular Cloning and Expression in Gonad of Rana rugosaWT1 and Fgf9
Yasutaka Yamamura, Sho Aoyama, Yuki Oshima, Takuma Kato, Noboru Osawa, Masahisa Nakamura
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Sry (sex-determining region on the Y chromosome) is required for testicular differentiation in mammals. In addition to Sry, other genes such as WT1, Fgf9, Dax1, Dmrt1 and Sox9 are widely accepted to be involved in the sex determination in vertebrates. However, the roles of these genes during sex determination still remain unclear in amphibians. This study was undertaken to examine the expression of WT1 and Fgf9 in the developing gonad of amphibians. We first isolated the WT1 cDNA from the frog Rana rugosa. Like WT1 in mice, R. rugosa WT1 showed 2 isoforms; i.e., one had an additional 3 amino acids, KTS, included between the third and fourth zinc fingers. However, 17 amino acids in exon 5 of mammalian WT1 could not be found in R. rugosa WT1, which is also the case in turtle and chicken. The mRNA of both isoforms ( KTS, –KTS) was detected in the lung, kidney and testis, but not in the ovary and muscle of adult frogs. The 2 isoforms were expressed first in the embryos at stage 23. Thereafter, the expressions remained constant in the gonad attached to mesonephros of both sexes during sex determination. We next isolated the R. rugosa Fgf9 cDNA encoding 208 amino acids. The amino acid sequence of Fgf9 had similarity greater than 92% with chicken, mouse and human Fgf9s, suggesting that Fgf9 is highly conserved among vertebrate classes. Fgf9 was expressed in the ovary of an adult frog strongly, but in the lung weakly. In contrast, the Fgf9 mRNA was hardly detected in the kidney, testis and muscle. Moreover, Fgf9 did not show a sexually dimorphic expression pattern during sex determination in R. rugosa. The results, taken together, suggest that both WT1 and Fgf9 are expressed in the indifferent gonad prior to sex determination without any difference in the expression between males and females. Thus, it seems unlikely that they are a key factor to initiate the divergence leading to testicular or ovarian differentiation in R. rugosa.

Yasutaka Yamamura, Sho Aoyama, Yuki Oshima, Takuma Kato, Noboru Osawa, and Masahisa Nakamura "Molecular Cloning and Expression in Gonad of Rana rugosaWT1 and Fgf9," Zoological Science 22(9), 1045-1050, (1 September 2005).
Received: 12 April 2005; Accepted: 1 May 2005; Published: 1 September 2005
Rana rugosa
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