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An evolutionarily conserved germ cell-specific hnRNP is encoded by a retrotransposed gene

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David Elliott, Dr Julian Venables


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The gene encoding heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) G recently has been mapped to the X chromosome. All mammals have a Y chromosome-encoded homologue of HNRNP G called RBMY, which is implicated with a role in male fertility and is a candidate for the azoospermia factor gene. We have identified a new member of this gene family, HNRNP G-T, and have mapped it as a single-copy gene on chromosome 11. This gene contains an uninterrupted open reading frame and no introns, consistent with derivation from a retroposon. However, unlike many retroposon-derived genes, HNRNP G-T is not a pseudogene. An antiserum raised to the conceptual reading frame of HNRNP G-T showed that it encodes a protein that is highly expressed in germ cells and in particular in the nuclei of meiotic spermatocytes. Surprisingly, although this antiserum was raised against human hnRNP G-T protein, it can also detect a similar protein in the testis of several mammals. This suggests that the protein is highly conserved and that the retrotransposition event generating the HNRNP G-T gene predated at least the common ancestor of mouse and man. The existence of an additional testis-specific hnRNP G family member provides evidence for the importance of these proteins in normal germ cell development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Elliott DJ, Venables JP, Newton CS, Lawson D, Boyle S, Eperon IC, Cooke HJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Molecular Genetics

Year: 2000

Volume: 9

Issue: 14

Pages: 2117-2124

ISSN (print): 0964-6906

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2083

Publisher: Oxford University Press

URL: .http//

DOI: 10.1093/hmg/9.14.2117

PubMed id: 10958650


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