Mos is a MAPK kinase kinase with an expression that is highly restricted to the gonads. Its function is mainly associated to the meiotic metaphase II arrest occurring during female gametogenesis, whereas to our knowledge, its role during spermatogenesis has not yet clarified. In the present paper, we report the isolation of c-mos cDNA and the identification of a 60-kDa Mos protein from the testis of the anuran amphibian, Rana esculenta. Both the transcript and the protein are always present at low levels in the testis during the frog annual sexual cycle, with single significant peaks of expression in March and May, respectively. Mos is mainly localized in the cytoplasm of primary and secondary spermatogonia (SPG). Therefore, we have used treatments with ethane-dimethane sulphonate (EDS), which blocks spermatogonial mitosis in frogs. Four days after a single EDS injection, Mos expression in SPG highly increases concomitantly with the temporary arrest of mitosis. From 8 to 28 days after the injection, the normal proliferative activity of SPG is restored, and Mos expression gradually decreases to control levels. These results strongly indicate that the c-mos proto-oncogene exerts a new role associated to the regulation of spermatogonial proliferation.
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