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1 December 2004 Characterization of a Novel Postacrosomal Perinuclear Theca-Specific Protein, CYPT1
Kouichi Kitamura, Naoko Iguchi, Yoshioki Kaneko, Hiromitsu Tanaka, Yoshitake Nishimune
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The perinuclear theca (PT) is a unique cytoskeletal structure that surrounds the nucleus of the sperm. The posterior acrosome segment of the PT (postacrosomal PT) is thought to play roles in shaping the nucleus during differentiation of the spermatid and in activating the oocyte during fertilization. We isolated a cDNA clone that encoded a novel haploid germ cell-specific cysteine-rich perinuclear theca protein, CYPT1. The transcripts were expressed exclusively in testicular germ cells after meiotic division. Sequence analysis revealed that CYPT1 comprised 168 amino acids and that the N-terminal was rich in basic amino acids, including cysteine clusters. Immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses localized CYPT1 to the postacrosomal PT of elongated spermatids and mature sperm. The cypt1 had three paralogs that were expressed in adult testis. A comparison of genomic structure suggested that two of the three cypt1 paralogs were generated by gene triplication on the X chromosome, while one paralog was retrotransposed to an autosome. Interestingly, the 5′-flanking regions of these genes were highly homologous with the promoter region of the spermatid-specific gene Zfy-2. CYPT1 and the proteins of the paralogous genes constitute a novel, basic cysteine-rich sperm protein family that may contribute to the function of the postacrosomal PT during nuclear shaping.

Kouichi Kitamura, Naoko Iguchi, Yoshioki Kaneko, Hiromitsu Tanaka, and Yoshitake Nishimune "Characterization of a Novel Postacrosomal Perinuclear Theca-Specific Protein, CYPT1," Biology of Reproduction 71(6), 1927-1935, (1 December 2004).
Received: 3 June 2004; Accepted: 1 July 2004; Published: 1 December 2004
gene regulation
perinuclear theca
postacrosomal region
sperm maturation
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