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A distinct expression pattern in mammalian testes indicates a conserved role for NANOG in spermatogenesis.

TitleA distinct expression pattern in mammalian testes indicates a conserved role for NANOG in spermatogenesis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsKuijk EW, de Gier J, Lopes SMChuva de, Chambers I, van Pelt AMM, Colenbrander B, Roelen BAJ
JournalPLoS One
Volume5
Issue6
Paginatione10987
Date Published2010
ISSN1932-6203
KeywordsAnimals, Dogs, Gene Expression Profiling, Homeodomain Proteins, Humans, Male, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Spermatogenesis, Testis
Abstract

BACKGROUND: NANOG is a key player in pluripotency and its expression is restricted to pluripotent cells of the inner cell mass, the epiblast and to primordial germ cells. Spermatogenesis is closely associated with pluripotency, because through this process highly specialized sperm cells are produced that contribute to the formation of totipotent zygotes. Nevertheless, it is unknown if NANOG plays a role in this process.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the current study, NANOG expression was examined in testes of various mammals, including mouse and human. Nanog mRNA and NANOG protein were detected by RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and western blotting. Furthermore, eGFP expression was detected in the testis of a transgenic Nanog eGFP-reporter mouse. Surprisingly, although NANOG expression has previously been associated with undifferentiated cells with stem cell potential, expression in the testis was observed in pachytene spermatocytes and in the first steps of haploid germ cell maturation (spermiogenesis). Weak expression in type A spermatogonia was also observed.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings of the current study strongly suggest a conserved role for NANOG in meiotic and post-meiotic stages of male germ cell development.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0010987
Alternate JournalPLoS ONE
PubMed ID20539761
PubMed Central IDPMC2881870