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Cloning and expression analysis of two ZFY-related zinc finger genes from Alligator mississippiensis, a species with temperature-dependent sex determination


Cloning and expression analysis of two ZFY-related zinc finger genes from Alligator mississippiensis, a species with temperature-dependent sex determination



Gene 119(2): 221-228



ISSN/ISBN: 0378-1119

PMID: 1398103

DOI: 10.1016/0378-1119(92)90275-t

In order to investigate the molecular mechanism of temperature-dependent sex determination, a human zinc finger gene (ZFY), known to be highly conserved amongst other species, was used to isolate homologues from the genome of the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. ZFY was originally a candidate for the primary testis-determining gene in man, but is now thought to function further down the sex-determining cascade. Two alligator genes are described, Zfc and Znc6. Both code for zinc finger proteins and exhibit amino acid (aa) homologies to ZFY of 91% and 73%, respectively. Znc6 shows aa homology of 88% to the protein encoded by the zinc finger exon of the human ZFY-related gene, ZNF6, recently found on the X chromosome. Analysis of Zfc and Znc6 expression during embryonic development identified two major transcripts of 5.9 kb and 2.7 kb coding for Zfc, whilst only one transcript of 4.8 kb was detected for Znc6. Both genes are transcribed at all stages tested, from day 3 (post egg laying) throughout gestation. The expression level of all transcripts appears to decline towards the time of hatching (65-72 days). No sex-specific differences in the expression were observed. The extensive sequence conservation of the genes between reptiles and humans suggests major functional constraints. The expression patterns indicate that these genes do not play a primary role in temperature-dependent sex determination.

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Accession: 039589877

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