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Gene Review

Bnc1  -  basonuclin 1

Mus musculus

Synonyms: AI047752, AW546376, Bnc, Zinc finger protein basonuclin-1
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High impact information on Bnc1

  • In keratinocytes, basonuclin behaves as a stem cell marker and is thought to be a transcription factor that maintains proliferative capacity and prevents terminal differentiation [1].
  • Basonuclin is a zinc finger protein specific to basal keratinocytes and germ cells [1].
  • This conclusion is based on observations that basonuclin is localized in the nucleolus in the mouse oocyte early in its growth phase, when rRNA transcription is highly active; and that the binding sites of basonuclin zinc fingers on the human and mouse rDNA promoters are homologous [2].
  • Here, we report evidence that rDNA is not amplified in mouse oocytes, but these cells may instead employ the zinc-finger protein basonuclin, a putative rDNA transcription factor, to enhance rRNA synthesis [2].
  • Function of basonuclin in increasing transcription of the ribosomal RNA genes during mouse oogenesis [2].

Biological context of Bnc1


Anatomical context of Bnc1

  • In the ovary, basonuclin was found mainly in the nuclei of developing oocytes [3].
  • We now report that basonuclin is present also in the germ cells of the mouse testis and ovary [3].
  • The dual presence of basonuclin in differentiated spermatozoa and oocytes suggests that it may play a role in their differentiation and the early development of an embryo [3].
  • Immunocytochemical staining detected basonuclin in the nuclei of spermatogonia and spermatocytes at various developmental stages [3].
  • Basonuclin as a cell marker in the formation and cycling of the murine hair follicle [5].

Other interactions of Bnc1

  • Lens basonuclin, which was detected earlier than that of the cornea, was confined to the pre-equatorial epithelium and was absent in equatorial cells that expressed p57KIP2, an early differentiation marker for these cells [7].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Bnc1

  • Whole eyes of mouse or rat were processed for frozen sections and cellular basonuclin was detected by either a rabbit antimouse- or a rabbit anti-human-basonuclin antibody [7].


  1. Basonuclin 2: an extremely conserved homolog of the zinc finger protein basonuclin. Vanhoutteghem, A., Djian, P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
  2. Function of basonuclin in increasing transcription of the ribosomal RNA genes during mouse oogenesis. Tian, Q., Kopf, G.S., Brown, R.S., Tseng, H. Development (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. Translocation of the zinc finger protein basonuclin from the mouse germ cell nucleus to the midpiece of the spermatozoon during spermiogenesis. Mahoney, M.G., Tang, W., Xiang, M.M., Moss, S.B., Gerton, G.L., Stanley, J.R., Tseng, H. Biol. Reprod. (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. Conservation of human and mouse basonuclins as a guide to important features of the protein. Matsuzaki, K., Iuchi, S., Green, H. Gene (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. Basonuclin as a cell marker in the formation and cycling of the murine hair follicle. Weiner, L., Green, H. Differentiation (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. Search for basonuclin target genes. Wang, J., Zhang, S., Schultz, R.M., Tseng, H. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Basonuclin in murine corneal and lens epithelia correlates with cellular maturation and proliferative ability. Tseng, H., Matsuzaki, K., Lavker, R.M. Differentiation (1999) [Pubmed]
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