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Gene Review

Zfy1  -  zinc finger protein 1, Y linked

Mus musculus

Synonyms: Zfy-1, Zinc finger Y-chromosomal protein 1
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High impact information on Zfy1

  • Both Zfy-1 and Zfy-2 are transcribed in the adult testis [1].
  • The Y chromosomes of the subspecies Mus musculus musculus and M. m. domesticus were distinguishable by a Zfy-1 restriction fragment polymorphism, which can be used to study their differing interactions with autosomal sex-determining genes [2].
  • The data suggesting that Zfy-1 expression is present in fetal testes support the hypothesis that this gene plays a role in testis differentiation [3].
  • The candidate testis-determining Y genes of the mouse Zfy-1 and Zfy-2, encode proteins containing an acidic amino terminus and a carboxyl terminus composed of 13 zinc fingers [3].
  • In adults, the data suggest that Zfy-1 and Zfy-2 transcription is linked to spermatogenesis, that transcription increases with the initiation of meiosis, and that high levels of these mRNAs are found in postmeiotic round spermatid cells [3].

Biological context of Zfy1


Anatomical context of Zfy1

  • The fact that these genes show a normal structure and expression pattern in mice with a Y chromosome known to carry a mutation in Tdy and that mutant embryos develop into females despite Zfy-1 expression, strongly supports other recent evidence that Zfy genes are not directly involved in primary testis determination [9].
  • In the adult, the Zfy-1/lacZ transgene is expressed abundantly in developing germ cells [10].

Enzymatic interactions of Zfy1

  • Sxrb, a derivative of Sxra, was previously thought to retain Zfy-1 but to be deleted for Zfy-2 [8].

Other interactions of Zfy1

  • In order to identify any further gene(s) that may underlie Spy, systematic exon trapping was performed on an extended contig, anchored on Zfy1, which covers 750 kb of the Delta Sxrb interval [11].
  • In this paper we report the construction of YAC transgenic mice containing different regions of the delta Sxr(b) interval including Zfy1, Ube1y, Smcy, and Eif2s3 [12].
  • An analysis of cDNA clones demonstrated that Zfx encodes a 799-amino-acid protein that is 70% identical to the mouse Zfy-1 and Zfy-2 proteins [7].


  1. The sex-determining region of the mouse Y chromosome encodes a protein with a highly acidic domain and 13 zinc fingers. Mardon, G., Page, D.C. Cell (1989) [Pubmed]
  2. Duplication, deletion, and polymorphism in the sex-determining region of the mouse Y chromosome. Mardon, G., Mosher, R., Disteche, C.M., Nishioka, Y., McLaren, A., Page, D.C. Science (1989) [Pubmed]
  3. The two candidate testis-determining Y genes (Zfy-1 and Zfy-2) are differentially expressed in fetal and adult mouse tissues. Nagamine, C.M., Chan, K., Hake, L.E., Lau, Y.F. Genes Dev. (1990) [Pubmed]
  4. Intron/exon structure confirms that mouse Zfy1 and Zfy2 are members of the ZFY gene family. Mahaffey, C.L., Bayleran, J.K., Yeh, G.Y., Lee, T.C., Page, D.C., Simpson, E.M. Genomics (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. The case of the midwife scientist. Simpson, E. Int. J. Dev. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  6. Zfy2/1 fusion gene fails to replicate Zfy1 expression pattern in fetal gonads. Nagamine, C.M., Carlisle, C. Genomics (1997) [Pubmed]
  7. Mouse Zfx protein is similar to Zfy-2: each contains an acidic activating domain and 13 zinc fingers. Mardon, G., Luoh, S.W., Simpson, E.M., Gill, G., Brown, L.G., Page, D.C. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  8. An interstitial deletion in mouse Y chromosomal DNA created a transcribed Zfy fusion gene. Simpson, E.M., Page, D.C. Genomics (1991) [Pubmed]
  9. Normal structure and expression of Zfy genes in XY female mice mutant in Tdy. Gubbay, J., Koopman, P., Collignon, J., Burgoyne, P., Lovell-Badge, R. Development (1990) [Pubmed]
  10. Expression of a mouse Zfy-1/lacZ transgene in the somatic cells of the embryonic gonad and germ cells of the adult testis. Zambrowicz, B.P., Zimmermann, J.W., Harendza, C.J., Simpson, E.M., Page, D.C., Brinster, R.L., Palmiter, R.D. Development (1994) [Pubmed]
  11. The mouse Y chromosome interval necessary for spermatogonial proliferation is gene dense with syntenic homology to the human AZFa region. Mazeyrat, S., Saut, N., Sargent, C.A., Grimmond, S., Longepied, G., Ehrmann, I.E., Ellis, P.S., Greenfield, A., Affara, N.A., Mitchell, M.J. Hum. Mol. Genet. (1998) [Pubmed]
  12. Smcy transgene does not rescue spermatogenesis in sex-reversed mice. Agulnik, A.I., Harrison, W.R., Bishop, C.E. Mamm. Genome (2001) [Pubmed]
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