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Gene Review

gcl  -  germ cell-less

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG8411, Dmel\CG8411, GCL, Gcl, Protein germ cell-less, ...
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High impact information on gcl

  • Posterior localization of the gcl messenger RNA (mRNA) requires the function of those genes essential for the localization of both nanos RNA, which specifies the abdomen, and the germ cell determinants [1].
  • In embryos with reduced maternal gcl product, the germ cell precursors fail to form properly [1].
  • Ectopic localization of gcl to the anterior pole of the embryo causes nuclei at that location to adopt characteristics of pole cell nuclei, with concurrent loss of somatic cells [2].
  • We also present evidence indicating that the gcl protein associates specifically with the nuclear pores of the pole cell nuclei [2].
  • In addition to its maternal expression, gcl is zygotically expressed through embryonic development [3].

Biological context of gcl


Anatomical context of gcl

  • Maximal GCL inhibitions of 94%, 77%, 85%, 87%, 83%, 95% and 89% occurred, respectively, in mouse cerebellum, hippocampus, brainstem, striatum, cortex and heart, and Drosophila [6].

Associations of gcl with chemical compounds

  • We further found that injection of KA and CH impairs production of Germ cell-less (Gcl) protein, which is required for pole cell formation [7].
  • Results of this study suggest that mechanisms of modulation of eukaryotic GCL enzymes may include specific binding of ligands such as pyridine dinucleotide phosphates and reversible protein phosphorylation [6].
  • NADPH increased maximal GCL activity by up to 93%, whereas several other nucleotide analogues did not, thereby demonstrating specificity [6].
  • The principal objective of this study was to investigate the mechanisms regulating the activity of gamma-glutamylcysteine ligase (GCL; EC, the rate limiting enzyme in glutathione biosynthesis [6].


  1. The germ cell-less gene product: a posteriorly localized component necessary for germ cell development in Drosophila. Jongens, T.A., Hay, B., Jan, L.Y., Jan, Y.N. Cell (1992) [Pubmed]
  2. Germ cell-less encodes a cell type-specific nuclear pore-associated protein and functions early in the germ-cell specification pathway of Drosophila. Jongens, T.A., Ackerman, L.D., Swedlow, J.R., Jan, L.Y., Jan, Y.N. Genes Dev. (1994) [Pubmed]
  3. germ cell-less is required only during the establishment of the germ cell lineage of Drosophila and has activities which are dependent and independent of its localization to the nuclear envelope. Robertson, S.E., Dockendorff, T.C., Leatherman, J.L., Faulkner, D.L., Jongens, T.A. Dev. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  4. Molecular cloning and genomic organization of mouse homologue of Drosophila germ cell-less and its expression in germ lineage cells. Kimura, T., Yomogida, K., Iwai, N., Kato, Y., Nakano, T. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Germ cell-less expression in medaka (Oryzias latipes). Scholz, S., Domaschke, H., Kanamori, A., Ostermann, K., Rödel, G., Gutzeit, H.O. Mol. Reprod. Dev. (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. Mechanisms of gamma-glutamylcysteine ligase regulation. Toroser, D., Yarian, C.S., Orr, W.C., Sohal, R.S. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Role of mitochondrial ribosome-dependent translation in germline formation in Drosophila embryos. Amikura, R., Sato, K., Kobayashi, S. Mech. Dev. (2005) [Pubmed]
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