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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Recombinant growth differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9) enhances growth and differentiation of cultured early ovarian follicles.

Transgenic mice with deletion of the GDF-9 (growth differentiation factor-9) gene are characterized by the arrest of ovarian follicle development at the primary stage. Based on the hypothesis that GDF-9 is important for early follicle development, we isolated rat GDF-9 complementary DNA (cDNA) and generated recombinant GDF-9 protein to study its physiological role. Using bacteria-derived GDF-9-glutathione S-transferase ( GST) fusion protein, specific antibodies to the mature form of GDF-9 was generated. Immunohistochemical staining of ovarian sections indicated the localization of GDF-9 protein in the oocyte of primary, secondary and preantral follicles, whereas immunoblotting demonstrated the secretion of GDF-9 by mammalian cells transfected with GDF-9 cDNAs. Recombinant GDF-9 was shown to be an N-glycosylated protein capable of stimulating early follicle development. Growth of preantral follicles isolated from immature rats was enhanced by treatment with either GDF-9 or FSH whereas the combined treatment showed an additive effect. In addition, treatment with GDF-9, like forskolin, also stimulated inhibin-alpha content in explants of neonatal ovaries. In contrast, the stimulatory effects of GDF-9 were not mimicked by amino-terminal tagged GDF-9 that was apparently not bioactive. Thus, the present study demonstrates the important role of GDF-9 in early follicle growth and differentiation. The availability of recombinant bioactive GDF-9 allows future studies on the physiological role of GDF-9 in ovarian development in vivo.[1]


  1. Recombinant growth differentiation factor-9 (GDF-9) enhances growth and differentiation of cultured early ovarian follicles. Hayashi, M., McGee, E.A., Min, G., Klein, C., Rose, U.M., van Duin, M., Hsueh, A.J. Endocrinology (1999) [Pubmed]
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