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

Meiosis-specific protein selectively associated with sex chromosomes of rat pachytene spermatocytes.

During the first meiotic prophase of mammalian spermatogenesis, the sex chromosomes X and Y show a characteristic allocyclic behavior with respect to the autosomes. This is particularly evident during pachytene stage when sex chromosomes form the so-called sex vesicle. This structure is characterized by the condensed state of chromatin, transcriptional inactivity, and the limited extension of chromosome pairing, which is usually restricted to a short segment of sex chromosome axial elements. The molecular basis and functional significance of sex vesicle formation during mammalian spermatogenesis remain obscure. Here we report on the identification of a meiosis-specific sex vesicle protein we called XY40. Immunocytochemical localization on rat testis cryosections with a XY40-specific monoclonal antibody revealed that the labeling is confined to the axial elements of sex chromosomes. Biochemical characterization showed that protein XY40 (40 kDa; pI 5.7-5.8) can be extracted from rat pachytene spermatocytes and recovered in particles of 9.5 S with a native molecular mass of approximately 152 kDa. We speculate that protein XY40 may be involved in the allocyclic behavior of sex chromosomes during male meiotic prophase.[1]


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