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

Male-enhanced antigen gene is phylogenetically conserved and expressed at late stages of spermatogenesis.

The male-enhanced antigen gene (Mea) was previously isolated from a mouse testicular cDNA library by using a pool of specific antisera against the serological H-Y antigen. The present studies characterize the human and mouse cDNAs and indicate that the MEA gene is conserved at both nucleic acid and protein levels. The corresponding mRNA encodes proteins of 18-20 kDa. The phylogenetic conservation could be extended to other mammalian species by Southern blot analysis. Although the Mea gene was transcribed as a 1-kilobase mRNA in most tissues, it was expressed at the highest level in adult testis. The testis-enhanced expression of the Mea gene was associated with germ cell development at late stages of spermatogenesis. Chromosome walking experiments identified two linked genes, A and B, located within 38 kilobases of human genomic sequence. Like the MEA gene, genes A and B were coordinately transcribed in the testis, which suggests that MEA and genes A and B are members of a gene family. In situ hybridization studies localized the MEA gene to the short arm of human chromosome 6 at band p21.1-21.3, close to the major histocompatibility complex locus. The genetic conservation and testis-specific expression of the MEA gene support the hypothesis that it plays an important role in mammalian spermatogenesis and/or testis development.[1]


  1. Male-enhanced antigen gene is phylogenetically conserved and expressed at late stages of spermatogenesis. Lau, Y.F., Chan, K.M., Sparkes, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1989) [Pubmed]
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