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

The olfactory adenylyl cyclase III is expressed in rat germ cells during spermiogenesis.

To identify the adenylyl cyclase (AC) genes expressed in mammalian germ cells, RT-PCR of testis and germ cell RNA was performed using degenerated primers based on the homologous region of the AC catalytic domain. This strategy yielded high-frequency amplification of a complementary DNA (cDNA) identical to type III AC (ACIII), a form previously identified as the major adenylyl cyclase expressed in the olfactory system. Ribonuclease protection studies confirmed that ACIII transcripts are present in germ cells, appear during the meiotic prophase, and accumulate during spermiogenesis. A Northern blot analysis performed on total testis RNA demonstrated the presence of a predominant transcript of 7.5 kb, suggesting that the ACIII expressed in germ cells may derive from a splicing variant different from the 4.5 kb transcripts expressed in somatic cells. To determine whether these RNAs are translated into a protein, Western blot analysis was performed using an antibody specific for the carboxyl terminus of ACIII. An immunoreactive protein of 170 kDa was detected in extracts from total testis and from germ cells. Immunofluorescence localization of this protein in the seminiferous tubules showed that ACIII was predominantly expressed in postmeiotic germ cells from round spermatids in the cap phase to maturing elongating spermatids. The ACIII antigen was located mostly on the acrosomal membrane rather than on the plasma membrane of developing spermatids. The spatial and temporal expression of ACIII in germ cells indicates a role of this AC in the acrosome formation. Together with the observation that members of the olfactory receptor family and an olfactory phosphodiesterase are expressed in spermatids, these findings suggest that a signal transduction system used in olfaction is also used during gamete development.[1]


  1. The olfactory adenylyl cyclase III is expressed in rat germ cells during spermiogenesis. Gautier-Courteille, C., Salanova, M., Conti, M. Endocrinology (1998) [Pubmed]
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