Transcription of circular and noncircular forms of Sry in mouse testes

Theresa Zwingman, Hirokazu Fujimoto, Li‐Wen ‐W Lai, Timothy Boyer, Asangla Ao, John R.D. Stalvey, Stan R. Blecher, Robert P. Erickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Although its expression in adult testis was immediately apparent, the role for Sry (sex determining region, Y) in testicular function remains elusive. We have performed transcriptional studies in an effort to elucidate potential roles of Sry by studying the time and location of its transcription in mouse testes. Northern analyses and more sensitive nuclease protection assays detected transcripts in 28‐day‐old testes and beyond. The highly sensitive technique of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RTPCR) could not detect Sry expression in 14‐day testes when primers for the most conserved portion of the gene, the high mobility group (HMG) box, were used, but primers for the circular form detected Sry transcription at all postnatal stages studied. The same HMG box primers were able to detect expression of Sry in XX, Sxra or Sxrb testes. This suggested that Sry is expressed in cells other than germ cells, which was confirmed with studies on fractionated cells—RTPCR detected transcription of Sry in the highly pure interstitial cell fraction. However, Leydig cells and a Leydig cell tumor were negative for Sry expression. We performed in situ studies in an attempt to localize the expression of Sry in the testes. Abundant expression of an Sry cross‐hybridizing transcript was found in spermatogonia, in early spermatocytes, and in some interstitial cells with antisense probes to the HMG box or a more specific, 3′ region, whereas the sense probe gave little or no hybridization. It is probable that the circular transcripts, which are seen in reverse transcriptase positive (RT+) and RT reactions by PCR because of the RT activity of Taq polymerase, are responsible for the hybridization seen in spermatogonia and spermatocytes, whereas linear and circular forms are detected later. Thus Sry is expressed in pre‐ and postmeiotic germ cells and in somatic cells of the testes. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-381
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1994


  • HMG box containing proteins
  • Interstitial cells
  • Postmeiotic expression
  • Sex determination
  • Sex determining region Y

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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