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Identification, characterization and metagenome analysis of oocyte-specific genes organized in clusters in the mouse genome.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Genes specifically expressed in the oocyte play key roles in oogenesis, ovarian folliculogenesis, fertilization and/or early embryonic development. In an attempt to identify novel oocyte-specific genes in the mouse, we have used an in silico subtraction methodology, and we have focused our attention on genes that are organized in genomic clusters. RESULTS: In the present work, five clusters have been studied: a cluster of thirteen genes characterized by an F-box domain localized on chromosome 9, a cluster of six genes related to T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma protein 1 (Tcl1) on chromosome 12, a cluster composed of a SPErm-associated glutamate (E)-Rich (Speer) protein expressed in the oocyte in the vicinity of four unknown genes specifically expressed in the testis on chromosome 14, a cluster composed of the oocyte secreted protein-1 (Oosp-1) gene and two Oosp-related genes on chromosome 19, all three being characterized by a partial N-terminal zona pellucida-like domain, and another small cluster of two genes on chromosome 19 as well, composed of a TWIK-Related spinal cord K+ channel encoding-gene, and an unknown gene predicted in silico to be testis-specific. The specificity of expression was confirmed by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization for eight and five of them, respectively. Finally, we showed by comparing all of the isolated and clustered oocyte-specific genes identified so far in the mouse genome, that the oocyte-specific clusters are significantly closer to telomeres than isolated oocyte-specific genes are. CONCLUSION: We have studied five clusters of genes specifically expressed in female, some of them being also expressed in male germ-cells. Moreover, contrarily to non-clustered oocyte-specific genes, those that are organized in clusters tend to map near chromosome ends, suggesting that this specific near-telomere position of oocyte-clusters in rodents could constitute an evolutionary advantage. Understanding the biological benefits of such an organization as well as the mechanisms leading to a specific oocyte expression in these clusters now requires further investigation.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 31, 2006 - 2:32:10 PM
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Amélie Paillisson, Sébastien Dadé, Isabelle Callebaut, Martine Bontoux, Rozenn Dalbiès-Tran, et al.. Identification, characterization and metagenome analysis of oocyte-specific genes organized in clusters in the mouse genome.. BMC Genomics, BioMed Central, 2005, 6, pp.76. ⟨10.1186/1471-2164-6-76⟩. ⟨inserm-00090516⟩

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