We cloned and characterized a novel immunoglobulin superfamily gene from the cDNA library of adult mouse testis. This gene was expressed in the spermatogenic cells and hence termed SgIGSF. The predicted SgIGSF protein was composed of 445 amino-acid residues and contained a signal peptide, three extracellular immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains, a transmembranous domain, and a cytoplasmic domain. SgIGSF mRNA consisted of two size species, 2.1- and 4.5-kb in length. Besides testis, SgIGSF mRNA was also expressed in a variety of organs, including the cerebrum, liver, kidney, and epididymis. The testis and liver expressed both the 2.1- and 4.5-kb transcripts, whereas the cerebrum and epididymis predominantly expressed the 4.5-kb one. In situ hybridization analysis in testis revealed that SgIGSF mRNA signal was localized to the spermatogenic cells from spermatogonia to zygotene spermatocytes. These results suggested that SgIGSF occurs in the plasma membrane of spermatogenic cells during the earlier stages of spermatogenesis.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.