Identification of a novel gene, DZIP (DAZ-interacting protein), that encodes a protein that interacts with DAZ (deleted in azoospermia) and is expressed in embryonic stem cells and germ cells

Genomics. 2004 May;83(5):834-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2003.11.005.


Evidence from diverse organisms, including humans, suggests that the DAZ (Deleted in Azoospermia) gene and a closely related homolog, DAZL (DAZ-like), are required early in germ cell development to maintain initial germ cell populations. Here we report the identification and characterization of the DZIP (DAZ-Interacting Protein) gene, which encodes at least three different protein isoforms that contain a C2H2 zinc-finger domain. The DZIP gene is expressed predominantly in human embryonic stem cells and fetal and adult germ cells; moreover, two DZIP protein isoforms colocalize with DAZ and/or DAZL proteins in these tissues. Finally, we provide evidence indicating that DZIP may associate with DAZ and its other cofactors in an RNA-binding protein complex that functions in both ES cells and germ cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / chemistry
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Deleted in Azoospermia 1 Protein
  • Fetus / cytology*
  • Fetus / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Germ Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Testis / cytology
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques
  • Zinc Fingers


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Carrier Proteins
  • DAZ1 protein, human
  • DZIP1 protein, human
  • Deleted in Azoospermia 1 Protein
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins