GLP-1: a novel zinc finger protein required in somatic cells of the gonad for germ cell development

Dev Biol. 2007 Jan 1;301(1):106-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.07.048. Epub 2006 Aug 11.


Mouse gonadal development is regulated by a variety of transcription factors. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel nuclear zinc finger protein called GATA like protein-1 (GLP-1), which is expressed at high levels in the somatic cells of the developing gonads, including Leydig cells in the testes and granulosa cells in the ovaries. Biochemical analysis of GLP-1 shows that it acts as a transcriptional repressor of GATA factor function. To determine the necessity of GLP-1 in gonadal development, a null allele in mice was generated by replacing all of the coding exons with the bacterial lacZ gene. GLP-1(lacZ) null mice are viable with no detectable defects in visceral organ development; however, both males and females are completely infertile. Loss of GLP-1 leads to defective sperm development in males with a marked reduction in mature spermatids observed as early as postnatal week 1. In females, loss of GLP-1 leads to a severe block in germ cell development as early as E17.5. Together, these data identify GLP-1 as a critical nuclear repressor in somatic cells of the gonad that is required for germ cell development, and highlight the importance of somatic-germ cell interactions in the regulation of this critical process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Female
  • GATA1 Transcription Factor / chemistry
  • GATA1 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • GATA1 Transcription Factor / physiology*
  • Germ Cells / growth & development*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lac Operon
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA Primers
  • GATA1 Transcription Factor
  • Gata1 protein, mouse