The germ cell nuclear factor mGCNF is expressed in the developing nervous system

Dev Neurosci. 1997;19(5):410-20. doi: 10.1159/000111238.


Using a reinoic acid receptor hybridization probe, we have isolated a mouse embryonic cDNA that encodes the germ cell nuclear factor (mGCNF). The in vitro translated protein binds specifically to the direct repeat of the sequence-AGGTCA-which is characteristic of a subclass of nuclear receptors, albeit with a spacing of zero that is unique among the receptors. Northern analysis shows embryonic expression after mouse gastrulation and during early organogenesis, as well as expression in the adult testis. The message level decreases during embryonic development. Whereas there are two transcripts in the testis, only the larger one is found in embryos. In situ analysis of embryos at days 6.5-10.5 of gestation shows that, in the early postimplantation period, high transcript levels are found in ectodermal cells and in the primitive streak. During further development the expression becomes more restricted. Mainly cells of the developing nervous system are expressing the receptor. Our findings imply that GCNF is involved in two apparently disparate developmental events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Binding, Competitive / physiology
  • Blotting, Northern
  • COS Cells / physiology
  • DNA Probes
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Ectoderm / physiology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / genetics
  • Gastrula / chemistry
  • Gastrula / metabolism
  • Gastrula / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Library
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nervous System / embryology*
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 6, Group A, Member 1
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Oocytes / chemistry
  • Oocytes / physiology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / metabolism
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Spermatocytes / chemistry
  • Spermatocytes / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • DNA Probes
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Nr6a1 protein, mouse
  • Nuclear Receptor Subfamily 6, Group A, Member 1
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Receptors, Retinoic Acid
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins