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The trophinin gene encodes a novel group of MAGE proteins, magphinins, and regulates cell proliferation during gametogenesis in the mouse.

Saburi S., Nadano D., Akama T.O., Hirama K., Yamanouchi K., Naito K., Tojo H., Tachi C., Fukuda M.N.

Trophinin is a membrane protein that mediates apical cell adhesion between trophoblastic cells and luminal epithelial cells of the endometrium and is implicated in the initial attachment during the process of human embryo implantation. The present study identified novel trophinin gene transcripts, which encode proteins structurally distinct from trophinin protein in the mouse. We designated these proteins "magphinins," because they share consensus amino acid sequences with MAGE (melanoma-associated antigen) superfamily proteins. Among many MAGE proteins, magphinins are closely related to NRAGE, which mediates p75 neurotrophin receptor-dependent apoptosis, and necdin, which is a strong suppressor of cell proliferation in post-mitotic neurons. There are three major forms of magphinins, i.e. magphinin-alpha, -beta, and -gamma, in the mouse, which are formed due to alternative usage of different exons. Northern blot analysis revealed that magphinins are expressed in brain, ovary, testis, and epididymis. In addition, Western blot analysis and in vitro translation experiments showed that magphinins expressed in the mouse ovary and testis are translation products utilizing the second initiation AUG codon and contain an active nuclear localization signal. Ectopic expression of magphinins in mammalian cells resulted in nuclear localization of magphinin and suppressed cell proliferation. Immunohistochemistry of the mouse ovary and testis showed that magphinin proteins are distributed in the cytoplasm of the male and female germ cells, whereas these proteins are translocated to the nucleus at a specific stage of gametogenesis. These results strongly suggest that magphinins regulate cell proliferation during gametogenesis in the mouse.

J Biol Chem 276:49378-49389(2001) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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