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Cloning of a novel orphan receptor (GCNF) expressed during germ cell development.

Chen F., Cooney A.J., Wang Y., Law S.W., O'Malley B.W.

We have cloned a novel member of the nuclear receptor superfamily that has been identified from complementary DNA libraries derived from mouse tissues using a low stringency cross hybridization strategy. The deduced protein sequence contains 495 amino acids and consists of the characteristic DNA-binding and ligand-binding domains of the nuclear receptor superfamily. The primary sequence of this new orphan is distinct from those of previously cloned members and subgroups. Analysis of the DNA-binding properties of the in vitro synthesized protein revealed that this new orphan receptor binds to the sequence TCAAGGTCA that includes the steroidogenic factor-1 half-site and direct repeat with 0 bp spacing elements. Northern blot and ribonuclease protection assays showed that the receptor was predominantly expressed in the testis. Results from in situ hybridization experiments confirmed this observation and showed it to be located in the spermatogenic cells. High level expression was also detected in developing oocytes in the ovary. Thus, high level expression of this gene is restricted to developing germ cells, the oocytes and spermatogenic cells. We speculate that this orphan receptor may be a molecule involved in regulating some aspect of meiosis, and that the major function of this factor is likely to be involved in the regulation of gene expression in germ cell development during gametogenesis. It has been designated germ cell nuclear factor.

Mol. Endocrinol. 8:1434-1444(1994) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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