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Protamine Transcript Sharing Among Postmeiotic Spermatids

Kim A. Caldwell and Mary Ann Handel
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 88, No. 6 (Mar. 15, 1991), pp. 2407-2411
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2356392
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Protamine Transcript Sharing Among Postmeiotic Spermatids
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Abstract

Sharing of cytoplasmic constituents through intercellular bridges connecting postmeiotic spermatids can allow for functional equivalence of genetically nonequivalent spermatids. The technique of in situ hybridization was used to study postmeiotic distribution of transcripts from the mouse protamine 1 (Prm-1) gene among spermatids of mice with chromosomally unbalanced gametes. The Prm-1 gene is located on chromosome 16 and is expressed exclusively in haploid spermatids. Mice doubly heterozygous for two Robertsonian translocations involving chromosome 16 were used for the study of postmeiotic accumulation of transcripts of the Prm-1 gene in spermatogenic cells. The meiotic segregation pattern of chromosomal homologues in these mice produces some spermatids that are chromosomally unbalanced; some spermatids lack chromosome 16 while others have two. In situ hybridization with a cDNA probe for the Prm-1 gene transcript performed on both whole testis sections and spermatogenic cell suspensions showed that there was no statistical difference in distribution of grains over step-5 to step-10 spermatids from Robertsonian-translocation heterozygous mice and from control mice of normal karyotype. These results are consistent with sharing of transcripts of the Prm-1 gene among spermatids within a syncytium.

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