Subcellular distribution of importins correlates with germ cell maturation

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Importin proteins regulate access to the nucleus by recognizing and transporting distinct cargo proteins. Building on studies in Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans, we hypothesized that regulated expression and subcellular localization of specific importins may be linked to mammalian gonadal differentiation. We identified distinct developmental and cellular localization patterns for importins 1, 3, 4 and RanBP5 (importin 3) in fetal and postnatal murine testes using Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Importin 1 protein is detected in selected germ and somatic cells in fetal gonads, with a striking perinuclear staining evident from embryonic day (E) 14.5 within testicular gonocytes. RanBP5 exhibits ageand gender-specific subcellular localization within fetal gonads. At E12.5, RanBP5 protein is cytoplasmic in gonocytes but predominantly nuclear in oogonia, but by E14.5 RanBP5 appears nuclear in gonocytes and cytoplasmic in oogonia. In postnatal testes, importin 3 and 4 in spermatocytes, spermatids, and Sertoli cells display cytoplasmic and nuclear localization, respectively
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2311 - 2320
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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