Regulation of meiosis during mammalian spermatogenesis: the A-type cyclins and their associated cyclin-dependent kinases are differentially expressed in the germ-cell lineage.

Department of Cell Biology & Biochemistry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, Texas, 79430, USA.
To begin to examine the function of the A-type cyclins during meiosis in the male, we have examined the developmental and cellular distribution of the cyclin A1 and cyclin A2 proteins, as well as their candidate cyclin-dependent kinase partners, Cdk1 and Cdk2, in the spermatogenic lineage. Immunohistochemical localization revealed that cyclin A1 is present only in male germ cells just prior to or during the first, but not the second, meiotic division. By contrast, cyclin A2 was expressed in spermatogonia and was most abundant in preleptotene spermatocytes, cells which will enter the meiotic pathway. Immunohistochemical detection of Cdk1 was most apparent in early pachytene spermatocytes, while staining intensity diminished in diplotene and meiotically dividing spermatocytes, the cells in which cyclin A1 expression was strongest. Cdk2 was highly expressed in all spermatocytes. Notably, in cells undergoing the meiotic reduction divisions, Cdk2 appeared to localize specifically to the chromatin. This was not the case for spermatogonia undergoing mitotic divisions. In the testis, cyclin A1 has been shown to bind both Cdk1 and Cdk2 but we show here that cyclin A2 binds only Cdk2. These results indicate that the A-type cyclins and their associated kinases have different functions in the initiation and passage of male germ cells through meiosis.
Mesh Terms:
Animals, Cyclin-Dependent Kinases, Cyclins, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Male, Meiosis, Mice, Protein Binding, RNA, Messenger, Spermatogenesis, Spermatogonia, Testis
Dev. Biol. Mar. 15, 1999; 207(2);408-18 [PUBMED:10068472]
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