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Conservation of a Pumilio-Nanos complex from Drosophila germ plasm to human germ cells

Authors
  • Jaruzelska, Jadwiga1, 2
  • Kotecki, Maciej2
  • Kusz, Kamila2
  • Spik, Anna2
  • Firpo, Meri1
  • Reijo Pera, Renee A.1
  • 1 University of California at San Francisco, Center for Reproductive Sciences, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Departments of Physiology and Urology, and Programs in Human Genetics and Cancer Genetics, San Francisco, CA 94143-0546, USA , San Francisco
  • 2 Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Human Genetics, Poznan, Poland , Poznan
Type
Published Article
Journal
Development Genes and Evolution
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Feb 11, 2003
Volume
213
Issue
3
Pages
120–126
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00427-003-0303-2
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

Germ cells are the cells which ultimately give rise to mature sperm and eggs. In model organisms such as flies and worms, several genes that are required for formation and maintenance of germ cells have been identified and their interactions are rapidly being delineated. By contrast, little is known of the genes required for development of human germ cells and it is not clear whether findings from model organisms will translate into knowledge of human germ cell development, especially given observations that reproductive pathways may evolve more rapidly than somatic pathways. The Pumilio and Nanos genes have been especially well-characterized in model organisms and encode proteins that interact and are required for development of germ stem cells in one or both sexes. Here we report the first characterization of a mammalian Nanos homolog, human NANOS1 (NOS1). We show that human NOS1 protein interacts with the human PUMILIO-2 (PUM2) protein via highly conserved domains to form a stable complex. We also show that in men, the NOS1 and PUM2 proteins are particularly abundant in germline stem cells. These observations mirror those in distant species and document for the first time a conserved protein-protein interaction in germ cells from flies to humans. These results suggest the possibility that the interaction of PUM2 and NOS1 may play a conserved role in germ cell development and maintenance in humans as in model organisms.

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