Molecules and cells

Ankrd7, a novel gene specifically expressed in Sertoli cells and its potential roles in Sertoli cell maturation.

PMID 19277502


The somatic Sertoli cells play an essential role in testis determination and spermatogenesis by providing nutrition and structural support. In the current study, we report on the novel Ankrd7 gene that contains five ankyrin repeat domains. This gene was specifically expressed in Sertoli cells and was regulated in a maturation-dependent manner. Its expression was restricted to testicular tissue, and its mRNA could be detected in testes at as early as 14 dpp (days post partum) using RT-PCR analysis. In both testicular tissue sections and in vitro cultured Sertoli cells, the Ankrd7 protein was localized to the nucleus of the Sertoli cell. Immuno-histochemistry and immunocytochemistry investigations showed that the protein was detectable in testicular tissues at 20 dpp, at which time Sertoli cells were gradually differentiating into their mature cellular form. These results suggest that Ankrd7 is probably involved in the process of Sertoli cell maturation and in spermatogenesis.