Expression and Functions of the Star Proteins Sam68 and t-star in Mammalian Spermatogenesis
Spermatogenesis is one of the few major developmental pathways which are still ongoing in the adult. In this chapter we review the properties of Sam68 and T-STAR, which are the STAR proteins functionally implicated in mammalian spermatogenesis. Sam68 is a ubiquitously expressed member of the STAR family, but has an essential role in spermatogenesis. Sam68 null mice are male infertile and at least in part this is due to a failure in important translational controls that operate during and after meiosis. The homologous T-STAR protein has a much more restricted anatomic expression pattern than Sam68, with highest levels seen in the testis and the developing brain. The focus of this chapter is the functional role of Sam68 and T-STAR proteins in male germ cell development. Since these proteins are known to have many cellular functions we extrapolate from other cell types and tissues to speculate on each of their likely functions within male germ cells, including control of alternative pre-mRNA splicing patterns in male germ cells.
KeywordsMale Germ Cell Round Spermatid Arginine Methylation Star Protein Splice Silencer
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