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A variant of Runx2 that differs from the bone isoform in its splicing is expressed in spermatogenic cells

Kanto, Satoru and Grynberg, Marcin and Kaneko, Yoshiyuki and Fujita, Jun and Satake, Masanobu (2016) A variant of Runx2 that differs from the bone isoform in its splicing is expressed in spermatogenic cells. PeerJ (4). e1862.

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Official URL: https://peerj.com/articles/1862/


Background. Members of the Runx gene family encode transcription factors that bind to DNA in a sequence-specific manner. Among the three Runx proteins, Runx2 comprises 607 amino acid (aa) residues, is expressed in bone, and plays crucial roles in osteoblast differentiation and bone development. We examined whether the Runx2 gene is also expressed in testes. Methods. Murine testes from 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 10-week-old male mice of the C57BL/6J strain and W∕Wv strain were used throughout the study. Northern Blot Analyses were performed using extracts form the murine testes. Sequencing of cDNA clones and 5′-rapid amplification of cDNA ends were performed to determine the full length of the transcripts, which revealed that the testicular Runx2 comprises 106 aa residues coding novel protein. Generating an antiserum using the amino-terminal 15 aa of Runx2 (Met1 to Gly15) as an antigen, immunoblot analyses were performed to detect the predicted polypeptide of 106 aa residues with the initiating Met1. With the affinity-purified anti-Runx2 antibody, immunohistochemical analyses were performed to elucidate the localization of the protein. Furthermore, bioinformatic analyses were performed to predict the function of the protein. Results. A Runx2 transcript was detected in testes and was specifically expressed in germ cells. Determination of the transcript structure indicated that the testicular Runx2 is a splice isoform. The predicted testicular Runx2 polypeptide is composed of only 106 aa residues, lacks a Runt domain, and appears to be a basic protein with a predominantly alpha-helical conformation. Immunoblot analyses with an anti-Runx2 antibody revealed that Met1 in the deduced open reading frame of Runx2 is used as the initiation codon to express an 11 kDa protein. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analyses revealed that the Runx2 polypeptide was located in the nuclei, and was detected in spermatocytes at the stages of late pachytene, diplotene and second meiotic cells as well as in round spermatids. Bioinformatic analyses suggested that the testicular Runx2 is a histone-like protein. Discussion. A variant of Runx2 that differs from the bone isoform in its splicing is expressed in pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids in testes, and encodes a histone-like, nuclear protein of 106 aa residues. Considering its nuclear localization and differentiation stage-dependent expression, Runx2 may function as a chromatin-remodeling factor during spermatogenesis. We thus conclude that a single Runx2 gene can encode two different types of nuclear proteins, a previously defined transcription factor in bone and cartilage and a short testicular variant that lacks a Runt domain.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions:Department of Biophysics
ID Code:1160
Deposited By: Marcin Grynberg
Deposited On:19 Apr 2016 08:21
Last Modified:19 Apr 2016 08:21

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