The role of stem cell factor and of alternative c-kit gene products in the establishment, maintenance and function of germ cells

C. Sette, S. Dolci, R. Geremia, P. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The c-kit gene plays a fundamental role during the establishment, the maintenance and the function of germ cells. In the embryonal gonad the c-kit tyrosine kinase receptor and its ligand Stem Cell Factor (SCF) are required for the survival and proliferation of primordial germ cells. In the postnatal animal, c-kit/SCF are required for the production of the mature gametes in response to gonadotropic hormones, i.e. for the survival and/or proliferation of the only proliferating germ cells of the testis, the spermatogonia, and for the growth and maturation of the oocytes. Finally, a truncated c-kit product, tr-kit, specifically expressed in post-meiotic stages of spermatogenesis and present in mature spermatozoa, causes parthenogenetic activation when microinjected into mouse eggs, suggesting that it might play a role in the final function of the gametes, fertilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-608
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Developmental Biology
Volume44
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • c-kit
  • Fertilization
  • Oogenesis
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Stem cell factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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