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.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||International Journal of Developmental Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|
- Stem cell factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology