Transcription of the testis-specific mouse protamine 2 gene in a homologous in vitro transcription system

David Bunick, Paula A. Johnson, Torrey R. Johnson, Norman B. Hecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transcriptionally active nuclear extracts were prepared from mouse testes to study the transcription of the testis-specific mouse protamine 2 (Prm-2) gene in vitro. The testicular system is unique among mammalian in vitro transcription systems in regard to its temperature optimum. In extracts made from prepuberal testes, the temperature optimum for in vitro transcription of Prm-2 is 30°C, similar to somatic in vitro systems. However, in adult testis extracts, the optimum temperature for Prm-2 transcription is 20°C. The different temperature optima seen in vitro for prepuberal and adult testes extracts parallels in vivo physiological temperature sensitivities of the differentiating male germ cells. The testis system also differs from other in vitro transcription systems in its divalent metal cation and ionic strength requirements for optimal transcription. The mouse Prm-2 gene is maximally transcribed at a MgCl2 concentration of 3-5 mM and over a KCl concentration range of 40-100 mM. By using the testis in vitro transcription system to study the Prm-2 gene by deletion analysis, we have determined that positive promotion for the gene lies within the region -170 to -82 from the start of transcription. This region contains a putative Sp-1 binding site. Additional upstream sequences appear to repress Prm-2 transcription in a heterologous transcription system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-895
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Nuclear extract
  • Positive and negative promoter elements
  • Temperature optimum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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