Systematic variation in mRNA 3'-processing signals during mouse spermatogenesis.

Document Type


Publication Date



Evolution-Molecular, Expressed-Sequence-Tags, Male, Mice, Polyadenylation, RNA-3'-Polyadenylation-Signals, RNA-Messenger, Spermatogenesis, Testis, mRNA-Cleavage-and-Polyadenylation-Factors

JAX Source

Nucleic Acids Res 2007; 35(1):234-46.


Gene expression and processing during mouse male germ cell maturation (spermatogenesis) is highly specialized. Previous reports have suggested that there is a high incidence of alternative 3'-processing in male germ cell mRNAs, including reduced usage of the canonical polyadenylation signal, AAUAAA. We used EST libraries generated from mouse testicular cells to identify 3'-processing sites used at various stages of spermatogenesis (spermatogonia, spermatocytes and round spermatids) and testicular somatic Sertoli cells. We assessed differences in 3'-processing characteristics in the testicular samples, compared to control sets of widely used 3'-processing sites. Using a new method for comparison of degenerate regulatory elements between sequence samples, we identified significant changes in the use of putative 3'-processing regulatory sequence elements in all spermatogenic cell types. In addition, we observed a trend towards truncated 3'-untranslated regions (3'-UTRs), with the most significant differences apparent in round spermatids. In contrast, Sertoli cells displayed a much smaller trend towards 3'-UTR truncation and no significant difference in 3'-processing regulatory sequences. Finally, we identified a number of genes encoding mRNAs that were specifically subject to alternative 3'-processing during meiosis and postmeiotic development. Our results highlight developmental differences in polyadenylation site choice and in the elements that likely control them during spermatogenesis.