Temporal patterns of A-myb and B-myb gene expression during testis development

Keith E. Latham, Judith Litvin, Joanne M. Orth, Bela Patel, Richard Mettus, E. Premkumar Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We recently reported the cloning and sequencing of the mouse A-myb proto-oncogene cDNA and the abundant expression of this mRNA primarily in the testis of adult mice. The A-myb mRNA is detectable by in situ hybridization specifically in the spermatogenic cells, and is downregulated during terminal differentiation. A low level of expression is observed in a few other tissues, including ovary, spleen and brain. We have extended those studies by examining A-myb and B-myb expression during testis development in the mouse. The A-myb and B-myb genes are both expressed in a cell- and stage-specific manner during testis development. The B-myb mRNA is expressed most highly in gonocytes of the fetal testis and in spermatogonia and early spermatocytes in the adult. B-myb expression decreases at day 18 post partum, coincident with the initial appearance of late pachytene spermatocytes. B-myb expression was also detectable in some interstitial cells of the fetal and adult testis. The A-myb mRNA was not detectable by in situ hybridization in fetal day 15.5 gonocytes but was detectable at a low abundance by RT-PCR in fetal and newborn mice. A-myb mRNA expression increased at post-natal day 10, when primary spermatocytes first appear. In the adult, the A-myb mRNA was expressed highly in a sub-population of spermatogonia and in primary spermatocytes, but was not detectable in spermatids. This expression of A-myb is consistent with the meiotic arrest that is observed in A-myb-deficient male mice. We conclude that B-myb may play a critical role in controlling the proliferation or differentiation of gonocytes and spermatogonia and possibly the somatic lineages as well, whereas A-myb is required for progression through the first meiotic prophase. These distinct roles for B-myb and A-myb during spermatogenesis may reflect distinct transactivation potentials of the two proteins. Further studies to determine the functions of A-myb and B-myb in the developing testis should improve our understanding of the molecular events associated with spermatogenesis and differentiation of the Sertoli and other somatic cell types of the testis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1161-1168
Number of pages8
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Fertility
  • Gene expression
  • Meiosis
  • Myb
  • Sterility
  • Testis development


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