Molecular cloning of rat macrophage-stimulating protein and its involvement in the male reproductive system

Kazuiku Ohshiro, Atsushi Iwama, Kenjiro Matsuno, Taichi Ezaki, Osamu Sakamoto, Isao Hamaguchi, Nobuyuki Takasu, Toshio Suda

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Macrophage-stimulating protein (MSP), a member of the hepatocyte growth factor family, is a ligand for receptor tyrosine kinase STK/RON. Here we isolated a full-length cDNA of rat MSP and a partial cDNA of rat STK/RON, then characterized their expression in the male reproductive system. In situ hybridization revealed that MSP mRNA was localized to spermatogonia and spermatocytes in the testis and the epithelium lining the lumen of the epididymis. On the other hand, RT-PCR analysis showed that STK/RON mRNA was expressed in sperm collected from both testis and epididymis. These findings suggest that locally produced MSP may play a vital role in germ cell-germ cell interaction during spermatogenesis as well as in the acquisition of sperm motility and/or fertilizing capacity in the epididymis. Our findings reveal new possible roles of the MSP-STK/RON signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-280
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Oct 3


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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