In our search for genes required for the development and function of mouse gonads, we identified Gng13 (guanine nucleotide binding protein 13, gamma), a gene with an embryonic expression pattern highly restricted to the ovary. Based on reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and whole-mount in situ hybridization, Gng13 is expressed in both XX and XY gonads at embryonic day (E) 11.5, but becomes up-regulated in the XX gonad by E12.5. Expression is retained after treatment with busulfan, a chemical known to eliminate germ cells, pointing to the soma as a site of Gng13 transcription. In situ hybridization of embryonic ovarian tissue sections further localized the expression to the cortex of the developing XX gonad. Gng13 expression in the adult is also highly restricted. Northern blot analyses and Genomic Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation expression profiling of adult tissues detected very high expression in the cerebrum and cerebellum, in addition to, a weaker signal in the ovary. Gng13 belongs to a well-known family of signal transduction molecules with functions in many aspects of development and organ physiology. Here, we report that, in the developing mouse embryo, expression of Gng13 mRNA is highly restricted to the cortex of the XX gonad during sexual differentiation, suggesting a role for this gene during ovarian development.
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