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D Brochard, L Morel, G Veyssiere, and C Jean

MSVSP99 (mouse seminal vesicle secretory protein of 99 amino acids) is a member of the rat and mouse seminal vesicle secretory protein family. The gene encoding MSVSP99 is under androgenic control and we demonstrate here that this regulation involves a complex interplay of positive and negative regions. First, we show that the promoter region (-387/+16) sufficient to mediate a full androgen induction is a complex enhancer organized in two regulatory regions. These two regions are inactive individually and must act together to confer a 40-fold androgen induction to the MSVSP99 gene and androgen responsiveness is not only dependent on the presence of functional androgen response element (ARE) sequences but results from complex cooperations between ARE and non-ARE sequences forming an androgen response unit. Secondly, we characterized a new regulatory region (-824/-632) that decreases androgen-dependent transcriptional activity of the MSVSP99 promoter. This region, also able to repress the transcriptional activity of the heterologous thymidine kinase promoter, contains a functional promoter on the inverted strand (-826 to -387) and we identified a transcription initiation site located at position -639 with respect to the cap site of the MSVSP99 promoter. Sequence analysis of the flanking DNA also revealed that the MSVSP99 gene is surrounded by long interspersed repeated sequences called LINEs.

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C Guilbaud, A M Simon, G Veyssière, and C Jean


We report the cloning and sequencing of a new cDNA sequence encoding a protein from the mouse seminal vesicle. An open reading frame of 297 nucleotides encoded a protein of 99 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 11·454 kDa. The first 21 amino acids constituted a signal peptide followed by 78 amino acids encoding the secreted protein. The cDNA sequence comprised a 3′ untranslated region of 226 bp and the polyadenylation signal AATAAA, 19 bp upstream from the poly(A)+ tail. A high degree of homology was found between this protein and members of the family of seminal vesicle secretory (SVS) proteins, especially rat SVS VI. Northern blot analysis indicated the presence of a 0·7 kb mRNA species in the mRNAs of seminal vesicle tissue. Castration resulted in a marked decrease in the level of the 0·7 kb mRNA encoding the protein, whereas administration of testosterone to castrated males restored the 0·7 kb mRNA.

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S Baron, M Manin, C Aigueperse, M Berger, C Jean, G Veyssiere, and L Morel

The akr1b7 gene encodes an aldose reductase-like protein that is responsible for detoxifying isocaproaldehyde generated by the conversion of cholesterol to pregnenolone. The regulation of gene expression by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was first investigated in the MA-10 Leydig tumor cell line. The akr1b7 gene was constitutively expressed and accumulation of its mRNA was increased in a dose- and time-dependent manner by treatment with hCG. akr1b7 mRNA accumulation was sharply increased in the presence of 0.25 nM hCG and it reached a fivefold increase within 2 h. AKR1B7 protein accumulation was delayed compared with that of the corresponding mRNA. In agreement, hCG significantly increased the levels of mRNA and protein of akr1b7 in primary cultures of adult mouse Leydig cells, thus suggesting that LH potentially regulates akr1b7 gene expression in vivo. Expression of akr1b7 was developmentally regulated in the testis. Unexpectedly, levels of akr1b7 mRNA increased from embryonic day 15 to the day of birth and declined until adulthood while AKR1B7 protein levels followed an inverse pattern, suggesting an important role for translational mechanisms.