Molecular characterization and expression analysis of a KIFC1-like kinesin gene in the testis of Eumeces chinensis.
The member of the kinesin-14 subfamily, KIFC1, is a carboxyl-terminal motor protein that plays an important role in the elongation of nucleus and acrosome biogenesis during the spermiogenesis of mammals. Here, we had cloned and sequenced the cDNA of a mammalian KIFC1 homologue (termed ec-KIFC1) from the total RNA of the testis of the reptile Eumeces chinensis. The full-length sequence was 2,339 bp that contained a 216 bp 5-untranslated region (5UTR), a 194 bp 3-untranslated region (3UTR) and a 1,929 bp open reading frame that encoded a special protein of 643 amino acids (aa). The calculated molecular weight of the putative ec-KIFC1 was 71 kDa and its estimated isoelectric point was 9.47. The putative ec-KIFC1 protein owns a tail domain from 1 to 116 aa, a stalk domain from 117 to 291 aa and a conserved carboxyl motor domain from 292 to 642 aa. Protein alignment demonstrated that ec-KIFC1 had 45.6, 42.8, 44.6, 36.9, 43.7, 46.4, 45.1, 55.6 and 49.8 % identity with its homologues in Mus musculus, Salmo salar, Danio rerio, Eriocheir sinensis, Rattus norvegicus, Homo sapiens, Bos taurus, Gallus gallus and Xenopus laevis, respectively. Tissue expression analysis showed the presence of ovary, heart, liver, intestine, oviduct, testis and muscle. The phylogenetic tree revealed that ec-KIFC1 was more closely related to vertebrate KIFC1 than to invertebrate KIFC1. In situ hybridization showed that the ec-KIFC1 mRNA was localized in the periphery of the nuclear membrane and the center of the nucleus in early spermatids. In mid spermatids, the ec-KIFC1 had abundant expression in the center of nucleus, and was expressed in the tail and the anterior part of spermatids. In the late spermatid, the nucleus gradually became elongated, and the ec-KIFC1 mRNA signal was still centralized in the nucleus. In mature spermatids, the signal of the ec-KIFC1 gradually became weak, and was mainly located at the tail of spermatids. Therefore, the ec-KIFC1 probably plays a critical role in the spermatogenesis of E. chinensis.