EGR4 displays both a cell- and intracellular-specific localization pattern in the developing murine testis Academic Article uri icon


  • Spermatogenesis is an intricately regulated process of cellular differentiation transforming spermatogonial stem cells to spermatozoa. Elimination of the transcription factor EGR4 generates subfertile male mice yet the expression and function of EGR4 in the mammalian testis has yet to be fully investigated. We performed in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence to identify Egr4 transcript and protein localization in the developing murine testis. EGR4 was detected in both germ and somatic cells in the neonatal testis but was specific to germ cells inside the seminiferous epithelium from juvenile development onward. EGR4 also displayed distinct intracellular localization patterns within specific cell populations of the testis. In addition, Egr4-deficient testis tubules regress from relatively normal to Sertoli cell and undifferentiated spermatogonia only over time. Taken together, these data suggest that Egr4 may regulate spermatogenesis at multiple steps, with roles in the dividing Sertoli cells, peritubular myoid cells, and the meiotic and elongating haploid germ cell populations.

publication date

  • November 2010