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The Delta Sxrb interval of the mouse Y chromosome is critical for spermatogenesis and expression of the male-specific minor transplantation antigen H-Y. Several genes have been mapped to this interval and each has a homologue on the X chromosome. Four, Zfy1 , Zfy2 , Ube1y and Dffry , are expressed specifically in the testis and their X homologues are not transcribed from the inactive X chromosome. A further two, Smcy and Uty , are ubiquitously expressed and their X homologues escape X-inactivation. Here we report the identification of another gene from this region of the mouse Y chromosome. It encodes the highly conserved eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF-2gamma. In the mouse this gene is ubiquitously expressed, has an X chromosome homologue which maps close to Dmd and escapes X-inactivation. The coding regions of the X and Y genes show 86% nucleotide identity and encode putative products with 98% amino acid identity. In humans, the eIF-2gamma structural gene is located on the X chromosome at Xp21 and this also escapes X-inactivation. However, there is no evidence of a Y copy of this gene in humans. We have identified autosomal retroposons of eIF-2gamma in both humans and mice and an additional retroposon on the X chromosome in some mouse strains. Ark blot analysis of eutherian and metatherian genomic DNA indicates that X-Y homologues are present in all species tested except simian primates and kangaroo and that retroposons are common to a wide range of mammals. These results shed light on the evolution of X-Y homologous genes.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Mol Genet

Publication Date





1725 - 1737


Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Blotting, Northern, Chromosome Mapping, Chromosomes, Human, Chromosomes, Human, Pair 12, Cloning, Molecular, Dosage Compensation, Genetic, Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2, Evolution, Molecular, Female, Humans, Male, Mammals, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, Inbred CBA, Mice, Inbred Strains, Molecular Sequence Data, Retroelements, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Sex Chromosomes, X Chromosome, Y Chromosome