Densin is a novel cell membrane protein of sertoli cells in the testis



Cell–cell interactions between Sertoli cells and germ cells are crucial for the maturation of germ cells in spermatogenesis but the structural and functional aspects of the interactions remain to be fully elucidated. Densin is a junction protein suggested to play a role in establishment of specific cell–cell contacts in the post-synaptic densities of the brain and the slit diaphragm of the kidney podocyte. In the present study, densin was discovered to be expressed in the testis of the man and the mouse. Expression of densin at the gene and the protein level was studied by using RT-PCR and Western blotting analyses, and the localization of densin was explored with immunofluorescence staining. RT-PCR and Western blotting analyses showed that densin is expressed at the gene and the protein levels. Immunofluorescence staining localized the expression of densin to the cell membranes of Sertoli cells suggesting that densin may be an adherens junction protein between Sertoli cells and developing germ cells. Densin is a novel testicular protein expressed in the cell membranes of Sertoli cells. Its functional role remains to be assessed. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 74: 641–645, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.