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Diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) phosphorylates DG to generate phosphatidic acid. Recently, we found that a new alternative splicing product of the DGKη gene, DGKη3, which lacks exon 26 encoding 31 amino acid residues, was expressed only in the secondary spermatocytes and round spermatids of the testis. In this study, we cloned the full length DGKη3 gene and confirmed the endogenous expression of its protein product. During the cloning procedure, we found a new testis-specific alternative splicing product of the DGKη gene, DGKη4, which lacks half of the catalytic domain. We examined the DGK activity and subcellular localization of DGKη3 and η4. DGKη3 had almost the same activity as DGKη1, whereas the activity of DGKη4 was not detectable. In resting NEC8 cells (human testicular germ cell tumor cell line), DGKη1, η3 and η4 were broadly distributed in the cytoplasm. When osmotically shocked, DGKη1 and η4 were distributed in punctate vesicles in the cytoplasm. In contrast, DGKη3 was partly translocated to the plasma membrane and co-localized with the actin cytoskeleton. These results suggest that DGKη3 and η4 have properties different from those of DGKη1 and that they play roles in the testis in a different manner.


Eri Murakami, Takao Shionoya, Suguru Komenoi, Yuji Suzuki, Fumio Sakane. Cloning and Characterization of Novel Testis-Specific Diacylglycerol Kinase η Splice Variants 3 and 4. PloS one. 2016;11(9):e0162997

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PMID: 27643686

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