Identification of a male meiosis-specific gene, Tcte2, which is differentially spliced in species that form sterile hybrids with laboratory mice and deleted in t chromosomes showing meiotic drive

Braidotti, GB, D. P.,  Developmental Biology,  186:85-99. 1997.

Tcte2 (t complex testes expressed 2) is a male meiosis-specific gene that maps to band 3.3 of mouse chromosome 17. Two distinct male fertility defects, hybrid sterility and transmission ratio distortion, have previously been mapped to this region. Hybrid sterility arises in crosses between different mouse species and the F1 generation males have defects in the first meiotic division and are sterile. Transmission ratio distortion is shown by males heterozygous for the t haplotype form of chromosome 17 and is a type of meiotic drive in which male gametes function unequally at fertilization. The Tcte2 gene expresses a coding mRNA and a number of putative non-ORF transcripts in meiosis I. A deletion of the 5′ part of the locus abolishes Tcte2 expression on the t haplotype form of chromosome 17. Additionally, the series of putative non-ORF RNAs at the Tcte2 locus are differentially spliced in species that show hybrid sterility when crossed to laboratory mice. The identification of polymorphisms in t haplotypes and in different mouse species allows alleles of Tcte2 to be proposed as candidates for loci which contribute to both meiotic drive and hybrid sterility phenotypes. While theoretical considerations have previously been used to propose that speciation and meiotic drive involve alleles of the same genes, Tcte2 is the first cloned candidate gene to support this link at a molecular level. (C) 1997 Academic Press.