We have taken advantage of the sequence relationships among the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) to identify the mouse Bmp15 and human BMP15 genes. The 392-amino acid prepropeptides encoded by these BMP genes exhibit significant homology to each other, although the 70% identity observed between the 125-amino acid mature peptides is considerably lower than that seen in comparisons of other mouse and human orthologs. Both genes share a common structural organization and encode mature peptides that lack the cysteine residue normally involved in the formation of a covalent dimer. In addition, mouse Bmp15 and human BMP15 map to conserved syntenic regions on the X chromosome. We demonstrate, through a combination of Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses, that mouse Bmp15 is expressed specifically in the oocyte beginning at the one-layer primary follicle stage and continuing through ovulation. Interestingly, BMP-15 is most closely related to and shares a coincident expression pattern with the mouse growth/differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) gene that is essential for female fertility. Our findings will be important for defining the role of BMP-15 in follicular development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology