γ-Glutamyl transpeptidase (γGT) is a crucial enzyme for the metabolism of xenobiotics and endogenous mediators of biological functions (leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and hepoxillins). Yet little is known about its potential role during development. It is a single copy gene expressed from at least seven promoters, Using histochemistry and immunohistochemistry we demonstrate that γGT first appears in the midgestational yolk sacs of mouse embryos. Established cell lines with phenotypic features of yolk sac endoderm (JC-44) or embryonic stem cells were also assayed for the expression of γGT. Significant levels were detected in JC-44 cells and higher levels were found in JC-44-derived embryoid bodies. Because this cell line appears to be a good in vitro counterpart of yolk sac differentiation, we characterized the γGT mRNA types expressed in JC-44 cells. By ribonuclease protection analysis, γGT RNA types IV and VI represent about 80% of the total γGT RNA in JC-44 embryoid bodies. Reverse transcription-mediated polymerase chain reaction detected low amounts of γGT RNA types I, III, and V. Expression of γGT in yolk sac follows a pattern seen in many tissues in which one or two γGT RNA types dominate the expression profile; however, the reason for this tissue specificity is unknown.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology