The FSH β-subunit promoter directs the expression of Herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase to the testis of transgenic mice

Merja A. Markkula, Tuula M. Hämäläinen, Fuping Zhang, Kyoon E. Kim, Richard Maurer, Ilpo T. Huhtaniemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The bovine FSH β-subunit promoter (2.3 kb) was coupled to the coding sequence of the Herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSV-tk) gene and introduced into mouse embryos. A full-length tk transcript was found in the pituitary and testis. In the testis an additional truncated version of tk mRNA was also expressed. Two sets of primer extension fragments were identified, one corresponding to transcription initiation at or near the cap site of the FSH-β gene, the other to transcription initiation within the tk gene. Furthermore, the latter, shorter transcript contained a 227 bp deletion. Only the long transcript was translated into immunoreactive tk in the later stages of developing spermatids. The tk protein was also functional in the testes, since spermatogenesis was either arrested or the germinal epithelium almost completely destroyed in transgenic males treated with the antiherpetic agent. If the FSH-β-HSV-tk transgene also functions correspondingly in the pituitary, these mice will provide a useful model for studies on FSH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes



  • Ablation
  • FSHβ
  • Herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase
  • Testis
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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