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Genomic structure of the gene for mouse germ cell nuclear factor (GCNF)

Ute Süsens and Uwe Borgmeyer*

Author Affiliations

Zentrum für Molekulare Neurobiologie, Universität Hamburg, Martinistrasse 52, D-20246 Hamburg, Germany

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Genome Biology 2000, 1:research0006-research0006.3  doi:10.1186/gb-2000-1-3-research0006

Published: 13 September 2000



The germ cell nuclear factor (GCNF, also known as retinoid acid receptor-related testis-associated receptor, neuronal cell nuclear receptor or NR6A1) is an orphan receptor in the nuclear receptor superfamily found in mammals, amphibians and fish. The mouse Gcnf gene is expressed in the placenta and the developing nervous system and germ cells, and responds to retinoic acid.


We have defined the intron-exon structure of the mouse Gcnf gene and found that it contains 11 exons. Exons 1-4 encode the 75 amino acid amino-terminal domain and exon 4 also encodes the core DNA-binding domain. The carboxy-terminal extension is encoded by exon 5, exons 6 and 7 encode the hinge region, and exons 7-11 encode the putative ligand-binding domain. Unusually, the two zinc-finger motifs in the DNA-binding domain are encoded by separate exons.


The protein-coding region of GCNF is contained in 11 exons. The genomic structure of this nuclear receptor gene will be useful for further studies.